How’s the setting?

The word picnic does not hold the same charm for me as it does for so many others. If we were meant to sit on the ground says my friend, Beryl Ormsby Browne, we would all have been Bedouins. She and I both think of picnic as very enlarged al fresco dining and that is exactly what you get at Vergelegen in Somerset West. Their ancient camphor forest is the magical setting for a superb lunch. The nearest table is a distance from you, and one almost expects Meryl Streep to appear at any minute and sing a song from Into the Woods. The service is impeccable, and the wines are—well what can I say? Magnificent. They are priced at a small premium to the price at the cellar.

Magnificent trees


The menu has things like cold tomato gazpacho, great artisanal bread from their kitchens, homemade duck liver pate, smoked snoek pate, home styled cured meats, bacon, leek and potato quiche, an excellent selection of cheeses with pear relish and homemade biscuits.

Something to nibble on


Cheese and pates

Finish with rich chocolate mousse. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated –just let them know in advance.

Chocolate mousse


This is a most unusual experience that you won’t often get the chance to savour –so get together some congenial company and get there. The huge trees provide plenty of shelter from the excruciating heat we have been having. Priced at R330 a head.


Bookings —especially on the weekends –are essential. Call 021 847 2111