Vineyard and Gardens Are Highlight of This South African Farm Hotel

June 27, 2013 by


Imagine a self-sustained utopia laden with delicious food and drink, nestled within a lush vineyard in the shadow of sandstone mountains. In South Africa, just an hour from Cape Town, this utopia exists.


Babylonstoren, located in the country’s Winelands region, is a historic Cape Dutch farm built in the 17th and 18th centuries that hosts guests in charming cottages, some of which sit beside the property’s garden where 300 varieties of edible plants grow.



While the place is physically stunning, surrounded by whitewashed walls and dotted with thatched-roof buildings, the true beauty at Babylonstoren is the hotel’s mindset: a back-to-the-land philosophy that propels guests to tend the eight-acre formal gardens, stroll the farm and vineyards, and explore nearby rivers and dams by canoe.

babylonstoren-chickensOther draws? The farm’s prickly pear maze, lazy orchards, and chickens and ducks that are ready for you to feed.



After a long day outdoors, there’s not much to do except relax over a meal at Babel, the hotel’s farm-to-fork restaurant whose fruits, vegetables, and herbs are literally harvested steps from where they are cooked and served.


Fresh juices, homemade ginger beer, and fruity herbal teas wash down colorful, produce-centric dishes–last summer, the menu featured grilled lamb with roasted plum-coriander pesto, pumpkin fritters atop yellow vegetable and fruit carpaccio, and fresh summer fruit with gorgonzola ice cream.


The Garden and Farm
The hotel invites guests to help harvest, prune and pick the garden’s bounty, from nuts and spices to seasonal vegetables and fruits.


Measuring eight acres, the garden is fertilized with compost collected at the hotel.


After a stroll in the garden, guests can pop into the Greenhouse to enjoy a refreshment and fresh bread from their wood-fired ovens served picnic-style in wooden crates.


The ten-hectare farm occupies an area of intense biodiversity maintained by frequent clearing of alien vegetation to halt the spread of invasive species. To control erosion, Babylonstoren uses hydro seeding and has also introduced a variety of tree species indigenous to the Southwestern Cape.

The Vineyard
From the hotel’s vineyard, Babylonstoren cultivates the grapes for its Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Mourvedre Rose, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Viognier varieties.

Babylonstoren-harvesting-urbangardenswebWhites are fruity and summery, with notes of ripe peach and apricot, melon, guava, red berries, and citrus. Reds are deep and spicy with white pepper and licorice flavors, melded with black currant and rose.


Photos via Babylonstoren.

1 Comment »

  1. ConcreteCleaner Sealer said:

    Perfect spot to spend vacation. Just loved this hotel.

    Sealing Michigan

    — July 26, 2013 @ 05:26

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

The freshest innovative and eco-friendly designs, trends, and ideas for urban gardens and stylish small places.

Visit Robin Horton @UrbanGardens's profile on Pinterest.

Discover more from Urban Gardens

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading