Food & Drink

Warwick Picnics

| Experience (def.): Encounter or undergo, to have practical contact with and observe some event.

I have experienced Warwick Wine Estate. I have undergone a practical, hands-on, venture with its wine, food, scenery and vineyards and I’m so close to building a house on the estate and moving there permanently.

But I’m here specifically to talk about their picnics which are one of the best in the South African winelands.

I believe for a picnic to be a success, it needs to be focused on the following:

  • Setting. Definition of a picnic is an outing or occasion that takes packed food outdoors – it’s an occasion, it’s something that requires thought and pre-planning and therefore, location and surrounds are important.
  • Food. Obviously. A picnic should be homely, seasonal always, fresh forever and pleasing to both the eye and tastebuds.
  • Style. There is something so Gatsby about a picnic. They have a charm that other dining experiences don’t and therefore I think it’s important that thought goes into presentation.

Warwick delivers on all three.

Warwick Wine estate was bought by the current family (the Ratcliffes) in 1964 and taking just its wine into consideration, it’s a multi-award winning¬† operation. Norma Ratcliffe, the matriarch of the family was one of the first women in south Africa to start making wine and the First Lady range of wines that Warwick produce are in honor of her.

I am a fan of their Pinotage Rose – recently a winner in the Rose Rocks competition – it’s not a soppy, float in the wind, pink drink that scores merit only on colour, it has depth, oopmh, it’s a wine that you don’t need with food because it is food. For the soul at least.

You can just visit Warwick for their wines, visiting the tasting room and leaving with a few bottles. You can even add in a wine safari and hop on their land rover for an educational tour of Warwick’s Big 5 – that’s big 5 grape varieties. The concept is genius and the tour offers amazing views of the winery.
Warwick Wine

Warwick Wine Estate

But what if you want more that just wine? Then let the picnic magic begin!

How do you make a picnic unbeatable? Aside from the gorgeous grub, Warwick has not one picnic area for you to languish in, but 4 (one of them being for private group picnics and the view from it is the above photo).

Booking your picnic through Warwick’s website – probably one of South Africa’s best winery websites too – is a delight and lets you pick from the lawns that overlook the dam, the forest courtyard – a great choice when the sun is shining fiercely, or the private picnic pods which are an excellent choice for a small group or family and they are in the shade.

Once you’ve picked your spot, then you pick your menu (Vegetarian/Meat) and note that they will cater for any dietary requirement. I sent in a long list of things I couldn’t have because of the bump and they immediately recognized it as a pregnancy diet and catered accordingly with such large amounts of food, I pretty much didn’t need to eat for the next few days.

In the Meat-eaters corner:

  • Succulent beef fillet served on a bed of rocket served with a homemade mustard mayonnaise
  • The best of our local charcuterie: Parma ham, salami sticks & Salametti drizzled with truffle oil
  • Delicious Moroccan salad constructed from couscous, cranberries, full cream yoghurt, micro leaves, carrots, chickpeas, citrus, feta and toasted sesame seeds
  • A selection of local cheeses served with a delicious beetroot & orange chutney
  • The BEST EVER (secret recipe) biltong pate! (they call it that, I didn’t try it so you’ll have to give me feedback if you do)

In the Vegetarian’s corner:

  • Butternut and Sweet potato phyllo pastry tart
  • British Salad with exotic tomatoes barley, beetroot, full cream yoghurt and toasted walnuts and almonds
  • Moroccan salad
  • A selection of local cheeses served with a delicious beetroot & orange chutney
  • Artichoke pate

And let’s not forget that there is fresh bread, unami butter (ermagersh) and yummi chocolate brownies which are everything.

All of this arrives in a wooded crate and looking very Little House on the Prairie.
Warwick Picnics 2

Warwick Wine Estate Picnics
Warwick Picnics 3
I have come to realize why there are so many picnic areas and why they are so comfortable and large, because after eating all that food, you ain’t going nowhere!

What are the cons though, seeing as I have raved quite a bit – the price is the highest that you will find in the winelands at R400 for two people and you HAVE to book. Their picnic booking site is a fantastic example of a winery utilizing their website correctly and it allow you to pick and day and see what areas are still available.

If I’ve made you salivate and desire nothing but picnics for the rest of your life, head over to their website for some more information

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1 Comment

  • Reply Esabeth April 11, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I can’t wait to go and try these picnics for myself.
    Great pics

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