I am the first to admit that it takesĀ  a lot to impress me when it comes to hotels and venues. When I am, its always such a pleasant surprise. I attended the launch of one such a venue, Babylonstoren, in the Cape Winelands. The organisers, my good friened Joy from Rovos Rail, being one of them could not have asked for more perfect weather. Blue skies, bright sunshine all added to the magic. Upon arrival we were welcomed with home made ice cream and sage and orange iced tea… and serenaded by a sole accordian player. This set the scene for a relaxed and joyful day with old friends and industry players.

We were given some time to stroll through the 2.5 hectare, historical vegetable garden (dating back to 17thC), the clivia garden which contains 7000 clivia plants and the 14 cottages. Along the way we were treated further to plump strawberries and a delicious station serving roasted pecans, cheese, parma ham and probably best biltong I have ever had, and of course a lovely glass of chilled sauvignon blanc. The cottages are large and all look onto the formal gardens. The interiors are contemporary, with white and sandalwood being the dominant palette.

After a leisurely stroll we made our way to Babel Restaurant where we were treated to further delicacies, such as duck pancakes and plum sauce, marinated guava’s and delicious baguette sandwiches.

Babylonstoren the hotel opens officially in first week of December and the restaurant opens 10 November. I urge you to go take a look, stay a while and enjoy the magical atmosphere.