Chic-nics’ all the rage as weather warms up

Allee Bleue Wine Estate in Franschhoek is one of many properties with extensive grounds and big trees around the country to offer a new, smart take on the picnic concept. It will present the “chic-nic”, a stylish variation on al fresco dining and the traditional picnic, starting on 1 October. Visitors to the winelands estate can enjoy a sit-down picnic with wicker baskets full of gourmet food designed to eat in a leisurely fashion with friends, family and children. A safe play area and duck pond provide a welcome diversion for youngsters, freeing up parents to truly relax.

The elegant, relaxed setting at Allee Bleue transforms the traditional picnic into a “chic-nic”, or chic picnic. Bordered by a Cape Dutch-style whitewashed wall, the picnic area has lush lawns with comfortable garden furniture decked in crisp, checked napery and shaded by cool white umbrellas, with service staff on hand.

Two menus are available: a standard menu that includes meat and a vegetarian menu, both priced at R145 per person and prepared as either a standard or vegetarian basket for two adults sharing. The selection includes pates, dips, cheese, salads, French bread and a dessert. The price of the basket also includes a wine tasting, still or sparkling water and tea or coffee. For children, there is a mini picnic for R80 per child, including fruit juice.

Picnic baskets must be ordered in advance, preferably the day before, and are delivered to guests at the table along with an ice bucket to ensure that refreshments remain chilled. Chilled Allee Bleue wines are available to purchase by the glass or bottle.

The “chic-nics” are available from 1 October throughout the week, must be booked in advance and are weather dependent. On Sundays, live music adds a lively dimension and children are well looked after with a host of kids entertainment.

–       The standard picnic menu consists of: olive tapenade, chicken liver pate, Peppadew snoek pate, cold meat platter with caper mayonnaise, sundried tomato ciabatta with rocket pesto and mozzarella, Allee Bleue herb salad with Parmesan and marinated peppers, curried prawn cocktail with pineapple, Cape cheese platter with preserves and biscuits, fresh baguette, baked cheesecake with summer fruit salad marinated in Allee Bleue grappa, and a seasonal gift produced on the estate to take home.

–       The vegetarian picnic menu consists of: coriander and peach salsa, humus, paprika cream cheese, meze platter with crumbed aubergine, caprese salad and potato salad, remoulade and pickles, ciabatta with brie, tomato and herb salad, rocket salad with sundried tomatoes, olives and Parmesan cheese, avocado cocktail topped with mayonnaise served with cucumber and cherry tomato salad, Cape cheese platter with preserves and biscuits, fresh baguette, baked cheese cake with summer fruit salad marinated in Allee Bleue grappa, and a seasonal gift produced on the estate to take home.

www.hotelandrestaurant.co.za

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