Some very clever architects and landscapers came together to create this little piece of garden-heaven. One of the oldest Cape Dutch farms has been converted into something out of a dream. There’s very little I can say that has calmed my mind quicker than walking the gardens of Babylonstoren, just outside of Paarl. The magical, mystical maze of fruit trees, over-grown vegetables, cacti and fragrant lawns have been the ‘talk of the townies’ for months. And it’s an Instagram MUST when in exploring the Franschhoek Wine Valley.
French architect, Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The 8-acre garden is said to be inspired by the beginnings of our city and Cape Town’s Company’s Gardens, pulling inspiration from when the garden used to supply the Dutch East India Company with fresh produce midway on their voyage to Asia. Throughout your walk in the man-made garden, you pick up on those historical hints. The blue ceramic tiling, and building style of the restaurants & hotels take you back in time in the most ‘modern’ way possible. I overheard a guide telling a group that every plant in the garden is either edible or has great medicinal value, and are grown as organically and sustainably as possible. The garden is 100% irrigated by the stream that borders the plot. All produce served in the two restaurants on the site are harvested all year round from the farm itself., was bought in by owner Karen Roos to design a garden so beautiful, it could pay homage to the mythological
Even two hours getting lost in the mazes, embracing the fresh smells of the thyme walking garden, sipping on the fresh stream water was not enough time. Oh and don’t let me forget to mention the fantastic homemade scones and clotted cream when had on our tea break at the Greenhouse restaurant, under the water-misters and shade of the oak trees. A Western Cape ‘Must Do!’ for all.
We’re going to have to visit again, as we didn’t get to go wine tasting, or see the cactus plantation.
Follow them on social: Website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for updates or to follow the conversation. Don’t forget to tag them in your posts. The farm is situated on Klapmuts/Simondium Road just outside of Paarl. There is a fair amount of parking around the area, and entrance fees, which are R20 per adult, R10 per child, are payable at the gate, and go towards the Babylonstoren Trust for the education of the local children. The garden is open between 9:00am – 5:00pm daily, with the last entry in a 4:00pm.
Call +27 (0)21 863 3852 to book your table at Babel restaurant. Bookings open two months in advance and is essential. Should you prefer a lighter lunch, or enjoy a tea-time under the oaks, The Greenhouse Restaurant is a lovely alternative, although guests are seated ‘first come first serve’. Kids welcome, but pets must stay at home.