A sustainable road to eating at Grootbos

Full board and belly in the Overberg.

by: Shaina Herman | 17 Mar 2015

I sort of wish I would have arrived at Grootbos in the early morning, just to have started my first day there with a fresh and hot breakfast, fruit filled with soft eggs, salty salmon and crispy bacon, it’s an almost unbeatable way to begin a journey into nature.

The food at Grootbos is nonstop. Fresh produce is offered from the time you wake up right until you make the tea in your room before bed (where you’ll find homemade health rusks). Lunch is offered as a picnic at the beach or on the deck overlooking the white crashing waves in the distance of Walker Bay. Dinner and breakfast are served with expansive views of the reserve, candle lit tables, an extensive South African wine list and course after course of daily specials. It’s terribly romantic and refreshing. 

Food details coincide with every aspect of the destination and reflect the green fynbos landscapes and blue ocean views. The cuisine is inspired by the nutrient rich soil that produces a small harvest just around the corner from the lodge. Seafood from the ocean and locally sourced meats also come together for the day's meal. Colourful vegetables match the bright flowering flora outside and the kitchen is "farm to table". 

Executive Chef Benjamin Conradie runs behind the scenes and does his best serving modern South African cuisine; springbok, pork, game, seafood and buttery desserts, like Amarula malva pudding. 

The accommodation matches the decadence displayed in the meals with wide open ocean views and little fynbos creatures running past the cabin’s deck.  An outside shower, soft pillowy beds, a deep bubble bath and a cozy fireplace overlook the stretches of nature that encompasses Grootbos.  

It’s mind, body and food for the soul. 

Responsible Tourism: The Grootbos Foundation 

As a foundation Grootbos promotes two green initiatives that assist in making the cuisine at the lodge that much more flavourful, sustainable and community conscious. Visiting Grootbos, guests not only experience luxury style living with five-star cuisine, they get the chance to explore the tangible food contributions the lodge is supplying to the entire Walker Bay region.

Grootbos will take guests on a tour to show them the ins and outs of where their food comes from and how the initiatives work. For those who love to know where their produce originates, it’s a great opportunity to see how the entire operation works. 

Green Futures 

Over 10 years ago in 2003, the Green Futures project was established. Promoting viable daily skills, the foundation opened the Horticulture and Life Skills College. The course aims to give 12 previously unemployed adults from Gansbaai the opportunity to gain skills for securing employment.  Some of the students are able to even pursue a career at Grootbos after their studies.

The Green Futures initiative works with the community providing well trained, trustworthy landscaping artists that have been trained in maintaining the indigenous species. The graduates can also return to their home towns and work in their community raising the bar for environmental careers across South Africa. 

Growing the Future 

Growing the Future produces and collects goods from the nearby greenhouses and delivers them to the Grootbos kitchens. Run by 8 previously unemployed women from the Gansbaai area, the program makes the effort to teach each individuals how to make a living from the earth. Supplying the nearby communities with education and a basic understanding of farming allows families to supply themselves with nutritional necessities.  

Take a look at the Grootbos photo gallery.

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