We strive to create the best South African experience possible, and that includes the food offering…
When Lairds Lodge opened in 1995 it had just three guest rooms and I was cooking in a tiny kitchen with domestic pans. I now look after a team of four in the kitchen and the Cape Dutch homestead has grown to include 17 rooms and 24 staff. It’s a friendly, family set-up and the owner, Lesley, tries to greet every single guest.
We strive to create the best South African experience possible, and that includes the food offering. We take great care with our ingredients, keeping everything seasonal, and use our garden as much as possible. Nothing here comes from a bottle. I am self-taught – I worked part-time as a gardener and I incorporate a lot of that knowledge in my food and presentation. Lockdown gave me plenty of opportunity to tend the garden!
Guests love our artistic, French-style breakfast fruit platters. Dinner is a sociable four-course affair and can be served in the traditional dining room, or the cosy wine cellar, and our wine ambassador pairs everything with Cape wines. We offer a full veggie menu, too.
Our Garden Route location between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna is very convenient. The Plett winelands offer wine tasting and lunch spots across 16 estates and the area has lots of unspoilt beaches. Guests can be on the coast in the morning and at cellar doors in the afternoon.
I’m a pastor as well as a chef so in my spare time I spend a lot of time in the community. I like to think I offer ‘spiritual food’ as well. The lodge is very involved in the community too. Thanks to generous donations from Lairds past guests, we were able to supply over a tonne of maize to the e’Pap Foundation. Ten kilos of e’Pap can feed a family of four for two months.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656