Babylonstoren cannot be put in a box and labelled as just another wine lands property. It’s quirky – a rather unusual adjective to describe a Cape Dutch winery and fruit farm which dates back to the 1700s!
It effortlessly manages to combine its history (such as 19th century Delft pottery) with modern and luxurious guest cottages which are set on either side of an oak-lined avenue.
The eclectic mix of delights continues with the extensive gardens. It’s not an everyday occurrence that a walk around a garden includes an invitation to stretch out on an indigenous lawn of flowering chamomile and the rather pleasant experience of eating a day lily (the farm has more than 300 varieties of edible plants)! The result is delightfully refreshing and intriguing and I haven’t even touched on the food yet…
Breakfast in Babel restaurant was a gastronomic delight which included fresh fruit and vegetable juices, muesli ‘cakes’, beetroot yoghurt and French toast (served with great coffee).
Babylonstoren will start producing its first wines next year, but you are right in the heart of the Winelands here, so if its wine you’re after, you will be spoilt for choice with Franschhoek and a myriad of wine estates just a stone’s throw away. I would, however, suggest doing Babylonstoren justice by staying here for three to five days and savouring its magic.
This is the sort of place that challenges the world-weary traveller. There is very little ‘pomp and ceremony here’ and it leaves you to decide between going for a bicycle ride, going for a walk to see fruit being picked in the orchards or vines being pruned, enjoying a long lazy day in front of the fireplace soaking up some of the great literature on offer (the books have obviously being chosen by someone who loves reading) or waking up early to see the snail-harvesting ducks (affectionately referred to as ‘the workers’).
I sadly wasn’t in time to see the opening of the new Babel tea house, but it is an exceptionally good reason to return!
Whether you are a keen gardener, on honeymoon or simply looking to stay somewhere a little special and a little different, then Babylonstoren will tick all the boxes!