Once again I visited the enchanting Babylonstoren in the heart of the Paarl/Franschoek valley. Dating back to the 17th century, it is one of the oldest Cape Dutch homesteads in the Western Cape.
The farm has been modernised using the existing outhouse Cape Dutch structures, blending the old with the new and the emphasis is detail. The immaculate farm is unique, it is a paradise on earth, a rare jewel that has quality and perfection. Without a doubt it falls into the category of top-notch world-class.
The gardens are magnificent set within 3,5 hectares (8 acres) of cultivated fruit and vegetables. The heart of the farm showing mother-natures beauty at her best. The Pagodas in summer are dressed in roses, while seasonal flowers elsewhere kiss the earth; the atmosphere is peaceful, tranquil a hive of activity with a gentle buzz..
Babylonstoren’s pride and joy is in the simplicity and purity of their brand. They have a natural approach to a modern sustainable working farm, a farm-to-fork philosophy. They like to serve food that is seasonal and that reflects their daily “pick, clean and serve” their eateries and the wine tasting room.
The Babel restaurant is a mix of classic Cape Dutch architecture with contemporary glass walls that allows nature in. The environment and atmosphere is cool and edgy with a courtyard for summer eating. The culinary mood in the Babel is seasonal which reflects diverse tastes and unconventional combinations of fruit and vegetables, meat and fish. Last but not least the desserts play with the four flavors salty, bitter, sweet and sour.
The walk in Greenhouse restaurant’s menu subscribes to the self-same “pick, clean and serve” philosophy as Babel, with a strong emphasis on honest food with little to no fuss. All the food is served picnic-style in wooden crates with the preserves, jams and salads packaged in weck jars, while fresh bread from their wood-fired oven comes wrapped in the iconic blue-and-white Babylonstoren paper.
Years ago when I first visited Babylonstoren, the gardens were in their infancy stage and the possibility of staying over was only in the pipeline. Now my dream came true when my personal experience was a stay over in one of the cottages. The King-size four poster bed with a voluptuous duvet and perfect lighting was magical, and in the simple style of Babylonstoren, a magnificent bathroom with fluffy white bathrobes. A wood burning fire to sit and sip a superb glass of wine before dinner, was just the right mood for the evening ahead.
At the end of the day, it was simply bedazzling. Night and a day it was heaven on earth in the Hanging Gardens of Babylonstoren.
Klapmuts Simondium Road Paarl
+27 (0) 21 863 3852