a Christmas meal

News / 16 November 2022

Where to enjoy a festive family lunch

While preparing a Christmas meal for family and friends can be wonderfully rewarding, the thought of all that effort (and cleaning up!) is also overwhelming.

Fortunately, our on-site restaurants have created special menus that allow you to feast without the fuss – then head back to a tidy home.

From a lavish luncheon in the vineyards to an all-you-can-eat buffet by the ocean, here are our top Christmas menus of the season:

A laidback lunch at Zimbali Lodge, Ballito, KwaZulu Natal

Should you plan to spend Christmas up the north coast of KZN this year, snap up your table at Zimbali. This tropical resort setting is hard to top, with leaning palms, leafy gardens, and the ocean on your doorstep.

What’s on the menu: If you want to skip the heavy food this year, you’ll love the salad bar buffet option. But if you love your meat, the main course options of roast lamb, chicken, and stuffed turkey are guaranteed to hit the sweet spot. Finish up with a few sides: roast veggies and spuds!

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A festive feast at Le Franschhoek, Franschhoek, Western Cape

Head to Le Franschhoek Hotel for a hearty Christmas lunch with plenty of options to satisfy even the fussiest eaters. There’s no better place to soak up those incredible mountain views paired with plenty of festive cheer.

What’s on the menu: Aged roasted beef and black garlic, sun-dried tomato and olive stuffed lamb, and blackened Thai pork belly, to name a few. There are also twice-roasted baby potatoes and orange-infused pumpkin. Follow up with Nutella butter Christmas pudding, ouzo baklava, or reindeer cupcakes.

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Fill your plate at The Peninsula, Cape Town, Western Cape

Head to the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in Sea Point on the 25th for a scrumptious hot Christmas buffet. The service here is second-to-none, with endless views over the Atlantic Ocean to sweeten the deal.

What’s on the menu: Think artisan breads, butters and dips for starters, followed by various mains such as rolled apricot and cashew stuffed turkey and chargrilled beef loin with Yorkies. Round off with a selection of treats, including Christmas pudding with an Amarula anglaise.

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Family lunch at Olifants River Lodge, Middelburg, Mpumalanga

If you’re heading anywhere between Johannesburg or Pretoria and Mbombela (Nelspruit) during the festive season, don’t skip Christmas lunch at Olifants River Lodge. This bushveld paradise on the banks of the Great Olifants River proves tough to top.

What’s on the menu: A medley of starters including pickled curry fish, beef tongue, and a selection of breads and pâtés. The main course options include pickled pork neck, peppered beef, chicken pie, or turkey roll with cranberry sauce. As for dessert? Christmas pudding, milk tart, trifle, or ice cream with chocolate sauce.

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Christmas carvery at Tala Game Reserve, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal

Savour Christmas lunch in the bush at this low-key venue just an hour’s drive from Durban. The fine mix of acacia thornveld, open grassland, and wetland provide exceptional game viewing opportunities for the whole family. Lots of rhinos and giraffes!

What’s on the menu: Pear avocado and macadamia salad, biltong and strawberry salad, creamy curried pasta and peach salad, and an artisan bread station with spreads. The carvery includes slow-cooked topside beef with herbs and spices, Christmas turkey with rosemary, sage and pepper, and roasted gammon. There’s also a delightful range of sides and desserts to make you drool – red velvet, rococo chocolate, and swiss carrot cake.

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Christmas along the coast at The Blue Marlin Hotel, Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal

Nothing beats a classic Christmas by the seaside. If you’re in Durban this year, make your way to the beloved Blue Marlin Hotel, an iconic establishment where many families from across the country return year after year.

What’s on the menu: Start with the calamari, roast butternut mousse, or fresh steamed mussels before working your way onto the mains. These options range from Maple glazed ham to roast turkey, grilled kingklip, and slow roast leg of lamb with mint jus. For dessert, take your pick from red velvet gâteau, sherry trifle, or croquembouche.

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Yuletide dinner at Little Switzerland Resort, Northern Drakensburg, KwaZulu Natal

If you’re holidaying in the Berg this December, don’t skip Christmas dinner at Little Switzerland. It’s also worth booking a stay at this charming Alpine resort, but best do so quickly while there’s still availability.

Cost: R550 pp. R300 per child U/13

T: 036 438 2500 | E: res@lsh.co.za

Lunch with a view at Nibela Lake Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, KwaZulu Natal

If you’re in the KwaZulu Natal this Christmas, escape the crowds and snap up a seat at Nibela Lake Lodge. It’s an ideal spot for larger families and little ones, with an outdoor pool and exceptional views over Lake St. Lucia.

What’s on the menu: Tuck into an entrée of glossy chicken puff pastry bites followed by a prawn cocktail. For your main, opt for the lamb shank with creamy mash and veggies, the dill-crusted kingklip, the Vietnamese-style gammon with honey, or cauliflower steak. Just remember to save space for fried spring rolls, Belgian mousse, and oreo ice cream for dessert.

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