Food + Wine

World's Best Farm Hotels

by Colleen Clark

Babylonstoren Farm, Franschhoek, South Africa

Field work: Former Elle Decor editor Karen Roos has brought an effortless glamour to Babylonstoren, a Dutch farm in the Cape Winelands of South Africa that's more than 300 years old. Guests can help plant, prune, pick, and harvest veggies, fruit, and nuts; feed chickens and ducks; and explore the prickly pear maze. Or you can go further afield on roughly 500 acres of the surrounding farmland, riding bikes through the vineyards and orchards, or walking along the babbling streams.

Farm table: Chef Maranda Engelbrecht's "pick, clean, and serve" philosophy allows fresh ingredients to speak for themselves at the property's Babel restaurant, a converted cowshed where benches of wrought-iron and reclaimed wood sit beside contemporary Lucite chairs. You might enjoy a salad of eggplant, tomato, guava, and beets with a cumin-pomegranate dressing, or a just-caught Franschhoek trout with guava crème fraîche and roasted parsnips with a touch of the farm's honey.

Bedtime: Pretty whitewashed buildings with gabled and thatched roofs house 12 spacious suites that mix mod lacquered four-poster beds and low-slung white couches with antique wood settees and handsome claw-foot tubs. Some have slick kitchens jutting off the back in glass boxes that bring the farm even closer to the table.

Babylonstoren Farm
Klapmuts/Simondium Road
South Africa
Tel: 27 21 863 3852
From $392, including breakfast (restaurant and garden closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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