It’s not too often that your ‘work’ requires you to tick an item off your bucket list. But that is exactly what happened when I got the opportunity to experience an amazing picnic at Spier. I have to admit that never having been to Spier was something that filled my Capetonian heart with shame, as well it should considering it really is a little piece of heaven on earth.
We arrived on a slightly overcast Stellenbosch day and were given a choice of either champagne or juice. I chose the fresh pomegranate juice, which was tart and utterly delicious. For those of you like me who have never been to Spier, the grounds are gorgeous with a large inner green space or ‘werf’ surrounded by Cape Dutch buildings. You can picnic under the shady trees or around the dam, reclining on picnic blankets and comfy pillows while tucking into an impressive array of foodie delights.
Spier Farm Kitchen
We were invited to explore the new Spier Farm Kitchen. This is stocked with every single delicious delicacy that a foodie could ever want or need. Items include sophisticated larder essentials, beautifully crafted and decadent salads and sandwiches, and carefully selected décor bits and bobs. You can select your personal preferences from the farm kitchen to craft your own picnic, or you can go with the traditional picnic (meat, vegetarian and kids options available), which you can preorder and which I can highly recommend (and it comes with a bottle of Spier wine which you get to choose).
Just off to the right of the farm kitchen is the most magnificent veggie garden. This is lovingly maintained and adds to the farm fresh experience. Farmer Angus provides pasture-reared products, eggs, biltong, bone broth, as well as chicken, pork and beef, so even the most organically focused foodies can be assured of exceptional quality of produce. The pantry is filled with oils, vinegars, dressings, spice rubs, cookies and rusks and Chef Lolli has also developed a range of healthier sweet products which substitute refined sugars with natural ones. Think fig balls and almond cakes. They even have an outside coffee station with piping hot and delicious coffees for those days when the weather is slightly less than co-operative.
Time to Eat
We had to forego the picnic-on-the-lawn experience as an ill-timed monkey’s wedding suddenly struck out of nowhere. But a gorgeous long communal table was set up on the stoep and we got to indulge in a seemingly endless array of delicious goodies. Some of the deliciousness included lemon-seared chicken with rocket pesto pasta, crispy Hoghouse wood-fired baguette with biltong butter and spiced carrot marmalade, marinated olives, smoked trout quiche, and Farmer Angus double-smoked bacon salad with eggs and herbs, as well as his famous corn dog with spiced tomato ketchup. For dessert, we had traditional cinnamon milk tarts and koeksisters. The children’s picnic includes a soft roll with cheese and pasture-reared cold meats, Babybel cheese with cucumber sticks and tomatoes, fruit yogurt tub, root crisps, a Juicebox, fruit jellies and a kiddies fun bag with crayons.
If you are looking for a memorable experience, I highly recommend indulging in this. You can feel the love and co-operative energy from Chef Lolli, the farmers, the servers and everyone involved in the Spier experience. This really feels like an extended family in action, each person bringing a piece of themselves to the collective experience. What a magnificent experience. I cannot wait to go back.
For more information on Spier and the amazing Spier picnics, visit their official website here.
Photos courtesy of Spier.
Written by Gill Eastwood
Article Date: November 2017
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