Cape Town’s natural beauty and mild climate basically scream ‘picnic’, and whether you want to source ingredients yourself (hello Woolworths deli counter, Oranjezicht market et al) and put together the perfect wicker basket, prefer to pick up a ready-prepared option, or opt for the full-service works, a picnic in the Mother City is sure to be a hit. Too much choice? We’re always happy to help (especially when it comes to all things food), so here are some of our top picnic spots in Cape Town.
Set up a feast in the park
Our beautiful city is certainly not short on green spaces – and what better way to enjoy them than with a delicious picnic? Company’s Garden is one such green oasis right in the CBD. Meander around, grab a coffee from the Company’s Garden Restaurant and pick a shady spot to lounge in while the kids play giant chess and climb into the oversized ‘birds nests’. Another great spot for a picnic is Green Point Park, a delightfully unexpected green space in the heart of the buzzing Mother City. If you happen to be picnicking at the weekend, stop by the ever popular Oranjezicht Market at the Waterfront first to stock up on freshly baked bread, hummus, juice and pastries, then recline on a grassy spot or choose one of the available picnic tables. There’s also a big playground to let the little ones loose in.
Indulge in a picnic at a Constantia Valley wine farm
Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine-producing estate, boasts majestic vineyard views, making it a top Cape Town picnic spot. We like pre-ordering a picnic hamper from Simon’s Deli: filled with a variety of goodies including pâtés and dips, baguettes, cured and home-cooked cold cuts, salads, local cheeses, biscuits and preserves, and a sweet treat. Simply add a bottle of the estate’s award-winning wine and let the reclining begin. Another stellar picnic spot is Eagle’s Nest – the wine farm doesn’t offer a picnic as such but the cold meat and cheese platters, best enjoyed alfresco alongside the little stream, are a real treat.
Escape to beautiful Noordhoek
At the end of Chapman’s Peak Drive you’ll happen upon Cape Point Vineyards, a wine estate with rather special views overlooking the seemingly endless Noordhoek beach. Pick a spot on the lawns, just next to the tranquil dam, and tuck into the mouthwatering contents of your pre-ordered picnic basket, which includes the likes of vegetable quiche, fish pâté, curried chicken and a gooey chocolate brownie. And as it’s a wine farm, it would be rude not to wash the whole thing down with a bottle of vino!
Explore a lavish botanical garden
As far as top picnic spots in Cape Town are concerned, it doesn’t get much better than the lush flora of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Bring your own picnic or order a sandwich-salad-dessert-drink combination from the Kirstenbosch Tea Room, then wile away the afternoon on the expansive lawns. Hitting one of the summer evening concerts at the gardens? These twilight soirees are the perfect excuse for a sunset picnic and Capetonians go all out, often arriving with picnic baskets, chairs, silverware, bottles of bubbly and of course, the pick of the deli counter at Woolworths.
Enjoy a picnic dinner on the beach
Late afternoon or early evening is a great time for a sunset beach picnic. If you don’t fancy your food with a hefty dose of sand (thanks to the infamous South Eastern wind) join the beautiful people on one of Clifton’s (usually wind-free) beaches. Oudekraal, just between Camps Bay and Llandudno, is another picture perfect spot. Set against the backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, this private boulder-enclosed beach features a number of grassy spots under milkwood trees – top picnic munching material. Then there’s Beta Beach, a hidden gem in Bakoven. The tiny strip of sand and rocks is tucked away behind the bungalows and is a blissfully tranquil picnic spot. A word of warning – liquor is not allowed on Cape Town’s beaches, so it will have to be an ice-tea affair.
Grab a bite on a lawn high above Camps Bay
The Lawns at The Roundhouse is the kind of place that Capetonians prefer to (almost) keep to themselves – and for good reason. Think dazzling views across Camps Bay, a Table Mountain backdrop, and stylish picnic cabanas for an upmarket outdoor dining experience. Massive beanbags, scattered cushions, twinkly fairy-lights and shady draping encourage maximum lounging, and the tasty picnic baskets are delivered straight to you. Simply lean back, put the wine on ice and soak up the atmosphere – in summer you’ll also get to listen to The Lawns’ chilled-out sunset music sessions.
Eats and sunsets on a mountain
Want to burn some calories before your picnic? Then stuff your deli fare in your backpack and climb Lion’s Head or Table Mountain. At the top, unpack your goodies and toast your hiking success from the summits, gazing across Cape Town spread out below you. If that sounds too strenuous, take the cable car instead, or drive up to the highest point of Signal Hill at the base of Lion’s Head, gazing out at the Atlantic and Robben Island while munching on ciabatta, prosciutto and olives – most definitely one of our top picnic spots in Cape Town.
Private meals at the foot of The Twelve Apostles
It’s fair to say that The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa offers the Rolls Royce of picnic experiences. The private picnic spot on the hotel grounds affords glorious views of the Atlantic and mountains. A romantic picnic table is laid out for you, complete with tablecloth, glasses, cutlery and plates, and a picnic basket filled to the brim with culinary delights such as smoked salmon, bobotie quiche with peach chutney, and passionfruit madeleines – all topped off with a bottle of Moët & Chandon, naturally.
Experience splendid picnics wherever you wish
For a tailor-made experience, try The Picnic Company or Dial-a-Picnic. Both prepare outdoor feasts according to your wishes, be it a gourmet food box, a High Tea affair or a kids birthday party, and then deliver them to a location of your choice – your very own, top Cape Town picnic spot! If you want to surprise your other half, Dial-a-Picnic can even create an entire romantic experience for you, including rose petals, scatter cushions, bubbly on ice and chocolate truffles. Simply pick a venue and it will be set up and ready by the time you get there.