Babylon in the Wine Lands
Nathalie reads lots of other peoples blogs, but specifically those with a design bent for interiors, clothing and styling. The good thing about this is that I get to see the ‘best of’ from these blogs too and recently this meant a blog by a fellow South African called She had us at hello…
I think the writer of the blog was in Cape Town at the same time as us and it was through this blog that we ended up at Babylonstoren in the winelands an hour from Cape Town.
We wouldn’t do a trip to Cape Town without at least one or two trips to wine farms and had already been to Bodega at Dornier (owned by the Swiss family famous for the planes) for lunch and some wine tasting.
But having seen the pictures from Dee Purdy on her blog of Babylonstoren – it looked like a massive step up in the competitive wine farm market and so we took the drive out whilst Cassius had his morning sleep in the back of the car for lunch (which we had outside in the Courtyard) as the Restaurant – Babel – is booked months in advance.
As we had initially planned to go and see the penguins in Boulders that day (a plan scuppered by high tide and no beach to sit on) I had the Nikon FE with me and a choice of close or wide lenses only, at 85mm and 24mm and so would love to go back with something in the middle too for a more regular framing. Thankfully I had plenty of Ektar 100 with me as this has to be the best slow colour film for perfect balance.
The other reason I want to go back however is because not only are the restaurant and grounds stunning but the food is some of the best we have eaten in as long as either of us can remember and much better than anything we can find in Hong Kong.
The restaurant itself is a glass sided barn with an open kitchen at one end and the menu written on the tiled wall at the other.
And unlike the majority of restaurants putting out great food – Babel is amazingly relaxed and happy to accommodate families with children that seemed to be happier playing in a bucket than having anything to eat.
You can’t buy the wine as the growth from the farm is so low but you can drink it with lunch and the majority of the ingredients are grown in the formal garden in the grounds surrounding the kitchen.
And after the relaxed meal that took hours with no rush to turn tables you would expect there to be a ‘but’…..but there isn’t as the bill came and was so embarrassingly low that I found myself talking to the staff about putting their prices up. Before anyone in South Africa tells me about the Rand and how poor it is compared to the Dollar, they need to go to this restaurant and see how much cheaper it is than mediocre food in Cape Town or on other Wine Farms as this is not a comparison to Hong Kong.