Yesterday we celebrated Sebastian’s second birthday – it has been two years since his horrific accident and a worthy reason to rejoice life, love, and family. It was yet another salient summer’s day in Cape Town and the perfect opportunity to drive through the scenic Stellenbosch wine route. His family and I were making our way to Babylonstoren – a Cape Dutch farm with outstretched vineyards and nine acres of vegetables, fruit and herb gardens, growing in abundance!
I could hardly contain my excitement; my own little 2m2 vegetable and herb garden is just starting to sprout up and every almost-ripe cherry tomato goes onto my Instagram feed. What delighted me, even more, is that these gardens of botanical diversity supply both restaurants embedded on the farm. There is Babel, the first and more formal restaurant where you need to book a table seven months in advance, and then Die Glaskas (the Greenhouse). Babylonstoren’s food philosophy is that every dish is driven by the seasons and by what has been harvested that day… They call it “from farm to fork”. This is something I personally strive towards: to feed my family the freshest, organic produce from my own back garden – harvested, prepared and served with love.
The farm exceeded my expectations. Yards and yards of bright green produce offering nature’s finest nutrients, some that I have yet to taste. My iphone couldn’t snap away fast enough – every pumpkin, big or small, struck a pose and I nearly experience heart failure when the storage notification blocked my fun. We skipped around in sunflower fields and weight-lifted Kalabas until it was time to polish off the produce.
The Green House is situated at the back of the gardens and provides the perfect end to a day of garden tours. Refreshing beverages and light snacks are served from 8h30 till 16h00 – either inside the 26meter long glass room (yes it is actually a greenhouse which homes exotic plantation including pineapples, dragon fruit, guavas and even a baobab bush) or outside under the big oak tree. I opted for a freshly squeezed red juice (beetroot carrot and red apple) along with their salad of the day. The rest of our table snacked on similar nibbles – you can view their full menu here.
The salad was incredible; almost too picture perfect to eat! Crispy lettuce tossed uncoordinatedly with big slices of beetroot, a chunk of pumpkin, peach quarters, carrot julienne, sweet onion spirals, potatoes, and tomatoes. For Je ne sais quoi they topped it off with edible flowers and (what seems like) a mango-curried chutney. Raw vegan goodness at its best! Every dish was devoured – without guilt.
I expect Babylonstoren’s fantastic farm is seeing me again sooner rather than later as I am now inspired to give their gardens a go. It might take me a few years and I might have to demolish our washing room, but I can’t imagine a life without the abundance of an all-edible courtyard.
You can contact Babylonstoren on: