Local visitors and tourists in search of delicious summer food flavours and fine wines can once again book for the renowned picnics at Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West.
Available until end-April, the famous luxury picnics are delivered in wicker baskets and served at tables covered with white tablecloths and shaded by elegant umbrellas. The setting is the tranquil camphor forest, with trees grown from seedlings sourced from the five enormous camphor trees – declared national monuments in 1942 –planted in front of the historic homestead in in the 1700s.
“The team from our Camphors and Stables restaurants have developed a delectable menu based on a wide variety of dishes, with most of the ingredients grown on the farm or sourced from specialist local suppliers,” says Hospitality Operations Manager Sue Steenkamp.
The standard picnic menu (vegetarian, vegan and children’s options are available too) offers a tomato gazpacho amuse bouche, homemade duck liver pâté, roasted pepper and cream cheese, and traditional smoked snoek pâté.
Mains consist of home-cured meats, plus chicken marinated in plum, ginger, spring onion and coriander; bacon, leek and potato quiche; butternut and chickpea salad, cucumber relish and caprese salad. South African cheeses are served with pear relish and homemade biscuits, while dessert is a 70% dark chocolate mousse, accompanied by filter coffee. Vergelegen wines, to suit all pockets and tastes, are available.
The standard menu is R330/person for all the above, while the vegetarian and vegan options cost R340/person. The children’s picnic, for three to ten year olds, is R125/child. Reservations at least 24 hours in advance are essential.
Vergelegen is a multi-layered destination so guests are advised to allow plenty of time to enjoy the farm’s many attractions before settling down to their picnics. Visitors can taste the estate’s award-winning wines at the Wine Tasting Centre, book for an environmental tour, or explore 18 exquisite gardens – a fabulous rose garden with 1500 rose bushes adjoins the camphor forest, for example.
The estate recently scooped two wins in the prestigious 2022 Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards, for its landscape and architecture, and sustainable wine tourism experiences.