I have a thing for fruit and veg. I grow citrus trees in my little garden and get huge pleasure when I see a new orange, lemon or lime on its way. Growing vegetables, even if I don’t eat them, is extremely rewarding. l love giving friends bunches of lettuce (I’ve never got the point of eating it myself) or a bag of granadillas to take home.
So arriving at Babylonstoren, a farm at the foothills of the Franschhoek Valley, had me beaming. Driving up to the entrance, it’s all vineyards dripping in grapes. Then, when you get in the door, it’s free range chickens and roosters, a donkey or two, and herbs, vegetables and fruit trees EVERYWHERE.
In perfect beautiful 8 hectare gardening order.
The gravel pathways wind their way through the gardens towards the hot house, restaurants and shops. On the way we stopped to see the chicken clutch, plucked a few pears and inhaled the lavender. I bit into a pink lady, the sweetest of apples, while my friend ate a fig, then a plum and tucked mint into his mask. There are gardeners tending the pumpkin patches, the mountains in the distance are incredible, I loved the Cape Honeybees buzzing around pollinating everything and working very hard, and THEN WE HAD LUNCH.
Babylonstoren has two restaurants, the Greenhouse and Babel. The Greenhouse is the more casual of the two, the food was simple but extremely delicious and my poached pears with cardomon ice-cream were DIVINE. The setting is idyllic, trees dotted around a courtyard, excellent for social distancing, under the I forget what kind of trees.
I do remember the sign that said:-
“I don’t understand how one can walk by a tree and not be happy at the sight of it. Or to speak with a man and not be happy in loving him. There are so many things at every step so beautiful.”
That’s by Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist and philosopher, written in 1860.
This saying describes Babylonstoren, which is flawless in design, flawless in organic and flawless in feel-good vibes.They make their own wine, olive oil, honey, cordials, baked goods, they trade, sell and deliver, have internships for gardeners who love to mulch, harvest, prune and learn, and hello, they are running a bee keeping workshop in March.
I think I have to return.
Babylonstoren dates back to 1692. It is magnificent, you can spend the night, do a garden tour or your own thing, and eat a LOT OF FRUIT.
Book with me, email@example.com. I'll create a beautiful Cape itinerary for you, including a meal or overnight at beautiful Babylonstoren.