What could be more romantic for a Valentine’s treat with your loved one than an outdoor picnic; yummy eats, a majestic view, gorgeous late summer weather, a bottle of chilled bubbly, perhaps a red tablecloth.
The Valley of 1000 Hills offers all the ingredients for the perfect Valentine’s picnic.
Top of the list is Macnut Farm – a gorgeous rambling property overlooking the Umhlatuzana river. They are hosting a candlelit evening picnic on their farm on Valentine’s evening – offering a romantic Valentine’s platter for two. A love potion will be served on arrival as the sun sets. The elegant picnic meal comprises a seafood starter, an assortment of cold meats, savouries, cheese pates, condiments and side dishes … and ends with a decadent chocolate parfait. There are vegan meal options on request.
For an even more heavenly treat – during the day at the beautiful CHI (create, heal, inspire) spa situated at the Macnut Farm, you can indulge in two 90-minute signature Balinese massages. The Valentine’s treat day promotion includes a grazing platter for you and a partner, and a bottle of sparkling wine. The spa is the most beautiful, relaxing location – with its magnificent view, billowing fabrics, and the soothing sound of the river.
There are various venues for daytime, or weekend, public places to have a home-packed picnic – and perhaps a leisurely stroll. Consider one of the reserves or conservancies: Springside Nature Reserve; Hillcrest Conservancy; Kloof Conservancy; Kloof Falls picnic site; Msinsi Inanda Dam and Resort; Ekhulaleni Nature Park; Isithumba Adventure Park; Iphithi Nature Reserve or Mqeku Picnic Site.
There is a gorgeous area at Ludwig’s Roses to picnic – surrounded by literally hundreds of rose bushes. There is also a jungle gym for the kids. You will need to bring your own blanket, sun hats and picnic stuff. If you want to make sure the space is available, call ahead. And a perfect Valentine’s gift is of course, a rose bush for your loved one. There are literally hundreds to choose from! What could be more romantic?
Pot and Kettle in Drummond will be running special romantic meals for the whole week: there is an option with hake, calamari and a side of your choice, or a hearty ploughman’s platter – both are served with a bottle of wine. The Valentine’s special will run for the Valentine’s week, from Tuesday to Saturday.
Saturday morning Shongweni Market is blessed with a magnificent view of the Kirk Falls site, and a short nature trail. The site is also dog-friendly (for well-behaved dogs on a leash) There are benches on the periphery of the property – all with great views. You can peruse the market food hall and create a self-assembly picnic with items purchased from individual store holders and enjoy them on a bench overlooking the falls.
If you can free up Valentine’s Day (which falls on a Wednesday this year) to enjoy a light lunch with your companion – there are also plenty of options for outdoor, alfresco brunches and lunches too – places to go which offers light meals in a garden type surrounding. Most of them are also open on the weekend, if you want to enjoy a weekend treat instead.
Lazy and romantic outdoor lunches can be enjoyed at:
- AmmaZulu Gardens and Sculptural Park;
- 1000 Hills Chefs School;
- Cotwsold Leisure Centre;
- The Castle on Old Main Road in Drummond (formerly Intaba View Restaurant);
- Pilgrim’s Rest;
- Millflour Café at Fig Tree Farm;
- Kloof and Highway SPCA Tea Garden;
- Woza Moya Ubuntu Ground Coffee Café;
- PheZulu Café;
- the Mushroom Farm and
- Pot and Kettle.
How lucky are we to be able to celebrate the most romantic day of the year in one of the most beautiful places in the province. As Snoopy creator, Charles M Schulz famously once said: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”