During our stay in Cape Town we were overwhelmed by just how many incredible places we visited. One place we particularly loved was Babylonstoren, an old Cape Dutch farm in the Drakenstein Valley – a short road trip outside of the city. We piled into the bakkie and soaked up the views on our drive through the winelands; in awe at just how much the South African landscape reminds us of Australia.
The buildings at Babylonstoren date back to the 17th century and are built in a trademark style, constructed of stone with whitewashed walls and thatched roofs. As we arrived the farmyard (werf in Afrikaans) was fresh with rain creating an intense color palette; striking red soil, bright green growth and a steel-colored sky.
There are unbelievable gardens for exploring, where you can also spot all of the wonderful produce used in the kitchens. Sadly, their restaurant Babel was closed so we happily enjoyed a long and lazy lunch in their Greenhouse instead. We enjoyed simple and seasonal sandwiches with homemade wood-fired bread and handcrafted cheeses, along with a bottle of viognier from their vineyard. Everything was delicious and presented beautifully; salads in mason jars and meals on rustic trays. There was even a special ‘anti-depressive’ New Years tea to enjoy.
The farm store and larder is full of all kinds of treasures including a delicatessen of charcuterie, a working bakery and an entire room of cheese. We were happy to discover they prepare our favorite South African treat on the farm too – biltong which is dried and cured beef. There’s also local honey, preserves, cordial, homewares, cookbooks and so much more. Nom, nom, nom!
Though we were only visiting Babylonstoren for the day, there is also a hotel and spa which I’m certain are just as special as the rest of the farm. We headed home from this peaceful oasis armed with a few bottles of wine, some potted plants and very happy bellies. Special thanks to Pat for sharing this lovely place with us!
Taken January 2015