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An indulgent picnic and botanical blues

February 16, 2010

Whilst Cape Town is a year round venue for a variety of awesome events, the summer provides unparalleled opportunities to enjoy these in some of the most amazing natural settings I have ever seen.

Every sunday between November and April, Kirstenbosch botanical gardens holds its summer sunset concerts. On the lush side of the mountain you can enjoy a full range of entertainment – highlights this year have included rock music from Prime Circle, comedy from Jack Parow and christmas carol concerts.

Sunday 23rd of January saw Kirstenbosch hosting a singer/songwriter showcase involving Inge Beckmann, Farryl Purkiss and Dan Potlansky. Summer concerts are a relaxed affair where the full diversity of Capetonians arrive with picnic blankets and bags full of wine and snacks. Groups of friends and families sit on the hillside and chat whilst enjoying a relaxing sunday afternoon of entertainment.

I saw this as a great opportunity to put together the perfect picnic and here follows my menu, associated recipes can be found by clicking the links 🙂

Pasta Puttanesca with Cappapino cinotage – pinotage.
Tuna Nicoise salad with La Fleurette – JC Le Roux sparkling rose.
Cous cous and feta fritters with tzatziki – Again with the rose.
Pear and blue cheese tartlets – with Van Louvren Cabernet sauvignon – merlot blend.
Mojito fruit salad – well this already contained a considerable amount of rum so it seemed silly to bring more!

If you are feeling lazy/going last minute, Kirstenbosch will also provide a mini picnic bag for 2 for R150 – containing a bottle of their restaurants Sauvignon blanc, 2 disposable wine glasses, a mini cheese and cracker selection and some crisps. Not bad but my menu cost less per head and I think was far more satisfying if a little time consuming.

The music was brilliant, providing exactly the right ambience for a perfect sunday afternoon before going back to work on monday. The vibe is very reminiscent of the Eden Projects – Eden Sessions but more relaxed – obviously allowing people to bring their own booze is a major plus – but I’m not sure I’d trust the general populus at those gigs to be as reserved as the Kirstenbosch crowd!

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