Babylonstoren, Cape Winelands

South Africa

Dutch gables, contemporary interiors and a garden paradise

Babylonstoren is a vision of Cape Dutch architecture among a garden idyll in the heart of South Africa’s winelands.

You can watch rural life unfold at this 17th century farmstead where chickens, geese and ducks roam free and fresh fruit and vegetables are handpicked and taken from farm to table. Spend days wandering the organic gardens of this working farm, through the maze of prickly pears and alongside rushing streams.

Its buildings may be historical, but Babylonsteren is undoubtedly stylish. This is thanks to magazine editor and style guru, Karen Roos, who fashioned the interiors into fresh white-washed rooms and floor to ceiling glass windows. The cottages are strung out along the garden, which is where you’ll  also find a magnificent spa which uses herbs from the gardens in daily rituals.

It is worth visiting Babylonsteren if only for its restaurant, Babel. Seasonal food is served family style where you can dish up bright yellow salads of pineapple, multi-coloured tomatoes and country-style meat dishes, all within a strict farm to fork policy. Borrow a bike for a cycle around the gardens, orchards and vineyards to see where lunch came from, or head to Babylonstoren’s koppie armed with a bottle of their delicious wine, for wonderful sundowners with a view.

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Babylonstoren is half way between Paarl and Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. Cape Town Airport is a 45-minute drive away.

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