We’re determined to overcome this unwavering winter as the garden ruffles its flowers for Garden Day. Meanwhile, the farm celebrates olives as we enjoy later sunsets filled with live music under the oaks.  

It’s been a grey spring thus far. Winter continues to rain on our parade but we love dancing in it, and that’s exactly what we’ll do to summon the sunshine.   

Luckily, the Babylonstoren garden is enjoying an easy awakening from its winter slumber. New stone fruits are taking shape as bright pink blossoms unfurl, and our gardening team are planting seedlings by the spadefuls to ensure a bumper crop come summer. We’re also harvesting spring peas, globe artichokes and red-ripe strawberries. These and other tasty morsels from the Babylonstoren garden are sure to make an appearance on the new spring menu in Babel Restaurant.  

Further afield, farmer Ian and his team are thinning out stone fruits and the last of the olive trees are getting their annual trim. Towards the end of October, they’ll also replant the carnaroli rice paddy behind the waterblommetjie dam to ensure a fresh harvest of Babylonstoren risotto rice come autumn.  

Garden Day  

What better way to summon the sunshine than with Garden Day on 15 October? We’re throwing the garden gates wide open and encourage visitors to come and enjoy the sweet-smelling spring peas and blooming clivia clusters for the entire week. 

Join our garden team on 10 and 12 October and create a head-turning flower crown using fynbos and greenery. You can also book for the exclusive harvest feast in the garden, which includes a guided after-hours walk. There’s space for only a handful of outdoor-loving enthusiasts, so book your spot.  

Hotel hat-trick  

To soak in the sunshine, you can bike through the budding vineyards, pick something to snack on straight from the tree and dip your toes into the channelled water streams – this is farm living.  

The Babylonstoren Farm Hotel now boasts a third feather in its cap as we’ve been named the best hotel in southern Africa in the 2023 Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards – for the third consecutive year!  

The Babylonstoren spa was also crowned best in the world at the recent Awards for Hospitality Experience and Design held in Dubai. Surrounded by picturesque mountains, with views over the vineyards and Simonsberg’s peaks, our hot spa is the epitome of luxury farm living. Judges at the 2023 AHEAD Awards described the spa as a “holistic wellness experience” with its double hammam, Rasul chamber and multiple pools.  

Get the Golden Ticket  

Babylonstoren celebrates olives in October. Our trees thrive in the loamy soils of the Simonsberg Mountain and we produce the golden good stuff from 13 cultivars growing on the farm. Babylonstoren’s three different tins of extra virgin olive oil all tell the story of this ancient heirloom. Each unique, all three exceptional! 

At this year’s SA Olive Oil Awards all three extra virgin olive oils were awarded, with one silver and two gold medals.  

Black Beauty 

And what goes better with olive oil than balsamic vinegar? It’s a match made in heaven … and in the Babylonstoren cellar! In October, our winemaker and balsamic master Klaas Stoffberg will be bottling the farm’s prized 12-year-old balsamic vinegar. This annual decanting of the traditional Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena is a novelty in South Africa, as the vinegar is made from imported barrels of must from lambrusco and trebbiano grapes grown in Italy. It’s bottled right here in the Boland at Babylonstoren and only a limited number of 100 ml bottles are made from the small barrel.   

Birdsong and the Blues  

To relish the longer days of spring and summer, we’re playing live music at the Greenhouse Restaurant in Babylonstoren’s garden from 16h00 to 18h00 daily. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the garden, before heading to the Old Bakery for an evening feast – and there are now more opportunities to do so. 

Italian nights in Babylonstoren’s Old Bakery are expanding and will now be taking place on Monday, Tuesday and Friday evenings. The four-course set menu starts with an antipasti and salad offering, followed by homemade pasta and moreish wood-fired pizza, to be enjoyed to your heart’s content.  

Wine Farm Workshops  

Visiting Babylonstoren soon? Book one of our garden-inspired workshops for a behind-the-scenes look at farm life. These are a few of our workshops happening in October:

3 October – A bug’s life (4–7-year-olds) 

3 October – A bug’s life (8–12-year-olds) 

4 October – Craft your own homemade soaps  

5 October – Taste of Spring: Grandma’s green fig preserve 

10 October – GARDEN DAY: Make your own flower crown 

11 October – Discover the secrets of traditional Italian balsamic vinegar 

12 October – GARDEN DAY: Make your own flower crown 

15 October – GARDEN DAY: Sunset harvest table & guided walk  

18 October – Discover the secret life of bees 

24 October – Discover the secret life of insects (adults) 

25 October – Discover the healing powers of herbs