NOW that it’s officially spring, I hope to frequently share with you in the months ahead one of my favourite fair weather pastimes: the picnic.
Last week I visited the new Spier Farm Kitchen, which adds to the many offerings on the farm. Here you can choose from a pre-packed picnic basket, or select your own individually priced items and wines from the deli counters to enjoy on the lawn, on the banks of the Eerste River, at the edge of the dam, or at a table on the stoep of the more-than-200-years-old building. In addition, there are lots of wonderful things to buy and take home.
Spier has been ethically, environmentally and socially conscious for many years, and it’s point of pride for executive chef Lolli Heyns and her team that they use seasonal produce grown organically in the Werf Food Garden a stone’s throw away from the Kitchen, as well as ingredients from other trusted local suppliers, to create nutritious, farm-inspired food directly from pasture to plate.
“Everything is either produced here on the farm, or close by,” said Lolli. Farmer Neil (bearded and with a sprig of jasmine tucked behind his ear, what’s not to love?) tends the garden, and Farmer Angus’s products include eggs, biltong, bone broth as well as chicken, pork and beef. If you need convincing as to the advantages of genuine produce, have a look at my Instagram feed for an example of the size of his chickens.
While the building is centuries old, the interior is modern, filled with shelves and tables bearing treats from sweet to savoury, all arranged in aesthetically pleasing symmetry. You can enter through the kitchen itself where you can watch everything being prepared. Besides all the food, picnic accessories like hats, blankets and baskets are on sale as well as ceramics, glassware and textiles. Blankets for on-site picnics can be hired.
A generous basket for two costs R580, which includes a bottle of Spier Signature wine (there are eight from which to choose; I highly recommend the Chardonnay/Pinot Noir, a perfect spring tipple). This is what you’ll get:
- Crispy Hoghouse baguette with biltong butter (delicious!) and spiced carrot marmalade
- Camembert and wash rind hard cheese, preserved fruits and lavash
- Marinated green and black olives
- Mini crustless quiches filled with spinach, smoked trout and organic feta
- Potato salad with Farmer Angus’s double-smoked bacon
- Lemon roasted chicken with rocket pesto salad
- Garden salad with toasted seeds and raw apple cider vinaigrette
- Ridiculously good spreadable salami (yes, salami in a jar, what a time to be alive) made by Farmer Angus, with pickled mustard seeds and cornichons
- Beef corn dogs with spiced tomato ketchup
- Little cinnamon milk tarts and koeksusters to finish
Options include vegetarian and children’s baskets and must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance at www.spierpicnics.co.za. The baskets can be collected between 12pm and 2pm.
The Spier Farm Kitchen is open daily from 10am till 4.30pm.
For more information, call 021 809 1172 or click here.