Travel

For the better part of a decade owners Koos Bekker and Karen Roos lovingly worked on restoring a 300-year-old farm at the base of the Simonsberg mountains into a wine destination in its own right. There are only thirteen rooms (formerly farm-workers’ cottages) and each one is whitewashed and pristine with an open floor plan and modern furnishings from the likes of Kartell and Bourellec Bros. For those in need of something more generously sized, whether it’s for themselves or for a couples getaway, the five-bedroom Owner’s House is pretty special, and features checkerboard floors in the bathrooms, a soaking tub, and the farm kitchen with its own wood-burning stove. On property, an eight-acre walled garden informs much of the menu at its restaurant, Babel, which churns out deliciously fresh meals. (In the summer months, it’s yellow tomatoes, apricots, and gooseberries, while a winter menu may feature, say, a slow-cooked lamb leg in a red wine sauce.) For a bit of pampering, spa treatments can be had in the bamboo pavilion, which also includes a Hammam. Guests can participate in the harvest, pruning, and picking (they provide trowels and gloves), and they also offer wine tastings, though Babylonstoren is also within easy striking distance of South Africa’s other celebrated vineyards. If you’re in need of an expert to help you plan a longer Africa trip, consider Deborah Calmeyer, a trip-planning ace at ROAR Africa, who can set you up at Babylonstoren and beyond.

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