The Art of Picnicking

Private Property South Africa

I can’t remember when last I attended a picnic so when a friend invited me to join her at Kievits Kroon for a birthday picnic I jumped at the opportunity.

Kievits Kroon is situated just ten minutes from central Pretoria and operates as a ‘conference, wellness and leisure estate.’ Encompassed within its boundaries is a gourmet restaurant, health spa, guest rooms, conference centre and function hall. The majority of the buildings are fashioned along Cape Dutch style lines and feature appealing thatch roofs.

Over the years Kievit’s Kroon has earned a reputation for offering top notch service and it was obvious in all aspects of the picnic. A large blanket had been arranged under one of the many trees which littered the estate, on top of which were scattered overstuffed, colourful cushions. Soon after everyone had settled themselves on their respective cushions, waiters nimbly took drink orders. Bottles of wine and pink champagne were placed within easy reach of guests in silver ice buckets and handy mini wicker tables were arranged alongside the blanket’s periphery.

Not long after everyone had been served with drinks, a large wicker picnic basket was delivered into our midst brimming with all manner of delicious pre-packed picnic treats. Punnet after punnet emerged stocked with cold meats and green salads, a variety of different cheeses, biscuits and crackers, potato salad, fruits and decadent sweet buns and slices of cake. Needless to say everyone tucked in with alacrity.

It was a hot day and the combination of good food, good company, lush green gardens and soft cushions soon cast its spell. I found myself battling to keep my eyes open at one point and decided a cup of coffee was in order. I signalled a waiter who had been specially assigned to us. He reappeared in a flash, coffee in hand. “I could get used to this,” I thought.

We obviously weren’t the only ones enjoying ourselves. A number of guests were soaking up the sun at a nearby pool and ‘Granita’, the estate’s signature restaurant was also busy. In point of fact Kievit’s Kroon offers several dining options. In addition to Granita, guests can enjoy buffets and breakfasts at Kingsley’s Carvery Restaurant or enjoy a light meal at the wooden deck overlooking the sprawling lawns and pool. Liqueur and cigar lovers can also get their ‘fix’ at Kievits Kroon’s ‘41 Library Bar’.

During the course of the picnic, a few guests emerged from the spa area wrapped in cloth gowns. Apparently Kievit’s Kroon’s spa features some of the most advanced thermae facilities in Gauteng. Definitely something to come back and try for myself I thought.

Kievit’s Kroon’s conference facilities are apparently also equally renowned. The estate features 18 conference rooms, each of which have been outfitted with the latest technology. Sensory aspects aimed at enhancing the conference experience have also been incorporated into the facilities. At the end of a day, guests and conference delegates alike can retire to Kievit’s Kroon’s luxurious on-site accommodation which consists of 142 different rooms.

All in all it was a great way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon. Picnicking affords picknickees a chance to sit, relax and reconnect with friends and loved ones and get in touch with nature. And you don’t need to book an upmarket venue to do it. Johannesburg offers a number of picnic friendly spots which are just waiting to be enjoyed. All you need is a picnic basket and a healthy appetite. Just remember to switch your cell phone off.

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