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Brunch picnic in the bush? Here’s the only checklist you need

In my career as a lodge manager, it’s been my job (and my privilege) to prepare hundreds of brunch picnics in the bush for clients to enjoy in the midst of their morning game drives. I’ve set these up under the Mahogany's in Timbavati, overlooking herds of elephant on the plains of Sabi Sands and on majestic rocks above muddy rivers teeming with crocodiles and hippos in the Kruger National Park.

While a spectacular setting is a given when it comes to brunch picnics in the bush, it is also essential to wow your guests with a gourmet breakfast experience.

Here is my checklist for preparing the most memorable brunch picnic in the bush.

Setting up your brunch picnic in the bush

You will need to get to the location a good hour before your guests arrive, with the following items ready to be put to use:

· Fold up chairs

· Hammocks to relax before and after

· Pillows & blankets

· Skottel

· Picnic table x2

· White tablecloth

· Napkins

· Condiments – salt, pepper, tomato sauce, HP sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tobasco sauce.

· Crockery, cutlery and glassware

· Binoculars and camera

Setting up your drinks station

You can’t be sure what your guests will want to drink, so you need to be prepared for every eventuality. That means you need:

· Champagne (chilled of course)

· Amarula

· Freshly squeezed orange juice

· Still and sparkling water

· Milk as well as condensed milk

· Cream

· Five Roses tea

· Rooibos tea

· Delicious coffee – we recommend our Guatemalan or Ethiopian beans

· A selection of soft drinks and waters

Preparing your continental breakfast

For any brunch picnic in the bush I like to set up a mini-buffet with:

· Fresh seasonal fruit

· Healthy muffins

· Bagels

· A selection of cheese

· Muesli

· Home based bread

· Croissants and pastry selection

· Waffles

· Yoghurt

· Butter

· A selection of jams, marmalade and honey

· Marmite if your guests are British, Vegemite if they are Australian

Getting ready for your cooked breakfast

Guests on luxury game drives often want more than a continental breakfast. They are on holiday, they have been up since before dawn, and they might even be a little hungover. So, I like to offer them a hearty cooked breakfast, made on the Skottel. I usually do this to order and that means:

· Eggs: fried, poached or scrambled

· Breakfast sausages

· Crispy bacon

· Fried fresh tomatoes

· Mushrooms

So there you have it – everything you need to make the most memorable, exquisite, luxurious brunch picnic in the bush.

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