On our last day in Cape Town, a little over a week ago now, I joined a group of guests that included the Haas Brothers, Evan and Zesty from R & Company, and some of my favorite journalists— Helen Chislet, Lucia Van Der Post, Janelle Zara and Emma O’Kelly—and headed out to Stellenbosch for the day to visit Karen Roos’s farm, Babylonstoren.
This huge land now houses a massive farm, porcupines, ducks, a hotel, spa facilities, a coffee shop and a store. They use everything from the farm to make a variety of jams and bread, and they grow almost everything delicious you could think of: jerusalem artichokes, plums, every type of citrus fruit, a variety of grapes, pears, apples, figs . . . it goes on and on.
The grounds themselves as well as the architecture spotted throughout the 200 hectares of greenery are done with incredible taste and attention to detail. Babylonstoren has one of the best preserved werfs (farm yards) in the Cape Dutch tradition, including the Manor house from 1777 and the pioneer structures that date back to when the farm was founded in 1960. Everything looks thoughtful and taken care of without feeling forced or too manicured.
After our tour of the grounds we sat down to an incredibly delicious lunch in one of the old barns. I’d like to extend the biggest Thank You to Karen; you were a spectacular host.
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