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Destinations · Africa · south africa · Paarl · Where to sleep ·

Babylonstoren

Author: Igors Tolstiks0 COMMENTS

Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren is a Cape Dutch farm dating back to the 17th century. In those days farmers were growing food there to restock ships traveling around the Cape of Good Hope. The snow-white, almost impeccably preserved ensemble of buildings with its iconic bell tower is a great representation of Cape Dutch architecture and is located in a picturesque Drakenstein Valley, in midway between Franshuk and Paarl. Nowadays the complex of ancient farm houses is turned into a cozy hotel and a restaurant, surrounded by lush gardens. It's a heaven on earth for gardening aficionados, especially the ones who are keen on vegetable growing.

Foto: BabylonstorenFoto: Babylonstoren

The ancient Babylonstoren kitchen garden was completely redesigned four years ago by acclaimed French architect Patrice Taravella, even a layer of soil was replaced there. Specially designed irrigation ponds and canals, each with its own flora and fauna, bring water to the plants and trees, and you will notice narrow, life-sustaining streams passing front doors of those old Dutch houses.
The very essence of modern comfort and esthetics hides behind these old walls. There are impressive bathrooms and fully equipped western-style kitchens where guests can cook their own meals. Indeed, cooking in such an environment is a pleasure in itself!

Foto: BabylonstorenFoto: BabylonstorenFoto: Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren invites its guests to roam the labyrinth of the huge, 200 hectares garden and to pick freely from its profusion. There is no need whatsoever to carry any vegetables in a plastic bag from a supermarket - just pick a handful of fresh spring onions or pull some juicy carrots straight out of the ground!
Scarecrows are a truly ingenious detail there and are intended to keep birds away from berries, but ducks are put to work to free the vines from snails. There are also hens and roosters, and all of them getting along very well.
Bees are buzzing in blue lavender fields and sun-heated thyme, rosemary and laurels are giving off their specific aromas. Raspberries, strawberries and bilberry bushes ripen their berries, carefully shaded from the scorching African sun. Clivias are blooming, and oranges and plums are ripening near the ancient farm gate, entwined with roses. It can happen that the biblical story of the snake, guarding the apple tree involuntarily comes to your mind - after all those harmless or hazardous crawlers are quite typical for Africa, too.
It's Africa in the very height of summer in the middle of November!

Klapmuts-Simondium Road, Paarl, 7646, Western Cape, South Africa
www.babylonstoren.com

01/2013

 

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