Nicky Travels // BabylonStoren Farm Hotel, South Africa
If you’ve been following Nicky recently on Instagram and Twitter, you’ll know about her time spent exploring Cape Town and the surrounding countryside for a new project the studio has just embarked on.
Last weekend Nicky checked into the most beautiful Babylonstoren Farm Hotel and we wanted to share this wonderful place with you.
With the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek mountains as backdrop, Babylonstoren’s garden setting is majestic. Dating back to 1692, the fortunes of this historic fruit and wine farm took a turn ten years ago when it fell under the gaze of former magazine editor Karen Roos. Her passion for historic Cape Dutch style led to an authentic yet contemporary restoration that projects the farm into the future.
It is considered to be one of the best preserved farmyards in the Cape today.
The original buildings comprise a manor house that dates back to 1777, while the Koornhuis (for storing wheat), the old cellar, ornate fowl house, dovecote, the leaning bell tower and the historic gates, all date back closer to the 1750s. A disused cow shed was transformed into the current-day Babel restaurant.
When new accommodation was added to create the Farm Hotel, every care was taken to ensure that the integrity of the original architecture and its sympathetic relationship with the landscape and climate, were reflected.
The garden at Babylonstoren looked to the past for inspiration, taking its cue from the Company’s Garden of Cape Town, which supplied passing ships to the Cape with food in the 1600s.
All of the more than 300 varieties of plants in the garden are edible or have medicinal value, with everything from blood oranges to asparagus, mushrooms and persimmons supplying the farm’s two restaurants: Babel and the Greenhouse. As such the garden’s ever-changing tapestry and rich bounty of produce, informs every aspect of Babylonstoren.
Nicky discovered some wonderful interactive garden sculptures during her stay
At Babylonstoren’s Farm Hotel, the overall effect is relaxed yet well heeled with some of the existing farm buildings transformed into sophisticated guest accommodation. Set adjacent to 8 acres of cultivated fruit and vegetable garden, the hotel has thick whitewashed walls, elegant gables and hearty fireplaces that emulate an authentic farm stay experience. There are six one-bedroom suites, as well as three one-bedroom cottages and four two-bedroomed cottages.
The Farmhouse suites include nine one-bedroom suites. These all have access to an outdoor swimming pool and a hot spa area that includes a salt room, sauna and vitality pool as well as a lounge area.
Guests are encouraged to visit and participate in the harvesting of the grape vines.
There is a tasting room that sits adjacent to the Wine Cellar, offering views of Babylonstoren Hill, Simonsberg and the Banghoek Mountains. The Tasting Room is accessed via a maturation cellar revamped into a retail space, with exposed brick walls, lofty ceilings and a statuesque curving wall displaying antique farming implements.
Visit the Babylonstoren website here
Babylonstoren Hotel, Klapmuts Simondium Road, Simondium, 7670, South Africa
Nicky’s World March 2018