A day in the heart of BabylonstorenOctober 5, 2017
It is not difficult to see why Babylonstoren is one of the most popular places to visit for South Africans and tourists alike. You could spend hours discovering the lush garden and many more days uncovering all its other gems.
The first stop when entering the farm is the beautiful Farm Shop. It is filled with fresh produce such as preserves, fruit, and eggs as well as cookbooks, linen, baskets, hats, and ceramics. On the right, through the glass door are wheels of cheese as well as a cold meat section. Exit the shop at the back and turn right into the Scented Shop. You’re bound to find many things you would like to take home with you.
At the heart of Babylonstoren is their spectacular garden filled to each corner with over 300 plant varieties. The garden is home to chickens, donkeys, turkeys, tortoises and roughly 50 ducks who actively work their way across sections of the garden, munching all the bad critters. There are also three large fish ponds near the beginning of the garden.
You can stroll freely along the gravel paths or take part in the daily garden tour. A gardener will guide you through the garden while you pick, smell and taste pieces of the garden such as lemon tree leaves, Spekboom and Waterblommetjies. The garden currently has tons of lemons, a huge section of flowering Clivias, plum trees with white blossoms and peach and nectarine trees with pink blossoms.
The entire garden is edible and harvested daily for Babylonstoren’s own restaurants: Babel and the Greenhouse. Babel is located at the beginning of the garden in a beautifully transformed cow shed. The restaurant offers tasty, seasonal dishes with delicious lemonades and other drinks served in laboratory glassware. For dessert, you have four flavours to choose from: salty, bitter, sweet and sour. The Greenhouse restaurant can be found on the back right-hand side of the garden. You can take a seat outside under the oak trees which provide some much-needed shade in summer or enjoy sitting in the vintage conservatory. The menu consists of home-baked goods, fresh garden salads, preserves, and wood-fired bread.
You cannot forget to stop by The Tasting Room to try some of Babylonstoren’s wines along with a range of snack platters. The Tasting Room has floor to ceiling windows to enjoy the view over the vineyard and Babylonstoren’s conical hill in the distance.
There’s plenty to do at Babylonstoren and as the garden changes every season, one can never tire of visiting. Don’t forget the small fee payable at the gate which goes to the Babylonstoren Trust in support of education for the local children.