RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

New luxury suites open at historic Cape Winelands farm

3rd December 2010 Print
Babylonstoren - South Africa

Babylonstoren, a 240-hectare working wine and fruit farm in the Drakenstein Valley, in the heart of the Cape Winelands, opens its doors to guests this week. It is offered through Bridge & Wickers' new Africa programme.

If you love staying in places steeped in history, but aren't that keen on chintz; enjoy imaginative cooking firmly founded on the freshest local produce and eating at new restaurants before they appear on 'best' lists; delight in gardens, landscapes and wide open spaces, Babylonstoren - in the Drakenstein Valley between Franschhoek and Paarl - is the place to stay. Its restaurant, Babel, opened three weeks ago under a head chef trained at Quartier Francais and lucky food journalists are predicting it will take the restaurant ranking lists by storm.

The gardens produce over 300 vegetables, herbs and fruits, so there is always something fresh and at its absolute peak. Meat, poultry, cheese and most of the other produce comes from the Groot Drakenstein Valley. Smaller, exclusive wineries are prominent on the wine list and the estate's own wines are eagerly awaited.

Established in the late 17th century to supply the needs of the expanding Cape Colony, Babylonstoren now has 12 luxury suites that have been created from historic farm buildings, while the Cape Dutch manor house can be booked for exclusive use.

Wander in the 8-acre formal kitchen garden, go on a guided visit with one of the gardeners or borrow gloves and secateurs and join in the picking and pruning. Follow the duck herder and his 250 charges or cycle through the vineyards and up to the dams, and potter about in a boat or canoe. Stroll to the top of the kopje and savour the views. Or come back from a day of wine-tasting and relax in the spa or by the pool.

Bridge & Wickers ( offers one night at Babylonstoren on a B&B basis from £127pp based on two sharing, including drinks in a personal bar, guided garden and estate visit and cycling/boating on the estate. Book a 3-night stay before 31 January and delectate one complimentary dinner.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Babylonstoren - South Africa