Today I visited the wonderful Babylonstoren. I’ve been wanting to go there for ages, so when my friend Dechen suggested going there, I leapt at the suggestion.
It helped that today was a perfect, hot day with puffs of white clouds in the brilliant blue sky. The mountains were clear. The cicadas noisy. But Babylonstoren is a delight. It is well-ordered and beautifully conceived with the gardens set out in a grid pattern with clear paths covered with peach pips. The entrance takes you past a lavender garden.
And then you wander through avenues of stone fruit, citrus and olive trees, gardens of vegetables, bowers of roses, a prickly pear maze, a clivia walk next to the river, lotus ponds, slatted tunnels on which grow marrows and another from which strawberries hang in balls. Pomegranates and quinces and guavas grow in rows and hedges. A walled mulberry garden is a home for silkworms. And there is an insect hotel.
The main restaurant wasn’t open today but we were more than happy sitting outside the Greenhouse.
We had home-baked ciabatta with cheese and a fresh salad served in a jar with two little jars of homemade chutney and salad dressing – simple and delicous. A wicked cheesecake and good coffee left us most satisfied.
After lunch we did more walking and wandering, taking our shoes off to walk on the patches of camomile and thyme, and to sit with feet in the lei water.
I wondered about the many elements that made the visit to Babylonstoren such a delight. The order and productive, practical efficiency? The generosity and abundance? The variety? The quirky touches? The smells of citrus flowers? The beauty of the setting? No doubt a combination of all of the above and more. My senses were pleasure-bombed and I loved being there and it made me very happy.