I cannot believe that Nic, Ash and I have been living in Cape Town for close to two and a half years already. Ash is such a Cape Town boy, he’s happiest when near the beach, in water, watching surfers catch a wave or chasing seagulls and sunsets on his scooter. I slipped back into my old Cape Town life pretty easily and Nic, well Nic now calls Cape Town home. I do sometimes forget that he still hasn’t been to very many of the more tourist-like destinations such as Franschoek or the Cable Car or, or, or. We were in desperate need of a family day out, away from the hustle and bustle of the city but not too far away that the kids would start to get antsy in the backseat. It had been a good few years since I last visited Babylonstoren (pre-kids life). I’d attended many lovely media events at the farm but had never been in my own capacity. “Where is it”, asked Nic – close to Franschoek. Right, well that settled things, we bundled the kids into the car and set out for some much needed R&R and fresh air. “Welcome to Babylonstoren” – and breathe…
I’m not going to wax lyrical about the spot, the photos speak for themself and would be enough to lure anybody to these gorgeous farm gardens. But, I will say this. Have kids in Cape Town? Visiting Cape Town with kids? Do yourself a favour and pay the farm a visit – your sanity will thank you for this later. There’s enough space to run freely without having to “shush” the little ones every five minutes. The staff are so accommodating and friendly and the kids will be in their element amongst all of the fruit trees and lei water sloots. Be sure to give the donkeys a friendly pat and they will return the gesture with the softest nuzzle – a highlight for Ash. He wasn’t so sure about the turkeys though, probably because they were the same size as him, the sweet little fuzz ball chicks made up for the poultry scare though.
We took our time and meandered through the gardens, popping our heads into the Farm Shop – you need at least a full hour to peruse and decide what to purchase. The store is packed full of edible treats of delight, from the most gorgeous lemons (they taste just as good), to local farm cheeses, farm butter, exquisite cuts of meat (there is an onsite butchery too), preserves, freshly baked breads (do yourself a favour and purchase a garlic bread wheel for home). Nic had his eye on a dry-aged Rib Eye and I wanted butter, butter, butter!
After our stop at the Farm Shop we ambled along through the gardens. Asha took the lead, he was now known as “Asha, Reader Of Maps” and after a sunny walk, we soon came across The Greenhouse, the perfect spot for lunch with the kids. Casual, easy dining, you’re able to choose to sit either outside or in the conservatory. Just remember, you can’t book, so if it’s busy you may need to wait for a table to open up. Nic was ravenous and we ordered straight away with some juice shots, along with THE BIGGEST BOEREWORS ROLLS EVER and a Cape Malay pie with some crispy potatoes with those gorgeous lemons to squeeze all over them. I ended up asking for more lemon wedges because – citrus delight. Waitrons bought buckets for the kids to play in the lei water which was probably a highlight of the day.
After lunch we ambled back through the gardens, picking one or two naartjies off the trees and eating them (you’re allowed to) as we went. We met two naartjie farmers along the way who had escaped to Babylonstoren for the day due to the Whacky Wine Festival happening in Robertson that weekend. The fresh air and naartjie conversation was all sorts of glorious and before we left, we stopped at the Farm Shop to collect a few goodies to take home.
It was such a lovely afternoon, exactly what the doctor ordered. There is so much more to see and do and write about at Babylonstoren but I’ll save that for another post. So if you’re looking for something to do this weekend with the kids, take a drive out to Babylonstoren and don’t forget to take a few of those lovely lemons home with you – your salads will thank you for it.
Happy Farm Visits x