Locals and visitors in search of delicious local flavours and impeccable service can now book for the popular summer picnics at Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West.
The extensive 319-year-old property was judged the best wine estate on the continent earlier this year and has just been declared a Provincial Heritage Site. Its attractions span a wine tasting centre and award-winning vintages, 17 exquisite gardens, a meticulously restored homestead, and an exhibition area where visitors can discover more about the history and heritage of the property.
The picnics are served in fine style in a lush forest of camphor trees, which were seeded from the original giant camphor planted three centuries ago by the estate’s former owner Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel.
Guests reach the picnic site via a world-class rose garden, displaying over 80 rose varieties. Food is served in traditional picnic baskets and guests are seated at tables covered with white tablecloths and shaded by elegant umbrellas.
“We offer standard, vegetarian/pescatarian, vegan and children’s menus – please specify when booking,” says Hospitality Manager Sharon Hosking.
The 2019 standard menu courses include artisanal bread with red wine and truffle-flavoured farm butter, duck liver pâté with thyme butter, and farm style pork pâté layered with forest mushrooms, served with chilli tomato and aubergine chutney, and zucchini pickle.
The starter is gin-cured salmon with roasted beetroot and chive crème Fraiche, followed by a selection of cured meats, coronation chicken, spanakopita and a traditional Greek salad. Cheeses are served with homemade biscuits. Dessert is baked yoghurt lemon tart with mixed berry compote, rounded off with filter coffee.
Bookings are essential: Telephone 021 8472131, or view the menu and wine list and book online at www.vergelegen.co.za. Picnics are available until end-April 2020.
Opening hours: The estate is open Monday-Sunday 09h30-17h00 (last entry 16h00). Entrance R10/adults and R5/pensioners and scholars, pensioners free on Mondays.