Babylonstoren, found just outside of Franschhoek, is a place that spellbinds you with natural inspiration. It’s one of the best-preserved werfs (farmyard) in the Cape Dutch tradition and the architecture is distinctive with its white-washed walls, thatched roofs and ornate gables. The garden is the lifeblood of the farm and its muse in creation was the mythical hanging gardens of Babylon. You could happily get lost in there for hours, revelling in the silence and admiring what grows so marvellously.
At Babylonstoren it’s about marrying the surroundings with the structures; you’re never too far from the scent of the earth or the serenity of the trees or the warmth of the sun. Babel is one of their restaurants where I enjoyed lunch—a white wonderland with an open kitchen and a tiled wall that displays a marker menu. You watch fervent chefs prepare meals that make it onto your giant cow-themed plate (in bygone days, this was the cowshed). The kitchen and garden teams collaborate daily to see what is ready for harvesting but you can count on the theme of green, red and yellow salads as well as the four flavours for dessert – salty, bitter, sweet and sour – all mixed and matched. Chilli chocolate ice cream is definitely a favourite and will have you wanting to lick the plate clean. Expect generous helpings and the likes of chargrilled fillet and lamb cutlets for mains. After your leisurely meal, you will want to stop at the bakery where the smell of fresh bread teases your nostrils and begs to be taken home with you – that’s if you ever want to go home.
- Amanda Van Graan, Springbok Atlas Tours & Safaris Content Writer