Just 60 kms from Cape Town in the Groot Drakenstein Valley, Babylonstoren – named after the small hill on the farm named by early Dutch settlers in honor of the Bible’s Hanging Gardens of Babylon – dates to 1692. The 8-acre formal French kitchen garden at Babylonstoren, inspired by Cape Town’s famous 17th-century Company Gardens of the Dutch East India Company, is the central focus of the farm. Today, cultivation of the freshest fruit, herbs and vegetables is paramount and the menu at the farm’s restaurant, Babel, is driven by the seasons and what nature dictates. With over 300 fruits, vegetables and herbs to choose from, there is always be something fresh and surprising.
Overlooking the vineyards and garden with the historic farm buildings forming a backdrop, Babylonstoren’s 12 country guest suites echo Cape Dutch farm buildings. This style was developed in the Cape Colony in the 17th and 18th centuries: the outer walls are whitewashed and decorated with ornate gables and thatched roofs and the interiors are pleasantly cool in summer (due to thick walls) and are heated by open hearths in winter. Guests are encouraged to pick their own produce to be prepared for delicious meals, and to enjoy the “natural dam” swimming pool and the spa.