My Lockdown Hotel Experience - South Africa 2020

My Lockdown Hotel Experience - South Africa 2020

It felt surreal to be locked away quarantined for 28 days in an empty 4 star hotel in March and April 2020. I can see the highway from up here but no cars for about 8km along the Garden Route between Plettenberg Bay and the Keurboomsriver Ferry.

The property at Rosheen Crescent 17 in Plettenberg Bay South Africa I never left during LockdownSA. The Computer Shop just upgraded our fast wifi weeks before lockdown for guests and the food forest garden was just about to start showing it´s first harvests. While the view of the lagoon was ever changing and beautiful. What a strange situation to be in.

Photos I took during Quarantine and Lockdown 2020

On March 16th I felt sick, short of breath, were coughing and discovered symptoms - after calling the doctor he said I must quarantine for 28 days (!).

Here are a few photos I took during that Quarantine - I am typing this out now in January 2022 while our daughter caught Covid19 (The Omicron Variant) after our short skiing holiday in Austria. Still used to waking up early only a few days after our seasonal baking in Germany stopped there is time in the morning before sunrise to share the oddities before it may disappear. By now we are tripple jabbed since mid December 2021 and think we will make it.

Growing food for almost two years now should have an effect on our own immune system as well - but there are many stories to be told.

It took 660 days for the virus to reach our family since the first lockdown in South Africa. There was a huge gap between people that had no place to go during lockdown and people that had a house. I had a hotel - an empty hotel. Yes I did sleep in all 7 rooms during that time. I was very lucky.

Maybe over time this tiny little website and story inspires more people to grow their own food.

March 22nd 2020

starting the day with a cup of tea from the garden

Herbal Tea during Lockdown
Organic Tea

and a tiny harvest of green beans
homegrown beans

On April 1st 2020 at 14:36h

I tried my very first Pepino Melon and loved it. I was quite hungry and thirsty at the same time but felt the energy boosting that came from this fruit. Surprised by the smallest seeds I ate it all knowing we have to grow more of them! Sadly there weren’t many more this time. But I knew one day I will grow more Pepino Melons.

Ripe Pepino Melon
Pepino Melon

April 5th 2020


a wonderful harvest of fresh homegrown beans

Hand full of homegrown green beans


Italian Breakfast during Lockdown. The orange juice was freshly squeezed from the Oranges of the Garden. Just kidding, we are still in year 2020. But we have orange trees growing :) no kidding. It was still from the juice left at the Lodge when we had to close it. The Croissant was freshly baked from the freezer. Yes I admit. I did not bake it in 2020. Although by now I know how to make them - lots. We even add our own crunchy edges and give it a weird name "Kitzinger Eierring"  - nevermind. Here's the wonderful lockdown memory photo.


Just before dawn I placed my freshly painted labels (Plant-ID numbers) for the different species in the food forest. In April we already had 30 different edible crops growing.

Plant labels 
Peppers growing on a permaculture hugelbed

Italian Breakfast in Plettenberg Bay 9:22h

Italian breakfast in Plettenberg Bay

Making pasta with herbs from the food forest

Cooking during Lockdown
This lockdown felt like a holiday whenever I was sitting down with a fresh plate of homemade food and the view. We still had all those fancy plates and with the tiniest harvest of herbs and beans I was able to make a difference to a classic dish: pasta. The little umbrella shaped nasturtium leave I was a bit scared to take off as the first nasturtium plant on the property planted only days ago was still so tiny, but I was sure during quarantine an immune booster like nasturtium leave will do good and the plant hopefully can regrow.

April 8th 2020 10:15h

Homemade Buerli Bread Rolls with Eggs Benedict

There is a long journey towards Zero Waste at an Accommodation. But there was a short journey towards zero dishwashing for me on April 8th 2020. 

Take a Banana Leaf from your unpruned never producing Bananas Plant at the Parking Lot that only purpose was to shade guests cars and make your own bowl out of it. You weren't allowed to go anywhere anyway during LockdownSA.

How to make a plate from banana leaves? Locked in a House in a f…in house. That’s how my home office looked.

Working from home during LockdownSA

Making of Banana Leaf Bowl

Sustainable zero waste plate from banana leaf

April 9th 2020 09:36h

Small bruises after trimming the overgrown strelizias on the hand and African soil on the Skin made me feel alive after the time when I was short of breath in March I did not mind the dirty Hands. In fact touching soil is healthy for your immune system.


Hand of a Gardener

April 9th 2020 10:27h

I managed to make yogurt without a yogurt maker. Thanks to google. You only need a few spoons of yogurt to add to your milk, let it stir at 37 degrees in the thermomix (luckily we had one at the lodge) and then place it in the oven which was just turned off with the remaining heat over night.

and like magic - it worked. I never tried it again.

Homemade Yoghurt

Making yogurt in oven



April 11th 2020 11:57h

Baking something good in memory of my Grandmother Emma. A yeast braid bread.

Yeast Braid

Yeast Braided Bread

Homemade braided bread with Orange Marmelade

April 12th 2020 16:02h

homemade :) yogurt with filled naan bread and the obligatory cape gooseberry decor. My all-time favorite fruit at the food forest.

I am still growing them from seed with my son in Germany today. We wanted to become cape gooseberry millionaires by simply planting each seed every time a physalis plant that we grow has fruits. It would only take 3 years if every seed is re-planted. One Cape Gooseberry has about 70 Seeds - I counted them - but can have up to 200 :)

The Watermelon was from what was left at the time of Hotel Closure. And according to google watermelon can keep fresh for weeks. So I kept it so long.

Cooking during Quarantine

April 15th 2020 16:38h

Pizza day with garden toppings

Homemade Pizza during Lockdown South Africa

April 17th 2020 16:18h

Celebrated my first carrot harvest with an ostrich steak that I put in the freezer on Lockdown Day 1 more than 3 weeks ago.

Harvested 17 different crops for my potato salad (including spekboom leaves - elephant’s favourite food) Not much but more than enough for just one person. A healthy variety harvest from a very young 6 month old food forest. Just in time for LockdownSA.

Harvest Plate of homegrown food

I was confident the nasturtium could handle another flower pop off. Arugula my best friend you made my day - ehm salad!

Potato Salad


Ostrich Fillet with Potato Salad from the Garden

April 18th 2020

More baking. We still got yeast and honey. From reading about covid in January 2020 on twitter I asked that we buy yeast, pasta and honey among other food to prepare for closure of shops. So if you were looking for yeast? It was me.

Preparing Pizza doughs for Staff when they return.

freezing Pizza doughs

April 19th 2020

I took those first red tomatoes on my way back home to Germany. Harvested on April 18th. Not much but another milestone.


Homegrown Tomatoes and a small green Pepper 

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