Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Picnic at the Beach

Above: the packed picnic.

A pause before we return to Camping Tales:

I'd always wanted to share a picnic at Clifton with my parents, who'd never indulged in one on any of Clifton's four beaches, which are the most cosmopolitan of Cape Town's many, many strands, with a backdrop of an LA-meets-Monaco hybrid of urban-suburban architecture and geography.

Despite its context and high-traffic, Clifton remains beautiful. It's the only place outside of the tropics where I can tolerate a palm tree.

The sand is the softest on the peninsula, and squeaks when you walk barefoot on it. On a Tuesday evening in March, 3rd Beach was quiet, with just three other small groups of people picnicking. We popped our champagne as sedately as possible.


Mother and husband...

The menu: tramezzini with prosciutto or cucumber and butter...

...chicken liver pate with brown seed bread; garlicky shrimp in olive oil; herb and lemon roasted chicken; tomato wedges with green onions from the garden. And tiramisu.

My father joined us straight from work and spent 10 minutes in the car, at the top of all the 3rd Beach stairs, working on a new brief that he'd just been given.

A sailing ship chartered for sundowners came to visit and then wobbled off again.

This is the beach of our wedding picnic a deux.

Muffled in the shawls and sweaters we'd brought we packed up by candlelight and drove back to the other, less flashy side of the mountain.

Tomorrow I will post about Bokramstrand. An entirely different sort of beach. And with which I am completely in love.


  1. You know I love good food porno, Marie. But, that picture of the tall ship in the setting sun is just magnificent!!! I mean, really, how do you do that? Catch that breathtaking vista just at the right minute??!!

  2. Your mom and dad are just precious! How lucky you are to share such moments with them. Cherish them for they are so brief.

  3. A lovely picnic; the setting, the food and the beloved company, just perfect. And those cucumber sandwiches - mmmm, my favourite!

  4. Mountain Thyme - that boat moved very slowly! Gave me plenty of time. Or thyme.

    Teri - yes, I know. Thank you :-)

    Rachel - white bread and cucumber and butter are just so decadent, somehow.


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