Autumn’s days are becoming noticeably shorter and there’s a growing sense at this time of the year that a warm, sunny day is like an unexpected gift – to be accepted graciously! The public holiday tomorrow is known as Family Day in South Africa, the ideal day to explore our beautiful city or simply relax in good company. A picnic has universal appeal for both young and old.

Plan A: Sunny day ideas for Family Day
Many of the Cape’s wine estates offer fabulous picnics, too, such as Warwick, Solms Delta and Allee Bleue, but it’s tricky to find a venue that doesn’t require a reservation at least 24 hours in advance. For impromptu picnics, Spier Wine Estate’s fabulous Eight To Go Deli gets our vote. Shelves and fridges are packed with both wholesome and decadent ready-to-eat goodies for a D.I.Y. picnic – better still, many of the ingredients are grown or produced on the Spier farm. You can pre-book a basket the day before, but surely it’s more fun to create your own tailor-made spread? Add a bottle of estate wine, find a spot in the gardens and settle in for a relaxed, al fresco lunch. Eight To Go Deli is open daily, from 10:00 to 16:30. For bookings: 021 809-1188 Don’t miss a chance to get up close and personal with the fascinating birds of prey at Spier’s Eagle Encounter

Did you know: Cape Grace has a dedicated picnic menu, offering its guests delicious building blocks for a moveable feast? Give our kitchen a little advance warning, make a selection from our tempting array of portable salads, sandwiches, snacks, desserts, and kid-friendly treats, and you’re good to go. Our favourite picnic spots include Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden ( or the top of Table Mountain (Tip: take the cable car)

Plan B: Rainy day ideas for Family Day
As local as you can get, the Planetarium in Cape Town is a great outing especially for inquiring young minds. For children between the ages of 5-10, Davy Dragon’s Guide to the Night Sky (12h00 tomorrow) is a playful introduction to astronomy, and will answer some of the questions that children may have about the stars and planets. Teenagers and adults will appreciate Astronomy of the Great Pyramid (14h00 tomorrow), a look at how the pyramids of ancient Egypt were ‘stargates’ from where the spirits of dead pharaohs were believed to ascend to the stars. For further information on these and other shows throughout the week, call the Planetarium 021 481-3800.

PS: If you haven’t had enough chocolate, take a drive to Durbanville Hills Wine Estate for a wine pairing with a difference – five estate wines paired to five different chocolates. Contact 021 558-1300 for further details.

Blog by Jane Broughton

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