Babylonstoren is a glorious wine farm to visit year-round – but I particularly love visiting this wine farm during autumn. There is something really magical about it at the end of summer before the Cape winter hits.
On the two occasions that I have been fortunate enough to visit this fabulous Franschhoek estate, both visits have come during autumn. It’s purely coincidence – but a happy chance at that.
In this photo essay, I want to share some of my highlights from my recent visit.
Currently, the estate has also the most amazing display of pumpkins in their Puff Adder tunnel. There are all shapes, sizes and colours. I was blown away by the size and beauty of these cheerful looking chaps!
An Autumnal Visit to Babylonstoren Wine Farm
It is harvest time at Babylonstoren and grapes, midsummer fruits and veggies are overflowing.
Best of all, Babylonstoren’s restaurants – Babel and Greenhouse Restaurant – have seasonally inspired menus thanks to the estate’s farm-to-table approach. This means what they serve is very much dependent on what is available.
The estate also has some exciting workshops planned during March 2021. These all-day affairs allow guests to work with experts and learn new skills.
Babylonstoren Wine Farm Workshops During March 2021
- 10 March: Basic propagation to grow your own collection
- 17 March: The secret life of bees in autumn
- 12 March: Pampoenpret (conducted in Afrikaans)
- 13 March: Join in on a pumpkin fun day! (conducted in English)
- 24 March: Picking and pressing flowers
- 31 March: Autumn decor from the garden
For more on these exciting workshops and their pricing, please see their website.
Exploring Babylonstoren’s Gardens
This working farm and wine estate is famous for the organic produce and excellent wines it produces – but it is perhaps more loved for its amazing labyrinth of gardens.
All visitors to the farm incur a small entry fee as this is a working farm but it is so worth it! I can spend hours exploring Babylonstoren, with good company or by myself and never tire of it.
At the gate, you will receive a beautifully curated informational map. This offers a detailed, numbered overview of the farm’s layout so you can find all the on-site facilities (like the shops, restaurants and accommodation) and garden highlights.
The garden is divided up into different sections. Some of my personal favourite parts include the Cycad Collection (it’s prehistoric and peaceful); Garden of the San; Stream and Clivia Walk and Puff Adder.
You can use your lovely map to navigate or you can wing it like me and just explore every corner of this vibrant farm.
Another highlight at this beautiful natural haven are the animals, which include sweet donkeys, quacking white ducks, turkeys, a variety of colourful chickens (with some very vocal roosters) and the odd tortoise or two.
Waterways, Tiles and Other Special Finds at Babylonstoren
Throughout the garden, there are unique patches with things like fun waterways (which children adore!), beautifully tiled circular patches and quirky nests.
Plus, the flowers – everything from gorgeous dahlias to sunshiny daises – plants, scrubs and trees are something else to see too!
You really can while away the hours at Babylonstoren and this farm is hugely family-friendly – but, due to the animals, it is not pet-friendly so leave your pooches at home, please.
Brave the Puffer Adder’s Belly and Discover the Pumpkins…
One of the estate’s most famous sections is the masterfully constructed Puffer Adder tunnel. This unique timber structure, which even features a living tree in the middle, is a sight to see.
For its creation, 362 160 stones were used for the floor alone; the floor was designed by Katie Lewis and overseen by Terry de Waal.
The tunnel is constructed from balau slats on a steel frame and as it eliminates 40% of the sunlight, it is ideal for showcasing their displays. Usually it is home to the clivia display each spring – but this time, I got to see the pumpkins in all their glory.
This was definitely my favourite part of my latest visit to Babylonstoren… and when you see all these pumpkins, you might understand why.
It’s silly but I have always wanted to experience a slice of Halloween with the Jack-o’-lanterns and I think this is the closest I will come to that for a long while… maybe ever.
Whether you are a pumpkin patch fan or not, this display is incredible. Especially when some of the pumpkins weigh as much as 90 kilograms, while others are smaller than an adult’s fist.
The Puffer Adder tunnel itself is great to walk through and it’s definitely worth a visit, pumpkins or no.
Farm Shop Galore
Babylonstoren also has the most beautiful on-site stores, so to speak. The Farm Shop features a Bakery, Cheese Room, Meat Room, Lekker Room (filled with treats) and Scented Room.
Each section offers the most incredible array of Babylonstoren-themed products – everything from beautiful farm animal toys to thoughtful gifts, honey, wines, postcards and crafts and so much more.
Whether you shop with your eyes or your wallet – the rooms are all worth visiting!
Restaurants, Garden Spa and Farm Accommodation
Babylonstoren is also loved for its restaurants – Babel and Greenhouse Restaurant – Garden Spa and gorgeous, quality accommodation offerings. There is the hotel, farmhouse, cottages and family houses for guests to enjoy.
If you need a little pampering, the Garden Spa has you covered with some excellent, soothing treatments in a tranquil setting.
Whether you visit this estate for the day or an extended stay, it is sure to take your breath away – and keep you returning to its exquisite grounds time and time again.
For more information on Babylonstoren’s incredible offerings, please contact them directly: +27 (021) 863 3852 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can visit their website or explore the estate for yourself at: Babylonstoren, Klapmuts-Simondium Road, Simondium, Western Cape, South Africa.
Author: Tamlyn Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.