Plan the Perfect Picnic – inside secrets on dining alfresco on the Garden Route

Few things in life rival the joy of a lazy afternoon spent sharing a picnic with friends and family. Not only do George and Wilderness have a wealth of safe and idyllic picnic spots, we also have a selection of award-winning artisan food producers to do all the preparation for you! Simply choose a picnic theme and soak in the splendour of the Garden Route.

Featured Image: The Wilderness Picnic Company

The Wilderness Picnic Company is the local specialist in gourmet eco-friendly, pre-packed picnics. They offer a selection of themed picnic boxes and will even deliver them to your chosen picnic destination, in George or Wilderness. They offer five picnic experiences which can be enjoyed on one of the local hiking trails, beaches or from the comfort of your accommodation. The Wilderness Picnic Company creates healthy, fresh, picnic meals without the use of artificial preservatives. Each element is home-made from locally sourced ingredients.

Enjoy the ‘Breakfast Picnic’ while watching indigenous bird life from the sheltered Gallinule Bird Hide, in Wilderness. The breakfast pack includes delicious yoghurt and granola cups, egg and bacon muffins, a spread of ostrich carpaccio, and Camembert cheese and preserves. The dried fruit and chocolate chip energy bombs are a decadent delight.

The ‘Waterfall Picnic’ is a highly portable feast specifically designed for outdoor activities. It includes pressed sourdough paninis layered with roasted vegetables and mozzarella cheese, Mediterranean salad, hummus and vegetable chips. The entire picnic can be easily packed in a waterproof cooler for exploring the incredible Half Collared Kingfisher Trail, by foot and canoe. Snack on the biltong, trail mix and double chocolate brownies as you glide along the Touw River.

Featured Image: The Wilderness Picnic Company

The Deluxe Basket is a ‘three course’ meal in a box. It contains Egyptian-style dukka, local olive oil and stone-ground sourdough paninis as well as salads, quiches, cheese, dried fruit and brownies. This is an ideal spread to enjoy while watching the golden sunset as the breeze rustles the rushes on the Wilderness board-walk. Simply follow the directions provided by the picnic company to the Wilderness Lagoon on Waterside Road.

The local’s favourite ‘South African’ hamper captures some of South Africa’s most iconic flavors, including oven baked roosterkoek, sorghum salad, ostrich carpaccio, crisp vegetable chips, local cheese and kudu paté. The Wilderness picnic company has specialist offerings for vegans and vegetarians. They can prepare special kiddies picnics suitable for children under 10 years. A child’s meal includes a beef slider, vegetable crisps, juice and a marshmallow kebab. Check out details of their fun mystery picnic online, as well as a list of the SANParks approved green picnic spots. The Wilderness Picnic Company uses a range of environmentally friendly packaging including compostable and biodegradable containers.

Make happy memories in nature with a few takeaway bites from local family-owned bakery and cafe; Food Co Located at the corner of Fourth Street and Courtney Road, Food Co. specialises in baking preservative-free artisan loaves. The tangy sourdough, ciabatta and freshly baked farm-style loaves are stocked on the shelves each morning from 7:30am.

Everything is baked by hand, using only stone-ground flour. Grab some charcuterie and local cheese from the deli counter to accompany your fresh bread, or pick up one of their artisan sandwiches, a slice of quiche or a home-made muffin. They also bake a range of real butter croissants which are absolutely delectable. Those with a sweet tooth will adore biting into the crisp flaky crust of the Pain au Chocolat. It’s made with 55% Couverture dark chocolate. The savoury croissant, the Pain au Jambon, contains thick smoked ham and melted cheese. Food Co. makes a range of take away coffees, smoothies and juices to accompany their baked treats. They are open from Tuesday to Friday from 7.30am to 4pm and Saturday from 7.30am to 12 noon.

Featured Image: Stock Image

Special occasion picnics may demand a touch of sophistication and luxury. Pick up a truly decadent bite from the tiniest chocolate shop in Africa. The Mayan Chocolate Company is a boutique chocolaterie nestled at the back of Calorosso Coffee Shop, at 103 Meade Street. Marlin Moodley is the smiling chocolatier behind the glossy handmade couverture chocolates. Sample the Frangelico, Caramel Vodka or Strawberry Liqueurs. These are made with the finest dark chocolate, according to traditional Belgian recipes. The chocolates at the Mayan Chocolate Company are all produced in small batches, by hand, without the use of preservatives. The milk chocolate toffee and raspberry ginger bonbons are some of the best-sellers. Don’t miss the Hazelnut Truffles, made with dark chocolate, double cream, honey and roasted hazelnuts.

Drop in and grab a gourmet coffee, and a box of bonbons for your picnic adventure. You can watch Marlin temper the chocolate and hand fill the moulds while you choose your treats from the glass display case. Open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm and Saturday from 8,30 to 12 noon.