Franschhoek is the perfect destination for a day trip being only an hour’s drive out of Cape Town and littered with world-class wine farms. While Franschhoek is well-known for its wine farms, I will be highlighting a different kind of farm in today’s blog post. Babylonstoren is a stunning farm filled with gardens of fresh produce. Walking through the pathways you’ll come across anything from carrots, spinach and beetroot to berry gardens to fruit orchards to chamomile lawns. It truly is a magical place and a day spent in the gardens does the soul a world of good.
Babylonstoren is located on the road leading into Franschhoek and is on your right before you arrive in the town. It’ll cost you R10 entrance to enjoy the beauty of the flourishing gardens. Walking through you’ll pass Old Cape Dutch Style farm houses and some grazing donkeys before entering the expanse of trees and vegetables.
Take your time to walk through each section, admiring the beautiful designs of the plants and delicious looking fruits and veggies. One of my favourite parts of the garden is the little greenhouse housing strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and any other sort of berries you can think of. I’m a berry-kinda gal and so this just excited me endlessly.
Babylonstoren isn’t only about the veggies though as you’ll find an abundance of fruit orchards that in Spring bloom with the most beautiful blossoms!
After you’ve taken in the orchards of peaches, nectarines and plums, the canopies of granadilla and the gorgeous artichoke flowers; make your way down to the restaurant in The Greenhouse.
Here you can sample some of the fine produce you’ve been looking at, showcased in delicious and simple picnic style meals.
The menu boasts a variety of lunch options from gourmet sandwiches with farm bread and cheese to fresh salads packed with greens from the garden to soups and pies. Take heart that almost all of the ingredients on your plate have been picked from the gardens that morning.
There is also the more upmarket option of the restaurant at Babel. This restaurant integrates a fine dining experience with a farm-to-table style of food. Find the seasonal menu here.
After your meal take a wander through the healing and medicinal plant garden or make your way to the new Spice garden. This greenhouse is filled with big leafy plants and the humid conditions make you feel like you’re in some tropical jungle or a scene out of Jurassic Park.
On your way back through the gardens you’ll find a prickly pear maze and human sized birds nests for you to sit in!
You can also take a leisurely stroll to the chamomile lawns and let the sweet flowers’ aroma coax you into a peaceful afternoon rest.
A day in Babylonstoren is the perfect way to escape the city’s busyness, reconnect with nature and inspire you to start growing your own fruits and veggies at home, building towards a more sustainable future. What’s your favourite day trip from Cape Town?
If you enjoy a taste of country living then why not check out my blog post on The Table at De Meye? They also have delightful veggie gardens and farm-to-table style dining.