Afrique Du Sud / Stellenpak / Western Cape

Between vineyards and mountains eroded by the time the Babylonstoren farm arises at the beginning of an asphalt ribbon bisecting the red soil of South Africa. Olive trees and cicadas are reminiscent of Provence ... Under a sun of late austral summer, the end of the long driveway lined with agapanthus and oaks appears, the mansion with white facades with lime and topped with thatch. The former estate of Babel was built in 1692 by a certain Pieter van der Byl. Nearby, descendants of hugunots, survivors of persecution of the Sun King, were scattered to the town of Franschoek, "the French corner" in Afrikaans. More straits centuries later, the main building has lost none of his nobility and grace of Karen Roos, past and present sublime. Rather than tackle a restoration of dependencies, this clever South Africa, long stylist and editor of fashion magazines in Cape Town, has created a unique place, both charming and modern farm. Visitors the opportunity to have lunch at Babel restaurant, the dishes prepared with produce from the garden, before going to lose in the garden and fill their basket of tomatoes, herbs, strawberries or pears ... Shopping at a farm shop and it carries a small corner of the field with meats, cheeses, jams from the orchard, flower honey and olive oil! The twelve cottages are designed with architect Johan Malherbe mingling with blond wood and cream some icons of design, Starck lamps, etc. .. Babylonstoren is one of the best preserved "werfs" (farm yards) in the Cape Dutch tradition. Cape Dutch architecture is named for the style of the 17th and 18th century Cape of Good Hope. Characteristic features include soft, whitewashed walls of stone or primitive brick, ornate gables and thatched roofs. The Koornhuis (for storing wheat and hay) and the old cellar are exceptionally fine. An ornate fowl house, pigeon loft, leaning bell tower and historic gates embellish a traditional courtyard surrounded by a low, whitewashed wall. In 1692, when the borders of the Cape Colony expanded after the arrival of French Huguenots, the farm was granted by Governor Simon van der Stel to the burger Pieter van der Byl.