The Babylonstoren Spice Garden is a Feast For the Senses
Complete with aromatic plants, verdant palms and tropical fish, the Babylonstoren Spice Garden is the latest addition to the renowned Cape Winelands farm.
Known for its historic roots, diverse gardens, alluring aesthetic and magical location surrounded by the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek mountain ranges, Babylonstoren in Simondium, Western Cape, is one of the most picturesque working farms in South Africa.
It has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a fruit and wine farm in 1692, and today boasts a 3.5 hectare fruit and vegetable garden, a succulent house, a healing garden, and 300 varieties of edible and medicinal plants, as well as world-class accommodation and eateries, a spa, wine cellar, scent room and gift shop.
Now the farm has added to its already impressive offering with the Babylonstoren Spice Garden.
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Located adjacent to the farm's healing garden, in a domed conservatory-style structure, the Babylonstoren Spice Garden is a feast for the senses. It is inspired by Africa's spice trade with Asia, and features aromatic plants from which the main spices that were traded during that time originate – namely cinnamon, clove and nutmeg trees; greater galangal, ginger and turmeric plants; and black pepper vines.
Because these plants thrive in a warm, tropical environment, the walls and roof of the Babylonstoren Spice Garden are constructed from polycarbonate glazing to simultaneously retain heat and provide protection against the sun. This, combined with a heated pond underneath the garden's slatted wooden floor, ensures that the humid interior is always at the optimal temperature regardless of the weather.
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In an ode to the continent that originally provided the spices we have in Africa today, tropical fish from Asia swim underfoot and in two glass aquariums. From striped zebrafish and colourful paradise fish to the silver-hued tinfoil barb and bala shark, each one has been carefully selected for their appearance and compatibility.
The Babylonstoren Spice Garden is available for private functions for groups of between 13 and 24 people, at R290 a head, and guests will be treated to a fragrant three-course meal infused with the spices growing around them.
The summer menu includes freshly baked bread and farm butter with ginger, curry leaf and tumeric; a garden harvest salad with spicy relish, handcrafted cheese and charcuterie; and vanilla bean ice cream served with cacao crumbs and spiced almonds. Make your booking by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.