Last Sunday Mr John and I had the most wonderful picnic at Gabrielskloof, out in Botrivier. I tried to get up early, but I had had a big Friday night and was still feeling it on Sunday morning! A day out in the beautiful sunshine with great food was just what I was in the mood for so a little mission out of town was perfect.
We took to the N2 and wound our way up Sir Lowries Pass. Once in Grabouw there was, unfortunately, a car accident. The upside was that we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of fruit trees, purple mountains, blue skies and green lawns for kilometers. (No one seemed hurt, luckily.)
Once we got going again we left the green fields of Grabouw and made our way over the hills of Botrivier, revealing the golden wheat fields that often seem so dry under blue skies. On this occasion the fields were blowing in the wind like an ocean lapping against a shore, it was very pretty.
Gabrielskloof is located on the right of the N2 (away from town) and is perched up upon a hill.
As you ascend the hill, if you look far into the distance you will see the sea on the Kleinmond/Hermanus side. Parking lead to brief exploring before we made our way inside. I attached the apple crates lined against the storage rooms, I just couldn’t resist since! (I’m so seldom outside these days; it’s true, a day job really does kill your outside joy!
When I’m in a new place, I can’t help but explore a little bit. Life’s fun, be curious, you’ll only surprise yourself; like the time my sister in law and I found an old Jeep in a shed! (Don’t tell the farmer!)
I attended a wedding at Gabrielskloof once and always remembered its black mirror type pools that are sunken into the lawn. I think they look AWESOME! And if you have a small wedding, it’s a great venue to consider. We entered the beautiful premises…
On Sunday there were a number of families, older friends and younger couples enjoying the beautiful Sunday lunch. The pools are only a foot deep and do have safety nets, however, it is recommended to observe and monitor your children at all times.
We entered the restaurant and were warmly greeted by the really friendly but professional staff. True manners and courtesy really make an dining experience so special.
Gabrielskloof has its own deli with an array of freshly baked goods and treats. Take the home to enjoy after the day or keep them as gifts for friends and family.
Every Sunday there is a set menu (with a number of main options) which is a popular date at at Gabrielskloof. But on this occasion we were here to experience the gourmet picnic box. We were lucky enough to have the front (or back) lawn all to ourselves. Umbrellas and blankets had been set out for us and we ordered some lovely, light wine. The Gabrielskloof Magdalena was a beautiful, slightly wooded wine, perfect for a warm day (I usually drink chardonnay but this was a lovely lighter change).
Soon we were presented with an exciting picnic box. Mr John thought it was packed into a Gabrielskloof wine box, which makes sense! But it was packed so perfectly, I could hardly believe it.
There were SOOO many items inside the picnic box! Treats included bacon and onion quiches (absolutely divine, possibly the best I’d ever tasted!), lamb and waterblommetjie pies (SO lamby, so rich), fresh rocket, parma ham, cheddar cheese and a pork and duck terrine (I love terrine!), or rilette. There was a pepperdew butter (I think Sandie our server said pepperdew), but I forgot to taste it – yes, there were that many other interesting things!).
Beautifully rare roast beef (as an English descendant, that makes me very happy!), rooster koek (which was beautifully soft on the palate), a lightly pickled vegetable jar as well as a artichokes, black olives (which were incredibly olivey and rich!), sun dried tomatoes, homemade watermelon, green fig and koeksister preserve and some kind of chocolate spread. The little ones can opt for an Under 10 VIP taste bud treatment at R75 per child, which includes a ham and cheese roll, yoghurt, mini cheese wedges, juice, crisps, fruit and a selection of old fashioned sweeties.
There was also a liver pate which I didn’t end up having either.
I tried to eat as much as I could but there really was so much food. So I had another glass of wine, took a stroll to see the view and then had a little sunshine snooze. I wasn’t really sleeping but I may as well have been as it was so tranquil listening to the sounds of the birds tweeting in the spring sunshine.
Before I turned into a lobster we moved inside to be spoilt with Gabrieskloof ice cream. WOW! Mr John had vanilla with freshly made caramel sauce (nothing from a tin or bought here!) and I had the cheese cake ice cream which was just WOW! SO flavourful, so delicious!
Before we left we took in the views from the front of the restaurant, across the fields and down the N2.
Before the sun set we wound our way home. People always seem to be in a rush on the N2 so be sure to take the left lane so you can cruise and ejoy the environment a bit more. You can no longer stop on Sir Lowries pass from Cape Town (outbound), but you can stop over when coming inbound. I love to look over the Mother city from this point of view so we pulled into the car park to take a look across our land.
And, as per usual, if you’re not keeping your eyes peeled you could find a surprise in the dustbin so beware!
Remember! Baboons are DANGEROUS, do NOT feed them. And they’re clever too! I was so scared this lady would steal my camera haha!
We had SUCH a beautiful day at Gabrielskloof. It really was an exquisite lunch and 4 people could definitely share the picnic box. I had so many leftovers that I took them home and replated them for my folks for dinner. They LOVED the food too! At just R300, this box is a steal. Make sure you visit before the end of summer so that you can enjoy this lovely picnic.
Thank you to Gabrielskloof and Leanne for organising our wonderful day out.