Finally back at my studio and catching up on all the blog posts I didn’t get around to last year. First up is my absolutely favourite place in Cape Town: Babylontsoren. I remember the first time I went there around four years ago with two friends. We wandered around the gardens for hours in the soft summer heat and lazily ate a wonderfully fresh meal at the Greenhouse tea garden while sipping on their crisp Chenin Blanc wine. Since then I have been back on numerous occasions and each time I go I discover something new. The friend I went with originally, Janice McLean, celebrated her thirtieth birthday in November and we wanted to do something truly special for her. Instead of buying an expensive gift, Lauren and I arranged for a surprise Babylonstoren experience at the Garden Spa and Babel restaurant.   1-babylonstoren-with-its-hill-left-simonsberg garden 3-spinning-in-the-prickly-pear-maze   We arrived early one Saturday morning, walked through the lush gardens to the spa area where we were graciously welcomed. After storing our belongings in their beautiful changing rooms and feeling spoilt in their crips white linen gowns we relaxed in the sun room until it was time for our Hamman treatments. The quintessential Garden Spa experience is the private Hamman water ritual that takes place in their beautiful, purpose-built marble Hamman. It’s an ancient cleansing ritual that is supremely good at relieving stress. The treatment increases circulation, relieves muscle tension, increases metabolism and keeps skin fresh as it rinses out toxins. We opted for the intensive Babylonstoren honey and salt scrub option that stimulates blood circulation and encourages cell renewal. There are no words to describe it.   spa 14-garden-herbs-and-africology 4-spa-beach 6-spa-hammam hamman 8-hammam-treatment pool 10-cottage-bedroom-and-bathroom spa-2   After our incredible treatment we soaked up the summer sun by their natural pool that is available for hotel guests and spa visitors. They have two big tubes to lie on that made for a great early afternoon swim to work up an appetite for our delicious meal. I have only ever eaten at the Greenhouse tea garden so I was very excited to try out the intimate signature restaurant, Babel. All fresh produce used in the dishes are planted and harvested in their garden. Whatever they do not produce themselves is sourced locally. The food is simple, generous and honest. The head chef is currently Cornelle Minie who works closely with their baker, gardeners and with the award-winning food consultant and stylist, Maranda Engelbrecht. Maranda’s unbelievable taste is evident throughout the Babylonstoren farm to help create an extraordinary place offering unique experiences.   2-babel-at-noon babel 10-babel-family 9-babel 15-pumpkin-in-the-seasonal-yellow-salad 11-red-green-and-yellow-salads 3-the-restaurant-babel 4-babel-at-sunset-simonsberg-as-backdrop   I booked another spa day with girlfriends to surprise our friend for her baby shower weekend. We booked pedicures and it was the most luxurious morning. The beauticians lay you down on a warm bed to scrub, polish, paint and massage you to a point where not a trace of stress could possibly be left in your body. So why do we keep going back to Babylonstoren? It’s an experience like no other. Visiting the farm even just for an hour or two transports you away from the rushed city life where you can be completely immersed into nature, taste fine wines, sample delicious foods, swim in a natural pool or have a relaxing spa day leaving you feeling refreshed and pampered. I have yet to find a place to equal it’s simple, authentic beauty.   greenhouse 5-babel-chefs-in-the-kitchen-garden greenhouse-1   Thank you to Babylonstoren for these incredible experiences and for supplying me with the gorgeous photographs and information.

Babel Restaurant, Babylonstoren, Garden Spa

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Maria Magdalena is a Cape Town based contemporary illustrator celebrating an elegant simplicity through intricate lines of ink. Shop the current collections online or order your custom original illustration today.

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