Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the Winelands. Located at the foot of the Simonsberg mountains, this is very much a working farm but well situated for exploring the Cape’s Winelands. It’s closest to Paarl (15 minutes) but only 25 minutes from either the centre of Franschhoek or Stellenbosch. It has a fruit and vegetable garden of beauty and diversity, unique accommodation, fine food and wine, and a sense of wellbeing, where they combine the simplicity of their farm buildings with style. The farm hotel is characterised by thick whitewashed walls, elegant gables and hearty fireplaces, emulating an authentic farm-stay experience.
The original Farm Hotel has just 13 suites in cottages that line the shady avenue leading to the restaurant. Wandering down the shaded lane, the outlook is historically authentic – tiny shuttered windows and green doors in thick whitewashed walls – but step inside the one and two-bedroom cottages and light spills through modern clipped-on glass boxes that encompass a kitchen and dining table.
Due to the high demand, bookings for Babel, the main restaurant, has now to be made two months in advance. It’s a classic fork-to-table story and almost everything on your plate will be grown in the garden. At Babel the variety produced by this eight-acre ‘pantry garden’ and served on your plate is quite astonishing. Meat portions are generous, much of it served on the bone in a simple country style. Breakfasts are enormous – the spread includes everything from a variety of handmade granolas, honeycomb, eggs and fresh fruit from the garden, delicious yoghurts and a hot breakfast menu that will have you wondering whether you’ll ever feel hungry again. Greenhouse is an excellent alternate luncheon spot if you can’t find a table at Babel.
Why we like it
The peace, and the beauty of the old homestead
The breakfast buffet in the morning has one of the most extensive fresh fruit selections we have ever seen
The gardens are beyond compare
The spa is a haven
See HERE our recommended things to do in the Winelands
Franshoek, South Africa