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A collusion of ancient and modern in South Africa’s Cape Winelands

South Africa: foraging for herbs, and a feast for the eyes

A collusion of ancient and modern in South Africa’s Cape Winelands

January 02 2011
Maria Shollenbarger

Visitors to the Cape Winelands of South Africa are promised a new and unexpected combination of aesthetic and culinary gratification. Babylonstoren (www.babylonstoren.com; from R3,950, about £355) is one of the oldest working farms in Franschhoek, run by local design maven and former Elle Decoration editor Karen Roos.

The small number of chic accommodations on site are housed in the farm’s impeccably renovated or rebuilt 17th- and 18th-century outbuildings; each has its own super-modern glass cube of a kitchen (pictured) overlooking terraces planted with herbs, in which guests are welcome to forage for their dinner. They enjoy full access to 200-plus hectares of vegetable plots, orchards and breathtaking gardens designed by Patrice Taravella (renowned for the gardens at Le Prieuré Notre-Dame d’Orsan).