Located outside of Paarl in the Cape Winelands, Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm dating back to the 17th century. The property is massive and we were overwhelmed with all that it had to offer.
First and foremost are the gardens. There are over 200 hectares of fruits, vegetables, citrus trees, flowers, poultry, bee hives and herbs for every ailment imaginable. Garden tours are available daily and as guests we were also allowed to wander at our own leisure.
Then there's the food. Their signature restaurant Babel is housed in an old cow shed and also serves a beautiful breakfast spread. The food is picked fresh from the gardens every day, cheese is made in the Cheese Room and fresh bread from their own wheat is baked in the Bakery. Their other restaurant Greenhouse shares the same food philosophy with lighter fare in a picnic-style. And of course there's wine. We did a tour of the cellar and finished with wine tastings of their Chenin Blanc, Babel Red, Shiraz, Candide and Viognier in the new Tasting Room.
The best part was being able to stay at the Farm Hotel. Former worker quarters have been transformed into large guest cottages while retaining the Cape Dutch architecture. There is even an outdoor swimming pool and spa. You can take one of the bikes around the farm or row in one of the canoes at the dam. At sunset, a hike up the small hill or koppie across the farm gives amazing views of surrounding mountains and vineyards.