BABYLONSTOREN, WESTERN CAPE:
Possibly the most inspiring garden in this country at the moment, Babylonstoren is an amazingly designed three and a half hectares of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers surrounded by the mountains. Each of the 300 plant varieties has a medicinal use, and there are orchards, streams, greenhouses, knot gardens, olive gardens and a tea garden where you can do a healing ceremony.
A weekend here is pretty close to heaven if you’re a gardener or a romantic. Babylonstoren is inspired by the Company’s Garden in the Cape in the 18th century, which supplied sailing ships of the Dutch East India Company with fresh vegetables and fruit during the days when the Cape was a halfway station between Europe and Asia – and it has mythological lashings of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Babylonstoren uses sustainable organic methods – and the produce is harvested all year round for use in two “farm-to-fork restaurants”, as they’re dubbed. Stay at the Farm Hotel or the Farmhouse, with thick whitewashed walls, elegant gables and hearty fireplaces.
There are daily tours at 10am – and you’re invited to smell, touch, taste, pick while you walk. +27 (0)21 863 3852.