Picnics at Hazendal: Bountiful Babushka Baskets
After two and a half hours of feasting, we were finally finished. We sat back, full, content and completely happy.
Trying to hold on to the last bit of summer, my friend and I ventured to Stellenbosch for an alfresco feast in the form of a picnic. Our destination: the impressive Hazendal Wine Estate.
The family-friendly estate manages to perfectly combine South African and Russian traditions to offer unique experiences from their Pivnushka beer garden and Cape Dutch guesthouse to their Russian tea ceremony and Babushka picnics. They even have a cool educational kids play centre that’ll make the adults in the room jealous.
Walking around the estate it’s easy to see why it’s a favourite among families. There’s plenty to keep little ones entertained and there’s no shortage of adult pleasures either. You’re surrounded by greenery, stunning views, the laughter of children and the chatter of good friends. It’s a tableau that immediately puts you at ease and beckons you to take your seat on the lawn, ready for the feast to come.
Picnics at Hazendal
The picnics are spread out across their manicured lawns with each spot consisting of a picnic blanket, lawn chairs (and cool bean bags) and a little wooden table. Parties large and small can reserve a spot and if you’re lucky like us, you’ll get a spot under the dappled shade of a tree with breathtaking views. (You can try requesting this, and may want to, as the sun can get quite hot).
During these Covid times, we felt at ease enough to take off our masks and enjoy the fresh air. There were a few times when people walked closer to us than we would have liked but the picnics are spread far enough apart that you never feel like you’re encroaching on anyone else’s space. And as soon as you tuck into your savoury and sweet treats, everyone else will fade into the background, leaving you to enjoy the moment.
As we settled down, we were bought a glass of bubbly each and soon after our picnic basket was bought over. We quickly (and eagerly) explored its contents. Inside, we found an assortment of delightful South African and Russian treats, eco-friendly cutlery and an eco-friendly bag for our waste. Without any hesitation, we tucked into the first of the four picnic courses which included hummus; garlic, rosemary and turmeric marinated mushrooms; and artisan bread. Hummus lovers will be in their element while even picky mushroom eaters (myself included) will love them.
After a short break, we enjoyed dukkha roasted chicken kebabs which were phenomenal, a rich potted snoek pâté and a glass of Christoffel Hazenwinkel white blend each. We then tackled the salads which included an Asian salad served with mixed seeds, ginger and a soy dressing and a Russian olivier potato salad. We polished off the potato salad eagerly and while we both enjoyed the Asian salad, we found it slightly lacking in salt and zest.
By this stage, we were both quite full but pushed forward with the cheese course. Along with a selection of Dalewood cheeses, we enjoyed crackers, homemade chutney, figs, cold meats and salty pretzels. All that was left were our decadent chocolate mousse and cream cups. Before devouring these, we both ventured to the deli and order a coffee which provided a balancing note to the otherwise rich dessert.
After two and a half hours of feasting, we were finally finished. We sat back, full, content and completely happy. When we were finally ready (and able) we lifted ourselves out of our lawn chairs and walked around the estate passing before leaving. Driving home was like driving home after a meal at our grandmothers leaving no doubt that the portions were generous and the wholesome dishes were packed full of interesting flavours.
You can see a sample of Hazendal’s picnic menus here.
R300 per person (excludes drinks)
R140 per child (available on request)
Tuesday – Sunday, 10am or 1pm
Good to know
Along with their standard picnics, you can also book a vegetarian or vegan picnic. They also have standard kiddies picnics and kiddies vegan picnics.
If you have any dietary restrictions, please make it known when booking.
021 903 5034, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bookings are essential (within 24 hours)
Where to find it
Hazendal Wine Estate, Bottelary Road, Stellenbosch