Those of us lucky enough to live in Durban year-round know how laughable our winters are. Clear skies, dry weather and temperatures that average above 20 degrees Celsius – tough times, right? Truth be told, I find myself staring wistfully at my untouched boots and wishing for just a few jacket-worthy days to stir up some winter feeling.
If you also wouldn’t mind a little winter chill, read on. Here are a few innovative ways to fake that winter feeling in Durban.
It may be sunny in Durban, but you only have to travel a little inland to experience some winter chill. Drakensburg spots like Antbear Lodge have all the makings of a winter getaway: panoramic mountain views, Jacuzzi spa baths and cosy fireplaces. Cue the red wine, woolly socks and piles of the lodge’s homemade cheese and bread.
2 | Go ice-skating
Take a walk down memory lane to the institution that is the Durban Ice Rink. Never mind that the beach is mere kilometres away – once you’re inside, you’re in a winter wonderland. Put your hoodie on, lace up those skates, cling to the wall amateur-style (if you’re like me) and skate your way through that winter feeling for at least a few hours.
Ah man, I’m a sucker for a good pub lunch. Especially since they tend to get a little fancy with their greenery these days. Now you can pretend you’re sitting down to a balanced meal versus a straight-up pie, chips, gravy and handful of lettuce leaves. (God bless the side salad and its illusions). But, I digress. Much as I relish a pub lunch year-round, it’s most enjoyable in winter. Take the highway a little inland to Stoker’s Arms, where they dust off the heaters and roll down the windbreakers to fight off a legitimate Kloof chill. You’ll find one those mouth-watering pies I was talking about. Keg and Trout, a little further up the hill, has the same wintery pleasantries to offer – plus a drop in temperature by a few extra degrees.
4 | Make a Nest
Of course, if you really want that winter feeling, do what the animals do… hibernate. Your bedroom and some choice supplies is all you need. Draw the blinds, switch on some low lighting and crank the aircon down to your ideal chilliness. Choose your comfort food and movies of choice, then layer up that bed with as many duvets, fluffy pillows and cuddly items as you can handle. If you’re in need of some additions, Mates Linen in Durban boasts impressive brand names at unbeatable prices. Take it a step further with some ambient gentle rain background noise – my favourite way to fall asleep.
5 | Grab a Cuppa
Head out to your local coffee shop on the wintriest Durban day and order yourself something warm, creamy and delicious. The Daily Coffee Café will present you with your coffee in a crisp, chocolate-coated wafer cone, while Umhlanga’s Home Bru offers winter-warming decadence like Nutella cappuccinos and espressos. Perhaps you fancy an affogato – which is ice-cream with a shot of hot espresso poured over it. Um, yum!