Picnics are always a vibe – and you can’t get much better than enjoying a world-class picnic basket under oak trees with views of the Franschhoek mountain ranges on a sunny day. Luckily, that’s exactly what you’ll get to experience with the Boschendal picnics.
You may know Boschendal best for their extensive wine collection, but the estate is so much more than that.
Not only is it one of the oldest farms in South Africa (founded in 1685), but it is also a working farm that produces a wide range of fruits, vegetables, eggs, and meat products for on-site consumption in the restaurants – the exceptional Werf Restaurant or the hearty Deli.
You can also buy some of these goodies at Boschendal’s Farm Shop & Butchery and, of course, you can enjoy it all if you’re staying over at one of Boschendal’s cottages.
We’ve written a full review on everything you can expect at Boschendal. You can read our Boschendal Wine Estate review here.
But, you can also enjoy everything the farm has to offer by booking one of their picnic experiences at the Rhone Rose Garden.
Rose Garden Picnics Versus Werf Garden Picnics
Before we dive into details, though, a quick note on the two different picnics at Boschendal:
- Rose Garden picnics are situated at Rhone Homestead, near the wine tastings and horse paddocks. These are the summer picnics and take place until the end of April every year.
- Werf Garden picnics are situated near the historical Werf area and are closer to the hustle and bustle of the farm’s other activities. These are the winter picnics and take place from May every year.
The picnic baskets, menu, and prices are similar, so if you’re booking for a Werf Garden picnic, you can still take the below review as an indication of what you expect.
Boschendal Picnic Location
The Rhone Rose Garden is situated in what I’d call the ‘opposite end’ of the Boschendal estate, but this description would be largely misleading as the Boschendal wine estate is massive.
The Rhone Rose Garden is merely situated on the opposite side of the more commercial humdrum of the Werf Restaurant, Deli, and Farm Shop.
Luckily, directions at Boschendal are pretty easy to follow, and everything is clearly marked.
Turn right as you enter the estate, and follow the road to the very end, past the horse paddocks.
There’s ample, shaded parking, and you can walk over to the garden in a mere few minutes.
The garden itself is a huge lawn area with giant oak trees that provide all the shade you need for a comfortable picnic. But you can also choose to sit on the sunny side, surrounded by the rose garden.
The Rhone Homestead, Winery, and Cellar Door envelope the area, and everything is set under the backdrop of spectacular Drakenstein Valley mountain views.
This is nature pure.
Full-Service Picnic Tables
Boschendal caters to all, and you don’t have to be a sitting-on-a-blanket type of person to enjoy the Boschendal Rhone Rose Garden picnic.
They give you the option of both.
Tables with white tablecloths are set up under the giant trees, allowing for a comfortable, shaded picnic experience.
This is a full-service picnic. You’ll get your pre-ordered picnic basket brought to you, and have the option of choosing wine, soft drinks, coffees, or anything else from the drinks menu.
But you can also grab one of the handy picnic blankets and go anywhere you please.
There’s enough space under the trees for blankets, or, if you wish, you can also head out into the sun and enjoy your picnic on the unobstructed lawn area.
The choice is yours.
Sustainable Boschendal Picnic Baskets
Boschendal as a whole focuses on sustainability.
Much of the fresh produce on your plate at any of the Boschendal restaurants – and the Boschendal picnics – is grown on the estate itself.
Everything else is sourced from local farmers and small producers from the surrounding winelands, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Cape Town.
The menu is also largely seasonal and celebrates the soil-to-fork experience.
Boschendal offers you a variety of choices, including the regular picnic menu and a kids’ picnic menu, as well as vegetarian options of each.
While the regular menu focuses on a greater variety of salads and sandwich toppings, the kids’ menu is a smaller collection that includes fresh garden vegetables, sandwiches, pasta salads, fruit salads, and ice cream.
Boschendal Rose Garden Picnic Menu
We opted for the regular “adult’ picnic basket.
On the menu:
- Farm-baked baguette with hummus & butter
- Fresh garden vegetables with almond & garlic emulsion
- Werf green salad with parmesan, garden herb vinaigrette, roast cauliflower coronation, coriander, and crispy chickpeas (all served separately)
- Shredded roast free-range chicken & mayonnaise with lemon atchar
- Charcuterie selection from The Werf Butchery
- Dalewood camembert with onion marmalade
- White chocolate cheesecake
As alluded to, most items are packed separately, so you can pick and choose what you want and come up with your own creations.
There are no rules at a picnic.
Boschendal does say that they do not have Banting or gluten-free picnic options available, but Sabine, as you may know, follows the low-carb Banting diet, and it was pretty easy for her to enjoy the picnic and just leave out what she couldn’t eat.
Vegan options are available on request.
Everything is served in glass jars or compostable and biodegradable packaging.
Boschendal kindly asks you to leave the glass jars in the picnic boxes so they can be washed and re-used and to place your packaging in the allocated bins for compost.
I Love Foodies Boschendal Picnic Review
Everything in the picnic basket was exceptional. Of course, having dined at some of the other Boschendal restaurants before, this was no surprise.
They really put a focus on their food, and everything is fresh and locally sourced. Of course, much of the picnic is ‘raw food’, and you really can’t mess around with that. If it’s not fresh or of high quality, you’ll taste it immediately.
But you won’t struggle with this at Boschendal.
Everything else that requires a bit more prep is also exquisitely prepared.
I particularly enjoyed the roasted chickpeas and the chicken mayonnaise and also really, really liked the cheesecake!!!
I also really liked the setting of the rose garden picnics.
The mountain views are everything they promise to be, and it’s pretty easy to lose yourself in the majesty of the surroundings.
Tables are also pretty far apart so, even though you have neighbours, you won’t be listening in on anyone else’s conversations.
And if you need a bit more peace and quiet, you can always choose to move your blanket elsewhere.
Service-wise, our waiter brought us our picnic basket and choice of drinks quickly and then only came back when we called him over.
I’d say this is a bad thing in a restaurant setting, but for an undisturbed picnic, this is exactly what you want!
It’s you and your family (or friends) out in nature, enjoying a world-class picnic in a world-class setting, with the luxury of having a trained waiter offer you wine and refreshments if needed.
It really doesn’t get any better.
The only downside we experienced was that there were quite a few bees around.
I’m deathly afraid of bees, and having them hover around the picnic food wasn’t exactly pleasant.
But, this is just nature. Having bees around is a good thing.
So just be aware that they may come to say hi – and plan accordingly if you have anyone in your circle that’s allergic.
Boschendal Picnic Bookings
The picnic experience is available Thursday – Sunday.
You have to pre-book your Rose Garden Picnic on the Boschendal website at least 24 hours in advance.
Booking link: https://www.boschendal.com/eat-drink/picnics
The rose garden picnics are lunchtime to early afternoon picnics, and you can only receive the basket between 12:00 and 14:00. The basket will be ready at your booking time.
The picnic area closes at 17:00, so you have all afternoon to enjoy the views and delicacies.
Boschendal Picnic Basket Prices
Standard and vegetarian picnic baskets are priced the same.
- Picnic basket for one: R300
- Picnic basket for two: R600
- Kids’ basket (3 – 10 yrs): R125
We definitely thought that the basket for two was more than enough food.
You can easily enjoy this for lunch and an early dinner if you’re staying all afternoon. Or grab a few takeaways if you can’t finish everything in one go.
Boschendal Picnic Contact
Pre-booking at least 24 hours in advance is necessary.
Here all the information you’ll need to make sure you have the best time at your Boschendal picnic.
Boschendal Wine Estate
Address: Boschendal Wine Estate, Franschhoek (turn-off from the R310)
Picnic Opening Times: Thursday – Sunday (12:00 – 17:00)
Call: +27 870 4273 or +27 21 870 4274
Article Date: April 2021
All information correct at the time of publication. We do not accept any liability caused by errors, including, but not limited to, changes in price, menu, opening times, address, or other contact details.
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