The serene camphor tree forest of the 315-year-old Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West is again the location of its famous white tablecloth picnic. Whether you are in search of an intimate meal for two, or a relaxed get-together of family and friends, this is an ideal opportunity to enjoy delicious local produce and sun-ripened flavours in a beautiful environment.
Available from November to April, the al fresco meal is served in a glade of trees seeded from the original giant camphors planted three centuries ago by estate owner Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel. Food is served in traditional picnic baskets and enjoyed in fine style at tables and chairs shaded by elegant umbrellas.
This year’s menu starts with two pâtés, traditional snoek and also creamy feta and white bean pâté, served with artisanal bread and farm butter. Fish is beet-cured Norwegian salmon, offered with a fresh citrus and fennel salad. Roast beef sirloin and Asian duck wrap are accompanied by a Mediterranean chickpea salad and a cauliflower and lentil salad.
Finally – you might need to stroll around the estate’s 18 magnificent gardens to build up a fresh appetite – a selection of cheeses is served with homemade biscuits and preserve. The chef’s dessert of the day is accompanied by aromatic filter coffee.
Vegetarian options (please specify when making the reservation) and a children’s picnic are also available.
The beverage list comprises a range of Vergelegen’s world-renowned wines to suit all tastes and pockets. These include highly affordable wines such as the Sauvignon Blanc Premium 2015 (R120) and the Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot Premium 2011 (R125) as well as the Vergelegen Red GVB Flagship 2011 (R460) and the Vergelegen V 2011 (R1100).
This is also an ideal opportunity to enjoy Vergelegen’s limited release sparkling wine, only available at the estate – Vergelegen Brut MMV 2013 (R265).
Picnics may be collected from 12h15 to 13h30 and finish at 16h30. The cost is R215 per person and R95 for the child’s picnic. (Excluding gratuity, entrance and beverages/wine). A 10% gratuity will be added for tables of eight people or more.
Vergelegen’s cultural heritage area spans 60 hectares and includes historic buildings such as the homestead and library, filled with antiques and works of art, as well as a magnificent wine tasting centre. There is a wonderful play area for children and the garden attractions include over 15 000 agapanthus plants, which will be in full bloom this summer. (See www.vergelegen.co.za)
Bookings are essential: Telephone 021 8472131 | www.vergelegen.co.za.