After many months in isolation, I’ve noticed my five senses have heightened significantly. The world is louder and brighter than it was before the pandemic. Flowers smell sweeter and food tastes better, especially when I’m out of the city (or even just out of my own house). And the colors. Colors in the world at the end of 2020 are nearly blinding.
I thought about colors a lot during my recent media stay at Walkersons in Dullstroom — especially green and blue.
I stayed at Walkersons once before in April 2016; it was the beginning of winter and the highveld was just transitioning from green to brown. It was beautiful then too, but nothing could have prepared me for the December 2020 version of Walkersons. After all the early summer rain we’ve had, the green grass and blue sky/water looked electric to my lockdown-starved eyes.
Two Days at Walkersons
In addition to the dazzling greens and blues, this trip was just a really fun way to spend two days. I appreciate opportunities like this — to get out of town and hang out with new and interesting people — so much more than I used to.
Here are a few of the things we did together:
Cooking Class at Dullstroom Cultour Co.
Instead of having dinner at Walkersons on our first night, we drove into town and participated in a cooking class with the Dullstroom Cultour Co. I was a little wary of this idea — cooking my own food is a lot more work than just ordering from a restaurant menu — but it turned out to be incredibly fun and delicious.
We cooked two dishes: Bitterballen, or Dutch meatballs with chicken, and appelflappen, or Dutch apple fritters. (“Bitterballen and appelflappen“: I challenge you to say this five times fast.)
Adri and his team made things so easy for us, chopping and measuring everything in advance and cleaning up all the dishes as we went. But I still felt like I accomplished something and this food tasted so freaking good.
Hanging Around Walkersons
We spent a lot of time hanging around the lodge, lounging in our rooms, and gazing out at the green and blue. We took a leisurely hike around Walkersons, which is a sprawling lodge and spa and also an upscale housing estate. We crossed over a waterfall and admired all the beautiful mansions. We also went to the spa and had fantastic massages. (Tough life, I know.)
Dinner at Walkersons
We spent our second evening doing the whole Old-English-Manor-House dinner experience in the Walkersons restaurant and bar.
I remember the Walkersons’ food being very good on my last trip. But this time I was blown away. Our four-course meal and wine pairing, created by new head chef Guy Nahman, was exquisite from start to finish. I felt like I could distinctly taste every flavorful ingredient in every dish (again, exploding pandemic taste buds).
Dullstroom is known as a fly fishing destination. I don’t think I’d picked up a fishing pole of any sort since I was about seven years old, so I figured what better time than 2020 to take my first-ever fly fishing lesson?
The weather was appropriately misty. Hanri, Sbahle, and I followed Bongani, our fly fishing teacher, out to one of the dams and he demonstrated how to cast the line out and reel it back in.
I didn’t really expect to get into fly fishing — I went for the photo-ops. But actually I really enjoyed the casting motion…It reminded me of throwing a softball. And while no one caught a fish, I actually felt a little bite on my line! I think it was a total coincidence but still quite exciting. I would try this again for sure.
I pronounce Walkersons in the summer of 2020 to be a fabulous, electric-blue-and-green weekend getaway opportunity. Highly recommended.
My visit to Walkersons was a hosted media trip. Opinions expressed are my own.