Rickety Bridge Restaurant in the Vines
While exploring the restaurants of South Africa’s gastronomic capital, Franschhoek, the savvy tourist may want to consider an extra special option offered by Rickety Bridge Winery - a Cape gourmet picnic. The concept of a gourmet picnic basket prepared to eat at a table or lazily enjoy on the grass next to the vineyards which border the tree-lined Franschhoek river. It is a simply remarkable, very unique and gently hedonistic idea.
Guests generally choose to enjoy their picnic baskets while sitting on the deck overlooking the Rickety Bridge vineyards with a pine forest on the mountain range hill behind me and vineyards in front of them. Small families and romantic couples tend to favour the grass lawns and jungle gym near the vineyards.
Rickety Bridge’s history includes the alluringly mysterious widow Paulina De Villiers who was granted a ‘quitrent grant’ 200 years ago from the La Provence farm. The name Rickety Bridge came about because the locals named the farm after it’s old wooden railway sleeper bridge that spanned the Franschhoek river. Rickety Bridge was bought 10 years ago by an Englishman named Duncan Spence, who lives on the tiny Channel Island of Sark, where no cars are allowed on the island and transport is either by horse-drawn carriages, or by bicycle.
A typical gourmet picnic basket will include a selection of seasonal foods, from fresh salmon and grilled steak, to the highest quality greens, as well as a few of the a la carte menu items.
The summer menu includes a summer soup – a chilled roasted red pepper and pear soup, fresh asparagus spears, biltong pate, sweet chilli prawns on a skewer interlaced with cucumber ribbons, sticky chicken wings or watermelon, feta and mint kebabs , baby pottatie salad and a cheese platter. The winter baskets, on the other hand, are generally filled with light al fresco meals.
Rickety Bridge also has begun marketing and selling their own range of salad splashes and jams. They carry the culinary guru Lannice Snyman’s endorsement. All Rickety Bridge Fine Foods can be bought at the estate’s wine tasting centre or from select Cape farm stalls, delicatessens and specialty stores.