What’s on in DecemberDecember 13th, 2022
It’s that time of year when we start dreaming about lazy mornings with tea and rusks, bright days at the beach and endless afternoons spent with the ones we love. Here on the farm a festive spirit is in the air – from our festive pop-up shop overflowing with gifts for everyone on your list, to a new summer menu at Babel Restaurant.
In the garden’s stone fruit block, the fleeting flush of rosy-cheeked apricots is almost over. Early cling peach varieties like Transvalia are just starting to ripen, while Margaret’s Pride will be ready for the picking around Christmas. And while our farmers have already finished the first harvest of plums in the orchards, you will still find plenty of juicy plums in the garden to dig your teeth into.
Our chamomile lawn is in bloom, the delicate white petals offering their sweet fragrance in the gentle summer breeze. In the lily ponds at the lower end of the guava avenue, the first lotus flowers are peeking out after spending the winter months dormant under water. And, of course, the lavender in front of Babel and in the fields at the foot of the Babylonstoren koppie are in full bloom. The blooms from the extraordinarily perfumed Lavandula ‘Grosso’ – with its distinctive purple and grey-green colouration and unmistakable fragrance – is used to create our own essential oils, distilled and bottled in the Scented Room.
The gardening team is also busy giving the espaliered apples and quinces their summer pruning, allowing the trees to form crisp, juicy fruits come late summer and autumn.
5 THINGS TO SEE AND TASTE
◗ If you’re visiting the farm this month, pop in at our Christmas pop-up shop in the Scented Room. We have a host of gorgeous gifts for everyone on your list. Make your selection and allow us to tie it with a Babylonstoren bow at our complimentary wrapping station.
◗ The raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are ripening in the garden’s berry block, offering a sweet taste of summer.
◗ In our Kitchen Garden (also called the Moestuin), the summer pumpkins, sunflowers and bush beans are filling the beds. Ask a gardener to show you the difference between the male and female flowers of baby marrows, and take a minute to smell their gentle early-morning perfume.
◗ In the rice paddies on the other side of the stream, the carnaroli seeds we sowed early summer are sprouting their tender green tips.
If you seek refuge in the shade of the Puff Adder on a warm December day, you’ll find our annual bonsai exhibition on display. These miniature sculpted trees have been cultivated in South Africa for more than 85 years, and we were one of the first countries outside Asia to use indigenous trees. Come and admire the artistry of creating these living art pieces.
BEST HOTEL IN SOUTH AFRICA
Babylonstoren’s Farm Hotel was named the best hotel in South Africa at the first annual Luxe 100 Best Awards Ceremony, celebrating the best of South African hospitality. The award followed after we had been selected as the winning accommodation spot in the Best of Wine Tourism Awards for 2023.
If learning a new skill is on your list of resolutions for the new year, our 2023 workshops will provide plenty of opportunities. We’ve added more than 20 new workshops to our calendar so you can join in on the farm fun. See the complete list of workshops on our website.