Travel

Enjoy a Scenic Garden Picnic

Now that local travel bans have lifted, and the weather is getting warmer, South Africans are returning to restaurants and the great outdoors in increasing numbers. One way to combine both of these enjoyable leisure pursuits, while simultaneously managing to social distance with ease, is to go on a luxury picnic that combines a beautiful setting with a basket brimming over with delectable treats and eats that have been prepared and packed especially for you. It’s all the pleasure, with none of the fuss.

While Cape Town abounds with scenic splendor, there are not many destinations where you can enjoy a hosted picnic in safe and inspiring surrounds, with secure on-site parking while you relax. The beautiful, historic Cellars-Hohenort hotel in Constantia is one such rare destination – a place that will make you feel like a VIP in your own backyard. The hotel offers made-to-order picnics, created in the hotel’s inimitable five-star style, that are set against the verdant backdrop of its extraordinary, multiple award-winning Hohenort gardens. Once you’ve collected your basket, you can wander through the expansive grounds and choose where you’d like to soak in the Spring sunshine and the views of Constantia Valley and the Table Mountain range.

There’s nothing quite like the Hohenort gardens. They are of great horticultural significance and unique in South Africa. The country’s 2nd oldest camphor trees grace the property – these majestic beauties laid down their roots 300 years ago, back when the property was still known as Klaasenbosch Farm. While the early European settlers to the Cape have long since left us, these arboreal giants remain, testimony to the power of nature and the enduring, formidable strength of great trees.

Perch within view of these mighty camphors – or take up a secluded spot elsewhere. There’s your choice of manicured lawns verged by carefully tended beds of roses (there are over 2 500 roses planted at The Cellars-Hohenort), herb gardens, rockeries and waterways, shaded spots, private nooks, and, if you can discover it, a secret garden so hidden behind dense hedgerows that you’d never have imagined it was there… This incredible garden has often featured in Public Open Days to raise money for charity.

Once you’ve chosen where you’ll while away the hours, it’s time to unpack the fresh home-baked ciabatta with farm butter, tapas, free range roast chicken, artisanal house salads in a jar with vinaigrette, carrot cake with cream cheese icing, bottled water, freshly pressed juice, and much more. There are two Picnic basket options with set menus to choose from.

Kids between the ages of five and ten can choose from a list of add-on kid-friendly options, including a cheeseburger with grilled chicken or beef, fish cakes with ketchup, roasted chicken quarters, two mini boerewors rolls, or toasted sandwiches with various fillings.

If you are in a celebratory mood you can elect to order from the hotel’s extensive wine list that draws from the on-site cellar – there are various whites, reds or MCCs from which to choose. Alternatively, toast to good health in real French style, by adding a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne to your basket.

Due to social distancing requirements, picnic bookings are essential and must please be made a minimum of 24 hours in advance with full payment. For more information or bookings, contact: restaurantres@cellars-hohenort.co.za.

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