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Welcome to the Garden of Eden – Babylonstoren offers guests a truly magical garden experience

Welcome to the Garden of Eden – Babylonstoren offers guests a truly magical garden experience ( Babylonstoren is a Cape Dutch farm with vineyards and orchards surrounded by the dramatic mountains of the Drakenstein Valley, situated only 60 km from Cape Town in Franschhoek. Its garden, dating back to 1692, is at the heart of the farm and it was inspired by Cape Town’s famous 17th century Company Gardens of the Dutch East India Company, where for centuries ships would replenish with sweet water, vegetables and fruit at the halfway station between Europe and Asia. Babylonstoren was named after the small hill on the farm that the early Dutch settlers named in honor of the Bible’s Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Today, “Garden of Eden” describes the eight acres of beautiful and abundant farm gardens best. Every one of the 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible and it is grown as biologically as possible. Fruits and vegetables are harvested year round for the use in the Babel Restaurant. The garden is divided into fifteen clusters spanning vegetable areas, berries, bees, indigenous plants, ducks and chickens and includes a prickly pear maze. Gravity feeds water into waterways from a stream into the garden as it was done for 300 years. Lately, there has been great excitement in the garden and kitchen with the appearance of new asparagus shoots after winter in South Africa. The asparagus was planted as mature crowns two years ago and this year the chef Karen Pretorius can cut the delicate underground shoots and serve this seasonal spring harvest as a special, freshly at Babel Restaurant. Latest news at

Of course, the cultivation of the freshest fruit, herbs and vegetables is paramount and the menu at Babel Restaurant is driven by the seasons and what nature dictates. The food at Babel leans towards simplicity, but always with an edge. The meals are creative though always clear in structure. One of the biggest treats when staying over at Babylonstoren is that guests begin the day with a Babel breakfast! Fresh fruit and juices straight from nature, homemade mueslis and thick yoghurts, farm honey and every day a choice of something delicious and hot, maybe Babylonstoren eggs and local Serrano style ham from the valley. The food at Babel reflects the colours of the season: in summer guests may be served with an Orange Salad of pumpkin, oranges, carrots and maybe a handful of pomegranate seeds; in winter there will perhaps be a slow-cooked leg of lamb to warm guests up.

Overlooking the vineyards and garden with the historic farm buildings forming a backdrop, Babylonstoren offers twelve country guest suites that echo the Cape Dutch farm buildings. This style was developed in the Cape Colony in the 17th and 18th centuries: the outer walls are whitewashed and decorated with ornate gables and the interiors are pleasantly cool in summer and are heated by open hearth in winter. Guests staying at the exclusive farm hotel enjoy access to the entire farm, plus facilities like the spa and gym. The aim is to have guests feel more comfortable, more alive among warm smiles and the simple daily rhythm of the farm. Babylonstoren truly offers an authentic farm experience where guests experience a way of life that has largely been forgotten. It is a lifestyle in tune with nature, a more natural way of living where the focus is on simple pleasures.


Babylonstoren | Franschhoek | South Africa | Tel:+ 27 (0) 21 863 3852 | Fax:+ 27 (0) 21 863 1727 | |

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