Travelling does not mean you have to skip on that festive feast. Picture: Le Franschhoek Hotel.

If you happen to find yourself travelling this festive season and don’t feel like preparing a spread on Christmas Day, do not stress. 

Many South African restaurants have created top of the range menus for locals and travellers alike. So whether you are in the Western Cape, North West or KwaZulu-Natal, we got you covered. 

Here are some of the places offering Christmas lunch: 

Le Franschhoek, Franschhoek, Western Cape

On December 24, head to Le Franschhoek Hotel for a hearty Christmas combo of a hot and cold buffet. Soak up incredible mountain views paired with live music, Christmas crackers, a complimentary beverage on arrival and special entertainment for the children. 

What’s on the menu: Roasted beetroot and butternut salad with arugula, pumpkin seeds and goat’s milk feta. Rare roast pepper and herb sirloin of beef with pan roast gravy and Yorkshire pudding. 

Bourbon & maple-glazed gammon with drunken apple sauce. Don’t skip the crispy roast chateau potatoes, and follow up with brandy pudding and ice cream, chocolate Yule log or tiramisu with amaretto biscuits.

Cost: Adults R695. Half price for children under 16.

Call 021-876 8900 or email [email protected] for bookings.

The Peninsula, Cape Town, Western Cape

Head to the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel on Christmas day for a scrumptious Christmas buffet served at their Sunset Restaurant & Terrace. The service is second-to-none and the views of Lion’s Head and the Atlantic Ocean will truly inspire. Lunch starts at 1pm, with live music and plenty of festive hats and crackers.

What’s on the menu: Think artisan bread, butter and dips for starters, followed by rolled turkey with an apricot and cashew stuffing as part of the mains, along with mustard and ale-basted gammon and chargrilled beef loin with Yorkies. Round off with a selection of treats, including death by chocolate trifle and Christmas pudding. 

Cost: Adults R495 per person, including a complimentary welcome drink on arrival. Half price for children under 12.

Call 021-430 7777 or email [email protected] for bookings.


Finfoot Lake Reserve, Greater Pilanesberg, North West Province

A 90-minute drive from Johannesburg, Finfoot Lake Reserve is a much-needed slice of peace and quiet is within easy reach this festive season. They’ve got a stellar lunch planned. The reserve's swimming pool is a top spot for guests who want to put their feet up during the festive season and enjoy a cocktail or two while looking out for birds and kudu. 

What’s on the menu: A medley of roasted veggies and fresh salads to go with lamb on the spit prepared with a red wine jus and served with a mint sauce. If you’d prefer, there’s also the option of battered hake fillet and calamari. Follow either option with the cheesecake trio for dessert, or keep it local with a generous serving of malva pudding. 

Cost: Finfoot still has plenty of availability for those looking for a last-minute Christmas getaway. 

Call 012-12 277 8900 or email [email protected] for accommodation bookings.


Tala Game Reserve, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal

Savour Christmas lunch in the African bush at this spectacular venue. The surrounding mix of acacia thornveld, open grassland and wetland provides exceptional game viewing and bird watching opportunities, with expert-led walking safaris also available.  

What’s on the menu: Smoked German gammon glazed with French mustard and muscovado sugar. Roasted lamb with rosemary and mint jelly, stuffed Italian chicken roll with mushrooms, peppers and pineapple. Follow up with Tala’s famous crème brûlée or their death by chocolate cake. 

Cost: Adults R395 per person.

Call 031-781 8000 or email [email protected] for bookings.


Piekenierskloof, Citrusdal, Western Cape

If you’re in the Western Cape this Christmas, take up your seat at Kloof Restaurant at Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort. It’s an ideal spot for larger families and little ones, with both a large outdoor pool and a heated indoor option, along with trampolines, a zipline, a jungle gym and a kids club. 

What’s on the menu: For starters, choose from a selection of freshly-baked bread and rolls with pâtés, jams and preserves, smoked snoek phyllo cups and fresh summer salads with mango, strawberries and pomegranate. For mains, opt for the orange and cherry-glazed gammon, roast leg of lamb with a mint jus, or traditional butterbean and tomato oxtail potjie.

Cost: R400 per person, R225 per child.

Call 022-921 3574 or email [email protected] for bookings.


The Blue Marlin Hotel, Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal

Nothing beats a classic Christmas at the seaside. If you’re in Durban this year, make your way to the beloved Blue Marlin Hotel. On the 25th they’re planning a true South African-style event, jam-packed with Mzansi-inspired cuisine. Work up your appetite beforehand with a quick dip at Scottburgh’s main beach, just a few short steps away.

What’s on the menu: Start with the game biltong salad before working your way onto the mains. The options range from honey-glazed gammon with apple and port wine jus, roast rolled turkey with apricot glaze and roast leg of Karoo lamb. For dessert, take your pick from red velvet cake, mixed berry trifle or Christmas pudding with brandy custard. 

Cost: Adults R525 per person. Kids: TBC

Call 039-12 978 3361 or email [email protected]