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Margi Butler

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Catch trout in Mpumalanga and prepare fresh trout for the table!

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 10, 2016 7:51:45 PM

In the Mpumalanga Highlands trout is a regular feature on the menus of most of the local restaurants. Being a dish not often served in households around the country, many visitors to the area take the opportunity of ordering trout and find it delicious!

Rainbow Trout, Dullstroom

The renowned ‘Milly’s’ trout stores in Dullstroom and Machadodorp do a roaring trade in pan-sized and de-boned whole baby trout which visitors to the ‘Trout Triangle’ take home for that special dinner. As more South Africans strive to make healthy choices in their diets, nutritionists suggest fish as a healthy, tasty and nutritious alternative to red meat. Moreover trout itself offers a number of specific benefits. Approved by the Heart Foundation, Trout includes many heart-healthy vitamins, minerals and high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids while being low in fat and high in protein. So join the ‘No-Meat Monday’ brigade and treat the family to a trout dinner!

There are various ways of preparing these little beauties: if buying trout ensure that it is deboned, alternatively clean and butterfly the fish yourself. A classic method is to serve the pan-fried trout liberally sprinkled with toasted almonds – the crunch of the almonds coupled with the soft succulent fish is a truly inspired marriage of flavours and textures. At Stonecutters Lodge outside Dullstroom the chef very often uses Dill as a herb in the preparation of trout and here is a simple recipe to try at home: Pan-Fried Whole Baby Trout Served with Lemon Dill Cream Sauce. Wash and pat dry two pan-sized baby trout. Season with Robertsons Fish Spice (or seasoning of your choice) and coat with a light dusting of flour. In a large frying pan melt a tablespoon of butter and a dash of oil. Place the trout in the moderately hot pan and gently fry for four to five minutes on each side. The trout is cooked when the inside flesh loses its bright pink hue. Remove the fins which pull out easily from the cooked fish and place on a warm serving platter. Add half a cup of cream to the pan, along with the juice of one lemon, a tablespoon of chopped fresh dill (or a heaped teaspoon of dried dill) a little salt and a grinding of black pepper. Pour the cream sauce over the trout and serve with rice or baked potato wedges and a fresh green salad.

Poached or Baked Trout: These methods are ideal for larger fish between 1 and 2 Kgs. To poach use a poaching pan with trivet or lay the fish on top of a bed of onion rinds and carrot slices; Pour in equal quantities of white wine and water to cover the trivet or vegetables and add 1 bay leaf and herbs of your choice. Cover with a lid and poach gently for 30 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. To serve hot drizzle with lemon butter or lemon dill cream as above. To serve cold, flake the fish with a fork and toss the chunks in a home made mild mayonnaise. Lay in a fish shape with the head and tail placed on either end and garnish with parsley sprigs. This method makes a festive addition to any buffet table!

If you are enjoying a self-catering weekend away and surprise yourself with a catch of trout, here is a simple preparation trick using ingredients you are sure to have on hand: Rub the trout inside and out with salad dressing, season and wrap in tin foil. Place on the braai (barbeque) for 8 minutes (turning once) and tuck in!

PHOTO GALLERY    Fish Stocking  Reports

Tags: Dullstroom flyfishing, baked trout, How to clean trout, butterfly trout, How to cook trout, panfried trout, trout recipe, Dullstroom Trout Fishing, debone trout, preparing freshly caught trout, heart foundation, healthy eating, Mpumalanga flyfishing

The Dullstroom One-Fly Anti Rhino Poaching Charity Event 2012

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 10, 2016 7:47:17 PM

Dullstroom dam trout fishing     

Mafungana Flyfishing are hosting a unique charity event in Dullstroom in Mpumalanga on the 7th July 2012. This competition will be limited to 50 anglers who will be overseen, guided and marshalled by well-known Mafungana guides, competing on Walkerson Dams. The winner may not be the best angler on the water and may not have caught the heaviest fish: luck will play a part and the winner will be the angler who catches the longest fish, measured from nose to the fork of the tail! One Fly Competition Details and Invitation

An additional element of fun that will level the playing field is the ‘One Fly’ handicap. Each fly-fisherman will be presented by a pre-tied and tested mystery fly for the day’s fishing. Fishermen who lose a fly will be permitted to ‘buy back’ additional flies. The prize-giving will take place during a gala dinner at Walkersons Hotel on Saturday night. There will be prizes galore as well as an impressive registration gift, an auction, and raffle items. The ultimate prize is an all-inclusive, 3 night, tiger-fishing break on Pongloa Dam guided by Jonathan Boulton.

The beneficiary of this charity event will be the units on the front line of the anti rhino poaching battle in the Kruger National Park. In 2011, 248 rhino were butchered for their horns and in 2012 it is feared there will be a dramatic increase in this tally. A worthy cause indeed, and good reason to come to Dullstroom for a great week-end in the chilly highlands of Mpumalanga. This date also co-insides with the Dullstroom Winter Festival: the whole family can enjoy live music shows, Xmas in July fare at the various restaurants and a host of other activities.

     Stonecutters Lodge, Dullstroom  

Stonecutters Lodge is offering a special accommodation deal for the Winter Festival. 

30% Discount 3-night Stay


Tags: fly-fishing, Fly fishing in Dullstroom, fishing, Dullstroom Trout Fishing, Flyfishing near Dullstroom, Events in Dullstroom, dullstroom fly-fishing, Dullstroom winter festival, Dullstroom

Dullstroom Winter Festival – A roaring success!

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 10, 2016 7:44:22 PM


The first week-end of July saw the village of Dullstroom hosting their annual Winter Festival or “Christmas in July” and the week-end was a resounding success.  This year the Festival outstripped previous years on all fronts: the number of visitors to the village, the participation level of the local businesses, the calibre of the live music artists and the sheer fun quotas  for both hosts and visitors alike.

The Dullstroom Winter Festival Trail Run is reviewed here- don't miss this in 2013 it's an awesome experience!

The Fly-Fishing Event at Walkerson's Lodge was also a huge success and money was raised for a worthy cause- saving the rhino.

Winter festival cherry grove

By day the streets were thronged with visitors enjoying all that was on offer for both adults and children and by night the place was pumping! The village looked amazing by night with Xmas lights festooning many of the high street shops.

The venue for the music festival at the Cherry Grove Piazza with its tented roof and Chinese lanterns was spectacular as well as practical. The restaurants and pubs recorded record sales and the Christmas fare was a big hit with the visitors. The weather smiled on the occasion too with mild temperatures recorded in Mpumalanga for this time of year.

Many restaurants and shops decorated their shop fronts with Christmas lights and decorations and served Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

Dullstroom winter festival Albert Frost       Dullstroom winter festival

Nothing succeeds like success and with the 2012 Festival having surpassed all expectations, next year’s Winter Festival promises to be an even bigger occasion. The village is geared to pull out all the stops and the feed-back from happy visitors is that many will be back for the 2013 Winter Festival in the Mpumalanga Highlands in July!

Thanks to the sponsors Hilltop Live and the Dullstroom Chamber for putting such a great festival together!

In August the SAGA Charity Fly fishing competition (25th August 2012)will be held in Dullstroom followed bythe SA Game Fair (29/30 September)  More good reasons to stay and play in Dullstroom. Don't be disappointed- book your accommodation early.






Tags: Christmas at Stonecutters Lodge, winter festival in Dullstroom, Events in Dullstroom, Dullstroom winter festival, accommodation in Dullstroom, Family fun festival

Dullstroom fires up for annual Winter Festival in July

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 10, 2016 7:43:25 PM

Dullstroom Winter Festival

Dullstroom, one of the premier weekend destination towns in South Africa, is gearing up for its 3rd annual Dullstroom Winter Festival, this year in partnership with Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, voted World’s Best Grain Whisky at the 2013 World Whisky Awards and the country’s first single-grain whisky. Over the weekend of 5 to 7th July, this historic Mpumalanga town - celebrating its 120th birthday this year - will be transformed into a hive of musical activity and a whole lot more...

Dullstroom winter festival accommodation


dullstroom winter festival accommodation

The 2013 edition of The Dullstroom Winter Festival is hosted by Hilltop Live and the Dullstroom Chamber of Business, and quite aptly made possible by Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky which is inspired by the Cape Mountains and its natural beauty. The whisky is the perfect partner in celebrating Dullstroom’s breathtaking scenery, unpolluted air and clear streams and the escape it offers from city life.

Apart from a rocking musical line-up, the weekend also features a winter festival trail run, a family fly fishing event and a mountain bike race. The town, it’s ample shops and eateries offer specials all weekend and fun things to do from Whisky tastings, displays at the town's raptor centre, cheese tastings, food markets, and a wide range of arts and crafts activities - all designed to be fun for the whole family, creating a unique festival atmosphere. It's going to be a weekend of Blues, Folk and Fishing and participation by whole village in the Christmas in July theme adds a fun, festive element to the event with many premises going all out with Christmas lights and Christmas decor... so tell the kids to watch out for Santa Claus!

Dullstroom winter festival accommodation

This year's musical line-up is set to blow away the mid-Winter blues. Dan Patlansky returns to Dullstroom by popular demand, after shredding the event last year. This home-grown Blues maestro has seen his career storming forward in recent years, and he's just released a new album, 'Wooden Thoughts', his first acoustic record. Folk songbird Laurie Levine will be adding a feminine touch to proceedings. Exciting news is the Dullstroom debut of the legendary Arno Carstens. Also on the bill are the ever popular Radio Kalahari Orkes, fronted by the inimitable Ian Roberts. Matthew Mole, the highly rated young folk music star from Cape Town makes his Dullstroom debut. Naming James, a folk rock outfit from Joburg is also on the bill, as well as The Runaway Train Cult, an act whose classy, bluesy folk has been wowing local audiences over the past couple of years.

Dullstroom winter festival
This year's official music program takes place over several unique venues. The Cherry Grove Centre Piazza will once again be transformed into a hotbed of world class Blues and Folk, while the ever-popular Dullstroom Grill, The Mayfly, The Dullstroom Inn and Wild About Whisky venues join the musical festivities this year. The newly launched Buddy Bus hop-on hop-off system, will ferry fans across town and between venues, and safely transport them home.

Be sure to visit for weekend activities, entry forms and more information.


dullstroom winter festival accommodation

30% Discount 3-night Stay


Tags: Christmas at Stonecutters Lodge, Dullstoom, Dullstroom winter festival, Family fun festival

Winter flyfishing in Dullstroom is rewarding

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 10, 2016 7:38:53 PM


Winter has finally arrived in the Mpumalanga Highlands, just in time for the shortest day on the 21st June! Fly-fishing enthusiasts who may have eschewed the warmer months have dusted off their rod cases and are heading to the trout dams and rivers in the Dullstroom area – this is borne out by the local reservations offices who report record bookings for the upcoming period! School holidays get underway now and family houses are well booked: the clever father who wants to combine his love of the sport with a family holiday acceptable to even the most critical of partners, will be on the look out for a venue offering the magic combination of an outstanding fishing experience coupled with excellent accommodation. It was this factor that was picked up on in a recent review of Stonecutters Lodge conducted by ‘Flyloops’ Review by Pieter Snyders "The perfect luxury break-away from the city….I found the venue has a perfect balance between good fishing and comfortable accommodation.” In the pursuit of his chosen sport the fly-fisherman must consider the needs of the family or partner: at many destinations the fishing waters are at a distance from the accommodation. At Stonecutters this is not the case, as the dams and 3 kilometers of Dorps river are just a short stroll from the cottages. In summary the fishing review concluded “ …the dams and river offer good variety that will keep you busy for hours. The dams and river are well maintained with a good stocking program and you will never be disappointed

Fly-Fishing  Package


Tags: River Fishing, Dullstroom flyfishing, catch large trout, flyfishing, fly-fishing, fishing, Dullstroom Trout Fishing, Dullstroom, Accommodation with fishing, Mpumalanga flyfishing

Celebrate Father's Day near Dullstroom in Mpumalanga

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 10, 2016 7:24:40 PM

Father's Day special Dullstroom, Mpumalanga

The celebration of Father's Day has gained amazing popularity over the years. The festival is considered to be a secular one and is celebrated in US and in a large number of countries around the world including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, New ZealandSouth Africa, Norway and India, though on different dates.

In South Africa, Father’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June . All over the world people take Father's Day as an opportunity to thank fathers and pay tribute to them. On this day children present Father's Day cards not just to their dads but also to grandfathers, uncles, stepfathers or any other person who commands the position of a father in their life. There is also a trend to present Father's Day gifts to dad, a popular gift being roses, the official Father's Day flower.

But Dad’s like sport, don’t they? So here are some suggestions to make the day memorable:

For adventure and extreme activities take him to Mpumalanga for an-adrenaline pumping bungee jump or buy him a voucher for a tandem parachute leap from a small plane! Too extreme? Fly-fishing may be just the thing to get that couch potato into a gentle yet exilerating sport. In the highlands of Mpumalanga there are numerous trout lodges where fishing equipment is available for hire and a fly-fishing clinic can introduce dad to this sport, so a gift voucher for a week-end away (with mom) would make an excellent gift. Or just the roses may do……

Spoil Dad (or that special man in your life) on Father’s Day. Book a Father's Day special weekend  ( 15th-17th June) at Stonecutters Lodge near Dullstroom, Mpumalanga  & enjoy a FREE champagne breakfast on Sunday 17th and should you wish to stay a 3rdnight, that night will be FREE OF CHARGE!

Tags: Lydenburg, Father's Day, Dullstroom, Special

Stonecutters Lodge near Dullstroom recycles- are you?

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 10, 2016 5:15:39 PM

Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle. These three R’s are of so much importance to our planet. Far rather our children and grandchildren run through piles of leaves than through piles of discarded rubbish. Our government wants to reduce the amount of plastic, cans, paper and glass going to landfills by 70 percent in the next decade or so. To meet that target, households need to stop simply throwing away rubbish and start implementing the three Rs.

There are definite advantages for the household too: by separating out the food waste from the recyclables there is a much smaller proportion of waste in a smelly dustbin. Fruit and veg and garden waste are ideal components in a compost heap – if you don’t have the garden space for this, consider a worm garden!

Recycling for your average suburban household in South Africa is a little more trouble: the infrastructure for collecting recyclable material isn’t really in place – yet. Households generally have to separate their rubbish and take the recyclables to a municipal drop-off centre or a buy-back centre.  Many people just can’t be bothered but there are more and more households, complex dwellers and hospitality establishments* who are doing their bit for the planet.

Stonecutters Lodge Dullstroom

*Stonecutters Lodge Recycling Programme:

Stonecutters Lodge between Dullstroom and Lydenburg in Mpumalanga implemented a recycling programme a year ago which is working extremely well. The lodge kitchen, as well as all the guests’ kitchens, are equipped with recycle bins which are emptied and carefully resorted by the lodge staff. All glass, clean paper and packaging, and plastic is set aside and the kitchen waste and ash from fireplaces and barbeques is trundled off to the compost heap. The recyclable goods are then loaded onto the bakkie and taken to the recyling company in Lydenburg. Only cooked kitchen waste is sent to the landfill -so trips to town (40kms return) have been reduced considerably- further reducing our carbon footprint.

crafts made from recycled materialdWe are also supporters of art projects by the local community and a supply of tin cans, bottle tops and caps are set aside to be used by craftsmen and end up as multi- coloured geckos and other imaginative items!

So our endevours also help job creation- a win-win for us, local craftsmen and South Africa.

We all need to be accountable for our carbon footprint and the waste we generate needs to be handled in an intelligent and responsible manner. Take a little time to make a positive contribution!

There is no time for complacency. We are using the Earth’s resources and need to consider ‘giving back’. If you haven't started a recycling programme in your home or business -it's not too late to start!

Some useful Links:

Sappi Paper/Refibre : Paper is is truly sustainable product. It's made from renewable resources, and is reusable, recyclable and bio-degarable.

Guide to recycling in South Africa

Recycling in Mpumalanga






Tags: recycle, Mpumalanga

Escape to Dullstroom for the Easter week-end!

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 10, 2016 5:13:47 PM

Dullstroom is the hub of the Mpumalanga Trout Triangle and as such is well-known and beloved by many, while to some it is an undiscovered gem. But for all, there is no better time to visit Dullstroom than at the Easter week-end when the village will be buzzing!

An additional highlight is the Tonteldoos Country Fair .   h food and deli-stalls, beer garden, donkey-cart rides and all manner of country goods for sale, this will be a fun-filled family excursion. Tonteldoos festival, near Dullstroom

The cooler weather has brought sunny days and chilly nights, so bring a jacket! The restaurants will pull out all the stops with their best cuisine and fine wine and in some restaurants live entertainment will be offered. Cheese tasting, chocolate cups from the fountain in the chocolate shop and beer from the micro brewery will all be on offer. Fine art, mosaic, sculpture, pottery, glasswork, and beadwork will be well represented by talented local artists. At some centres, artists will be showing-off their creative talents and interacting with visitors.    

Not to be missed is The Bird of Prey Centre has a wonderful display of birds in action and a great petting farmyard for the kiddies. There are also a number of excellent day spa’s in the area to pamper those in need of ultimate relaxation!

 River fishing Dullstroom, Stonecutters

For those interested in trout-fishing, the waters are now cooling down and the fish are actively feeding, so this is an excellent opportunity to throw in a line. The many fly-fishing lodges in the Dullstroom area offer dam and river fishing for both novices to the sport and to fly-fishing enthusiasts.

Accommodation is booking up fast, so don’t delay in sourcing the right destination for your budget and family needs. Whether you require budget accommodation or five star luxury, Dullstroom is the place to be this Easter!


 30% Discount 3-night Stay


Tags: Eater in Dullstroom, Stonecutters Lodge, Dullstroom, Tonteldoos Festival

There is more to Woman's Day - past and present heroines in the South African context certainly bare witness to this.

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 10, 2016 5:07:35 PM

  • Every year on 9 August we celebrate Women’s Day in South Africa, a public holiday that pays homage to the women of our nation; - the mothers, the wives, the sisters and the daughters who fought tirelessly against the tyranny of the Apartheid government. 

    Inaugurated in 1994, along with a free, democratic South Africa, the public holiday commemorates a 1956 protest lead by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn. To rise up against the legislation that required black South Africans to carry the "pass" (special identification documents which infringed on their freedom of movement during the Apartheid era), approximately 20 000 women from all over the country took to the streets of Pretoria – many carrying the children of their white bosses on their backs – to stage a peaceful march to the Union Buildings.

    After dropping off bundles of petitions containing more than 100 000 signatures at Prime Minister J.G Strijdom’s offices, they stood in silence for thirty minutes. A song was composed in honour of this momentous occasion, “Wathint' Abafazi Wathint' imbokodo!” (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock).

    An inspiring display of political strength, female solidarity and inner fortitude, the march on August 9 1956 is both a reminder of the great women who helped mould South Africa and the trailblazing women who continue to lead the country forward.




Visit the 2012 family- fun Festival in Tonteldoos (near Dullstroom)

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 9, 2016 8:03:24 PM

Tonteldoos is a small peach farming area near Dullstroom that organises an annual fun-filled festival.  Originally this peach harvest celebration was held in February (and it was often rained out!) and that has morphed into a country fair held over the Easter week-end. 

 Tonteldoos Festival DonkeyThe festival creates an opportunity for more people who are unfamiliar with the Dullstroom & Tonteldoos areas to visit and fall in love with the picturesque and peaceful environment. The many trout lodges offering fishing from dams and rivers will be finding the cooler weather resulting in better catches, making this an ideal breakaway opportunity for fly-fishing enthusiasts, with the festival rounding off an unforgettable family Easter experience.

About 2000 visitors and 80 stalls are expected at the  festival. The programme includes birds of prey in action, food stalls, delicatessen stalls, beer garden, Mampoer tasting, all day musical entertainment and 'boere sport' to name only a few. The donkey cart rides have become renowned, with the donkeys vying for first prize for Donkey and Cart in Best Condition! In short: a fun filled day for young and old.

The festival venue is easy to find on Rocky Road Farm, a farm adjacent to the provincial road running through Tonteldoos and will be well marked. From Dullstroom: On the R540, the main road in Dullstroom (Hugenote Str), look out for signs directing you to Dunkeld. Go past Dunkeld and follow the road for some 25km to Tonteldoos. Directions will be set up in Dullstroom. Gates open at 9h00. For further information cantact  013 254 0254

ACCOMMODATION Stay over in one of many guest houses / lodges in the area for the duration of Easter weekend and also enjoy excellent fly fishing, the beauty of nature and the peaceful country atmosphere. 

Styonecutters Lodge, Dullstroom

Stonecutters Lodge: 4-star accommodation 25 minutes from Dullstroom


Tags: Stonecutters Lodge, Dullstroom, Family fun festival, Tonteldoos, Mampoer