Babylonstoren – Cape Town
Babylonstoren is an institution throughout South Africa. It is one of the oldest Dutch colonial farms, located a few kilometers from Cape Town. In the Franschhoek valley, among the well-tended vineyards, you can carve out a genuine and completely natural space.
Entering this immense complex is like taking a leap back in time. The architectural style is based on the Bohemian colonial trend of 1700, but the buildings have in the last years, making Babylonstoren a unique masterpiece of biodiversity. This is precisely its strength; a kingdom where luxury meets nature in respect and authenticity. Karen Roos, the owner, has invested all her resources to create a haven where the elegant hotel coexists in symbiosis with the paths that run along the 200 hectares of the site. The garden stands out among the main attractions of the farm. Historical references are not wasted in this space which is reminiscent of the mythological Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Cape Town is the marine intermediate point between Asia and Europe and Babylonstoren succeeds in reviving what were the ancient trading traditions of the city.
The presence of species from three continents increases a thriving zone which is already rich and developed. Inside the garden a domed structure houses an exotic Eden containing aromatic spices from all over the world. All these products are used by the restaurant, Babel, housed in what was the farm’s stable. Eco-efficient, 0 km raw materials and healthy, natural products are cooked in a way that is not always conventional, but that will surely amaze.
The key to its success lies in the rigorous attention to the seasons; every dish served reflects the motto of the restaurant, ‘choose, clean, and serve.’ Innovation is also revealed when you read the menu; the appetizers are listed according to their color, while the main courses are classified depending on their taste, namely ‘sweet and spicy,’ ‘acidic and salty,’ ‘bittersweet,’ and ‘umami’. The former Dutch barn creates an evocative atmosphere with a contemporary note, but in a classical key.
Where the vineyards provide the background of a modern and refined architecture, wine is one of the protagonists of this experience. Tasting sessions in the glass structure next to the cellar, offering sensational views, provide the opportunity to try superb South African wines. Rural life is the undisputed owner of this scene; it is a return to its origins, without ignoring the comforts of the present time.