Historic architecture restored with a modern touch, an organic farm-to-fork ethos, and a calming sense of wellbeing. This destination venue is the complete package.
Are you dreaming of a relaxed, sophisticated event surrounded by loved ones in one of the most beautiful corners of the world, featuring lush gardens that provide the produce for your farm-to-fork reception meal? You may well be dreaming of South Africa’s Cape Dutch Babylonstoren. With an organic approach, the farm’s bounty informs every aspect of life at Babylonstoren, including the beautiful weddings and parties that are hosted there. With a classic, timeless beauty, you can enjoy this oasis in the simplicity that is intended or layer their clean spaces with your own style. And of course, if you’re considering a destination event, South Africa is the perfect honeymoon getaway and holiday location for your guests.
OL What is Babylonstoren’s unique offering as a wedding and event venue?
B “Babylonstoren is an authentic, versatile venue with one of the country’s best-preserved Cape Dutch farmyards, offering a historic yet contemporary farm stay. Simplicity, style, and a focus on the abundance of nature are core to any event hosted at Babylonstoren where the ever-changing tapestry and rich bounty of the gardens inform everything. Typically, our wedding ceremonies take place outdoors and we tend to host pre-reception drinks on sun-dappled green lawns overlooking vineyards and the majestic Drakenstein Mountains, whilst wedding photographs can be taken in various locations around the garden.”
OL It sounds like a dream. Who do you find is attracted to Babylonstoren and what do they love about your venue?
B “Sophisticated couples who enjoy a relaxed atmosphere love the Babylonstoren offering.” They appreciate the grounds and views, “farm-style fresh produce offering”, as well as “our three beautiful venues. These are housed in original, beautifully restored Cape Dutch farm buildings which, with their whitewashed walls, ornate gables, and thatched roofs provide an elegant environment for a wedding party, or any event for up to 100 guests”.
Unique accommodation options also await you if you and your guests wish to stay on the farm. You can sip wine in “the Butterfly Room while preparing for your celebration”. Stay at “the two-bedroom Cottage, or Farmhouse Suites” where you can “indulge yourself and enjoy exclusive use of the outdoor swimming pool and hot spa”. Or at Manor House, “our Cape Dutch homestead that dates back to 1777. The interior has been beautifully restored to its former glory, with a contemporary touch”.
OL The Babylonstoren gardens are renowned. We’d love to know more about the role they play.
B “The historic farmhouse’s formal fruit and vegetable garden is the heart of the farm. Every one of the 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible or has medicinal value. They are grown as organically as possible in a biologically sustainable manner. Visitors to the garden are encouraged to pick and eat as they walk through, and we harvest fruit and vegetables all year round for use in our two farm-to-fork restaurants.
Our medicinal garden layout follows the form of the human body with herbs to heal the head, heart, lungs, digestive system, organs, skin, bones, and feet. The trees planted in this garden are some of the ‘giants’ of African healing traditions. Herbs along the outer wall follow the seasons, summer to winter,” and are “specifically selected to heal, soothe, and balance the body through tea. Guests can enjoy the Healing Garden as a quiet place to slow down and blend herbal teas, guided by our gardener Gundula”. For wedding parties, this is “the perfect way to prepare the body and soul before the big day”.
OL As Babylonstoren exclusively hosts one event at a time, how are your celebration spaces best utilised?
B Guests can “enjoy a family-style feast in the Old Cellar, our historic barn-style building with white walls and a thatched ceiling. It seats 100 guests at one long table. Fresh, seasonal produce of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers form the heart of every dish. Our culinary style leans towards simplicity. Expect spontaneous, creatively styled platters”. Dinner is best followed with “a surprise dessert station in the White Studio” which is “characterised by its white floor, white roof, and white walls. Light and airy, it’s generally used for smaller, intimate functions or for our secret dessert station” featuring “white desserts and cheeses in this all-white space. Rosewater cupcakes, pistachio meringues, white chocolate yoghurt, ginger snaps, and a sumptuous carrot cake topped with Eureka lemon frosting” which is “perfect as a wedding cake”. Afterward, “the Wheat Barn is just the place to dance the night away or use as a lounge area” with its “wooden floors, exposed stone walls, and an open thatched ceiling”. Décor will include “carefully selected seasonal flowers, fruit, vegetables, and blossoms from our garden. Think Savoy cabbages, artichoke flowers, and fresh sprays of pear blossom”.
OL Is there an off-season at Babylonstoren?
B “We have wedding season all year round!” Your preferred season “depends on what you would like to see when you visit. Blossoms in August, Clivias in September, blooming rose towers in November, or berries, plums, and lotus flowers in December”.
Dating back to 1692, Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm that boasts one of the best-preserved farmyards in the Cape. Beloved for its magnificent garden that is laid out over 3.5 hectares (8 acres), the garden is divided into 15 sections that comprise fruit, vegetables, berries, bees for pollinating, indigenous plants, fragrant lawns, a prickly pear maze, ducks and chickens, and more. A secluded path runs along the stream where thousands of Clivias flower in spring. The garden also boasts a plethora of trees of historic and botanical import. Every aspect of Babylonstoren including the contemporary Farm Hotel and Spa, the Farm Shop, and Bakery are led by the ever-changing tapestry and botanical diversity of the garden.
All photographs are courtesy of Babylonstoren www.babylonstoren.com