It’s spring in the Boland and the garden is buzzing with golden-hued activity. But we’re also taking the time to stop and smell the roses. 

After a seemingly endless winter, the garden has now transformed into a lush, verdant paradise filled with birdsong, bees and flowers. The fruit trees have shed their blossoms and firm little nectarines, plums and apricots now peek from behind their leafy covers, while we’ve already harvested the first flush of cherries. 

In the vegetable garden, seedlings are sprouting their bright green leaves. Our gardeners have already planted the autumn pumpkins and sweet potato seedlings, while the first cucumbers and tomatoes are stretching their lanky limbs up, up, upwards in the nursery tunnels. We’re also still harvesting the delicious spring bounty of strawberries, raspberries and bucketloads of mint to season our salads and drinks. 

Come and smell the roses 

We’re celebrating all things roses this November. You’ll be welcomed by a collection of blooms in our ticket office and can follow their fragrance all the way to the Puff Adder walkway, which has been transformed into a fragrant runway for our second ever rose exhibition.

This year, all the roses on display come from Babylonstoren’s nursery tunnels where our very own green-fingered queen of crops, Elzé Bresler, has patiently nursed the delicate blooms for the past year, coaxing them to unfurl their fragrant petals. We’ll be showcasing a revolving range of more than 200 roses at their peak throughout November. 

This exhibition perfectly complements our towering pergolas of sweet-smelling roses that grace the garden. Favourites include the likes of Mme Alfred Carrière, Lamarque, Albéric Barbier, Souvenir de la Malmaison and Mermaid. November is the best time to see – and smell – these heritage roses at their absolute best. 

All abuzz 

Energised by the warmer weather, the bees in the garden are hard at work, collecting pollen and nectar from various hotspots in the garden, including the lavender flowers around the fish ponds, waterlily flowers and borage flowers in the edible flower garden. Resident bee-man Arné Stander is keeping an eye on the new brood in our beehives, and has started collecting the first batches of the season’s golden nectar. 

The taste of spring 

Look out for these delicious seasonal flavours this November: 

  • Our apricot trees will bear their juicy sweet crop for a few fleeting weeks only. Grab one right from the tree. 
  • Join us for a laid-back bite and jazz under the oaks at the Greenhouse Restaurant, from 16h00 to 18h00 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  
  • Taste the seasonal bounty from the garden on your plate in Babel Restaurant. Chef Schalk Vlok and his team conjure up a fresh menu almost twice weekly, depending on what’s available from the morning harvest. 

Babylonstoren brings the joy 

It’s celebration time at Babylonstoren and our Joy Bringers are weaving a little wonder into the festive season. We’ll start ruffling our festive feathers on the farm from mid-November – in the meantime, allow our Joy Bringers to deliver a taste of the farm to your doorstep this festive season. Experience the joy of a meal shared with loved ones, of lighting a spark with a thoughtful gift, and composing new holiday rituals.

To make this happen, we’ve stocked our arsenal of holiday season spoils with everything from easy, ready-to-prepare meal kits to wistful gifts. Look out for our all-new fruit cake options, easy-to-assemble grazing boards that celebrate the season, and classic new table linen for the most ambient festive table.   

Holiday Season Spoils

Sip-sip, hooray! 

We’re thrilled that several of our wines recently received local and international recognition. Six of our wines received a special mention in the 2023 Tim Atkin South Africa report, while on local soil, Babel, Nebukadnesar, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Viognier all walked away with a gold medal at the 2023 Veritas Awards. 

Our cellar team is also floating on cloud nine after releasing the new flagship In die Wolke Pinot Noir. Only 2000 bottles of this prestige wine were made, so it will be available exclusively in Babel or online for Wine Club members.  

Workshops on the farm   

Our 2024 workshop calendar has just launched! There are more than 100 to choose from covering everything from bread baking, ice cream churning and fruit preserving to composting, hen-keeping and vegetable growing. There’s really something for everyone to come and join in on the farm fun – and we think a workshop would make for a truly wonderful gift. 

November Farm Workshops   

7 November – Festive table: Showstopping summer salads   

8 November – Follow the sweet scent of Babylonstoren’s fragrant garden roses  

15 November – Unlock the diversity of indigenous succulents 

22 November – Culinary herb workshop 

28 November – Birding at Babylonstoren 

29 November – Japanese florals in the Winelands: A study in ikebana 

30 November – Pasta from scratch