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Babylonstoren - a winter wonderland

by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold and Kirsten Hill on 28.06.2015

There is a beautiful integrity about Babylonstoren. Layers of history have been lovingly restored and perfectly complemented with 21st century modernity, design and luxury. It is a place brimming with stories, carefully curated for visitors to uncover. 

Among the old oaks and olives, a series of landhuisies have been built to accommodate guests.

Babel - a star attraction for foodies, makes for a wondrous evening dining experience. Offering a limited and well-priced set menu, it transforms top quality produce, mostly harvested on the farm itself or sourced from local suppliers, into passionately crafted cuisine.

It offers an intriguing selection of top local wines and estate treasures - such as the beautifully balanced Babylonstoren 2013 Shiraz.

Babel exudes a warm country atmosphere complemented by what is, quite simply, fabulous food, admirably 'unfussy' and, above all, true to the earth.

The old cowshed has been converted into a cool milk-white restaurant, Babel. 

Where the soul is nurtured, the body is nourished and the mind rests ...

Babylonstoren is a place with a warm heart and a gentle, generous spirit, captured in it's easy charm and enchanting spaces. .. but also in the effortless hospitality and gracious smiles of the estate staff who greet you as you stroll it's orchards and gardens - where every one of it's over 300 species of plants is edible.

Breakfast in the Glaskas is a beautiful affair. 

Farm labourers cottages have been converted into guest accommodation of the captivating kind.

Melding Cape Dutch architecture with clean-lined contemporary style, it's a gentle transition from the mesmerising wintery watercolour of the gardens to the inviting interior of your cottage.

The interiors are appropriately plain, yet utterly luxurious, a mix of modern basics with antique pieces and stylish touches. 

Here, generous floor plans expose a natural, neutral colour palette - elements of bare-brick, stone, and wood merge harmoniously with the pale screeded cement floors. A glass-box style kitchen space ensures the beauty of the natural environment is within sight.

Whilst the carefully considered overall design of the interiors includes clever heating and cooling elements that help to maximise the cottages warm- and cool-weather credentials!

Slotted into one wall of each suite, a spacious glass box contains a dining and cooking area, with views over the garden or into the trees.

Beautiful beds beckon you to curl up and cosy yourself beneath their covers, and expansive bathrooms offer the ultimate in indulgent comfort. ... Because here, luxury is all about feeling comfortable. No opulence, no drama, no theatre.

Babylonstoren is a soul-detox. 

In the words of Karen Roos herself: “Above all, we would like visitors to ground themselves again. We hope they’ll enjoy the mountains all round as much as our team does, pick their own biologically grown fruit and veg, play petanque, swim in the plaasdam, enjoy an hour in the spa, eat a simple fresh dish at the restaurant, walk up the conical Babylonstoren hill, enjoy a sundowners of wine from around the Simonsberg, slip in between sheets of crisp linen and drift away ... More or less.”

Winter is the perfect time to dress up in hats, scarves and boots and drink in the beauty of nature. 

Babylonstoren is as nice, if not nicer, in winter. It is less crowded and the gardens are lush and green. Extra touches like plenty of firewood for the big open fireplaces, underfloor heating, gum boots and umbrellas in the cottages make winter just wonderful...and between May and September you can stay over for 30% less.

Stay from Monday to Thursday and they will include a choice of two dinners or two spa treatments or ask them about their "Stay 4 Pay 3 Package". 

Pear and gorgonzola bread from the Plaasstal. 

Cottages range from R3 700 for a single suite to R6 050 for a double suite cottage. Contact Cindy at or visit For inspiration visit their blog at

Babylonstoren dressed in winter.