At a loss for Easter? Here are some ideas

2017-04-09 08:55

Johannesburg - The Easter holidays are upon us and that means travelling, family time and lots of fun.

While many look forward to this holiday break, some wish it could pass quickly because the celebrations can be costly.

City Press has gathered together some useful tips to ensure that you do not break the bank but still manage to make your Easter a memorable one.

If you are hosting friends or extended family for Easter lunch and you are still trying to figure out how you will impress them, do not stress – we’ve got you covered.

And if you were planning to stay at home because of the weak rand, again, there are still options for you.

Holidaying made easy

What would Easters be without a short left? Those who planned ahead are ready to hit the road for the coast or inland destinations.

If you are staying put due to budget constraints or poor planning, you will be happy to know that South Africa’s favourite destinations – Cape Town and Durban – can still accommodate you and your family.

Hotels around Durban are at a 70% occupancy rate, which could mean cheaper prices for the remaining rooms.

The same applies to Cape Town, but Enver Duminy, chief executive officer of Cape Town Tourism, impresses upon last-minute visitors to book quickly.

“For those visiting Cape Town for the Two Oceans Marathon, they may want to look for accommodation in the southern suburbs because this is where the race starts. Those wanting to be near the sea could look for accommodation in places such as Table View, Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and Kommetjie,” he says.

While Durban’s hotel occupancy rates are lower this Easter compared with last year, eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede is optimistic that this figure will increase during the week.

“The head of Durban tourism [Phillip Sithole] stated that over the Easter holidays, the city estimates that 330 000 domestic overnight tourists and 20 000 foreign overnight tourists will reach Durban’s shores, bringing a total of almost 360 000 overnight visitors to the city,” she says.

“Another 100 000 day visitors are also expected.”

Gumede says Durban is ready to cater for all holiday makers, from big spenders to budget watchers.

“We have accommodation available in hotels, self-catering units, guest houses and B&Bs. Tsogo Sun, Protea Marriott, Hilton Durban and hotels under the Aha Group have also indicated that they still have accommodation available,” she adds.

A perfect Easter lunch for less

Chef Zanele van Zyl of Cooking with Zanele says hosting guests for an Easter lunch should not empty your bank account. A tasty, filling and simple lunch should do, she says.

“I always tell people to keep the food simple and tasty. For less than R100, one can prepare a simple lunch or dinner for a family of six to eight.”

Van Zyl says the problem with people is that they like buying food they don’t need when they can rather use what they already have in the house.

“Take meat, for instance. It is expensive yet we think that a perfect dinner or lunch must have plenty of meat. We do not need meat all the time to create magic on our plates,” she says.

“There are a lot of people who prefer seafood for the Easter holidays because they want to stay away from blood. I also like the idea of seafood because it is not just healthy, but affordable as well – that’s if you stay away from prawns and crayfish.

“You could try a simple grilled hake or snoek fish. Pair this with rice, gravy and green salad.”

For an exotic feel, Van Zyl says, “substitute rice with couscous – this will surely impress your guests”.

Snoek fish recipe

1 lemon

120g butter

3 crushed garlic cloves

1/2 cup of finely chopped coriander

1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce

Handful of finely chopped peppadews

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

Cleaned snoek with head and tail cut, mix all the ingredients well and marinate the snoek.

Grill at 180° for 20 minutes.

(Photo: Supplied)

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