A Renovated South African Farm Inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Hailing back to 1692, South Africa’s Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm that evokes images of the Garden of Eden. Spread across eight acres, the property’s gardens are woven together in a maze-like tapestry of sectional plots, each one brimming with different types of plants, trees, berries, fruits, vegetables, and beehives. Inspired equally by the hanging gardens of Babylon and van Riebeeck’s garden (which supplied ships sailing between Asia and Europe), the rural retreat now functions as a working farm. Vineyards, orchards, wheat fields, and a rice paddy speckle the grounds. Olive and oak trees coalesce near whitewashed stone walls, with the Simonsberg mountains and a bubbling creek in the background.
A recent renovation added nine additional suites to the farmhouse-style hotel, each one showcasing four-poster beds and old-fashioned European stoves. Babel, the on-site farm-to-table restaurant, has been updated with new kitchens and additional indoor and outdoor seating for up to 80 guests. Housed in an old cowshed, the trendy restaurant incorporates the garden’s fresh produce onto the menu for daily diversity. A new tasting room with floor-to-ceiling glass walls overlooks the vineyards outside, giving guests the perfect place to sip wine as they soak in the surrounding majesty. (babylonstoren.com)