Dating back to 1692, the fortunes of the historic wine farm of Babylonstoren took a turn in 2007 when when it fell under the gaze of former magazine editor Karen Roos. Her passion for historic Cape Dutch style led to an authentic yet contemporary restoration of the whole farm.
The garden comprises 15 clusters spanning vegetable areas, stone and pome fruits, nuts, citrus, berries, bees, herbs, ducks and chickens, a prickly pear maze, and more.
Gravity feeds water from a stream by rills into the garden, flowing through ponds planted with edible lotus, nymphaea lilies and waterblommetjies.
Every one of the more than 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible or has medicinal value. They are also grown as organically as possible and in a biologically sustainable manner. The fruit and vegetables from the garden are harvested all year round for use in two farm-to-fork restaurants.
The original buildings comprise a manor house, the Koornhuis (for storing wheat), the old cellar, ornate fowl house, dovecote, the leaning bell tower and the historic gates, all date back to the 1750s. A disused cow shed was transformed into the Babel restaurant. The signature look at Babylonstoren remains whitewashed walls of thick stone or primitive brick, with ornate gables and thatched roofs but with contemporary glass boxes added onto the Cape Dutch cottages. The result is a modern yet authentic.
Daily garden tours take place at 10am, starting in front of the Farm Shop. One of the many experienced gardeners guides each tour, during which guests are encouraged to pick, taste, smell and touch.
Venue: Babylonstoren, R45, Simondium, Western Cape
Time: 8am – 5pm (daily). Garden tours at 10am daily.