Friday, June 7, 2013

BABYLONSTOREN PART I - heaven on earth in the Cape winelands of South Africa

Welcome to Babylonstoren.   Located in the picturesque Drakenstein Valley between Franschhoek and Paarl in the Cape Winelands of South Africa, Babylonstoren is one of the best preserved working farms (werfs) in the Cape Dutch tradition.  Dating back to the founding of the farm in 1690, great attention to detail has been applied to the preservation of buildings and traditions, with a spectacular twist on guest houses, a world class restaurant and glass conservatory teahouse.  8 acres of formal vegetable and herb gardens and fruit orchards can be walked and the smell of herbs permeates the hot summer air as you marvel the creative wonder.

Babel the restaurant - a rustic courtyard with the Babel restaurant on one side, farm store on the other, and the most exquisitely intricate knot garden of lavender and thymes on the far side.  

Baskets abundantly overflowing with lemons, freshly picked from the orchard.  Double doors lead to the store.

Babel, the restaurant

Inside the world class restaurant that is Babel

Deliciously decadent deserts on display - lemon meringue served in porcelain teacups

Reading the Babel menu, outside the double doors leading to the store

Store counter - exquisite piece of furniture - wish list!

The amazing Babel book, which I had to purchase and bring back home, with a rustic turnip garnish!

Home made preserves, jams, pickles, syrups, bottled honey harvested just down the way!

Leading from Babel, the knot garden with a selection of lavenders and thymes surrounded by low rustic walls and beyond that, fragrant orchards

Looking back to the restaurant, Babel.

With a backdrop of the Drakenstein Mountains, could there be a more exquisite beautiful place on earth?

Traditionally South African, waterblommetjies (water flowers), are harvested and used to cook up a flavorful "bredie", a type of stew.

Harvesting waterblommetjies, not just to cook into a delicious "bredie", but also for the incredible flower, fruit and veg table decorations they are so renowned for.

Lavender, the waterblommetjie ponds, orchards and the spectacular mountains beyond.  What a gorgeous place to visit.  Watch this space - LOTS more to come.


  1. One of my favorite places! What inspiration! Liz from Cape Town

    1. Thanks Liz, it inspired me so too. Babylonstoren is one of the most amazing places I have ever visited.