“Delight in the little things” ~ Rudyard Kipling
The bush has burst into hues of verdant greens and floral carpet areas, which were bare only a few months ago, a tribute to the unrivalled power of rain. This time of year makes us so much more aware and grateful for the abundance which Mother Nature has provided us this Festive Season. The theme for this Christmas Eve intertwined verdant greens and golds, a colour scheme celebrating this beautiful time of year and its magical hues.
As always, it began in the kitchen, with carols and singing, and of course, the preparation for the night ahead. As the rich aromas of beer mustard cream and Naartjie and Brandy infused Christmas puddings made their way through the camps, the Camp Managers began transforming their respective camps into a magical world of greens, golds, hues of mustard and sparkles.
Tomatoes and basil were blended, snoek was apricot roasted. Vetkoeks were rolled and nectarines were infused with rooibos. The East Coast lobsters were butter poached and the beer mustard cream simmered. And finally the naartjie and brandy infused Christmas puddings were drenched…
Gingerbread stars, delicious monster leaves and sparkly lights adorned the centre pieces of the tables this Christmas.
Tree camp chefs, Thoko Ngobeni, myself, Nomsa Madubula and Sendry Kubayi stand on the Tree camp deck ready to cook up a storm.
Simply sophisticated verdant greens and hues of gold reflect the bushveld this time of year.
Tree Camp butler, Matthews Machava, lights tea-light candles and places them on the tables for extra Christmas magic.
Tree Camp’s welcome drink: A spiced honey and saffron gin and tonic, garnished with cinnamon sticks, star anise and flowers.
A simply sophisticated and elegant Londolozi Christmas menu, designed by Londolozi graphic designer, Roxy Burrough.
Tree Camp hosts, Roxy Burrough, Jemma and Tippy Brewitt stand under lantern lit trees.
As the sun goes down the lights begin to sparkle against the green bushveld.
Varty Camp’s refreshing watermelon, pomegranate and cherry gin cocktail.
A Granite Deck table lit up against a twinkly Christmas giraffe.
Pioneer Camp designed an ice cold summery cucumber, rosemary, pomegranate and gin splash. Deliciously refreshing for what was a warm evening.
Londolozi staff members, Megan Tindall, Victoria Hughes and Cry Sithole ready for action on the Founder’s Camp Deck.
Pioneer Chef, Petunia Mahawle and myself in my Christmas Ardmore chef’s jacket creating magic together.
Slow roasted tomato and basil soup with caprese salsa and Rio Largo olive oil started the Christmas evening off.
The second course, apricot glazed snoek paté with rooibos poached nectarines, South African traditional vetkoek and wild garlic and parsley butter.
Pioneer Camp Manager Amy Veenstra and Petunia Mahawle, embrace the Christmas Eve magic.
Photographer of the evening, Matt Uys, and Pioneer Camp Manager Amy Veenstra pose for a Christmas selfie in-between courses.
Slow cooked leek, parmesan and fennel risotto with butter poached East Coast lobster – melt in your mouth, delicious!
Drizzling the beer mustard cream over the Chalmar fillet of beef served with masala spiced sweet potatoes, fresh asparagus and baby carrots from our local farmer.
A sprinkling of Maldon salt, and we are ready to serve!
As I always say, one must always satisfy their sweet stomach and this year it was in the form of a homemade Christmas pudding drenched in naartjie and brandy syrup served with honeycomb ice cream and gold dusted fresh berries…yum!
From the Londolozi Kitchen and the rest of the Londolozi Family, we wish all of you, our extended family, a wonderful Festive Season, full of abundance, deliciousness and of course, a little bit of magic…