Cape Town, South Africa is a travel destination must. With most of my family still living in South Africa, we always try to extend our stay and enjoy a mini holiday in Cape Town. There is always something new and different to experience. At the same time, there are a lot of favourite restaurants, markets or places I return to with each visit.  One such place is Babylonstoren.

Babylonstoren is a 40-minute drive from Cape Town and home to four restaurants, a hotel, farmhouse, cottages, a wine cellar, spa and beautiful gardens.  The farm dates back to 1692 and is set against the backdrop of the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek mountains. The menu of each restaurant is guided by what is available in the garden on the farm. In their own words “we have a farm-to-fork philosophy which means we like to serve food that is seasonal and reflects our ‘pick, clean and serve‘ approach”. We had a lovely lunch at the Babel Restaurant, housed in an old cow shed. The shed might be old, but with an unconventional approach, the shed now displays a contemporary glass wall to let in the beautiful Southern light through.

The Farm Shop is stocked with handcrafted chocolates, cold pressed olive oil, organic herbal teas, wine and freshly baked bread and sweet treats. The cheese room displays freshly made mozzarella daily. Other cheeses from their larder include fior di latte, feta, halloumi, ricotta and yoghurt cheese. Cheese and wine go hand-in-hand so you can always visit the Tasting Room adjacent to the Wine Cellar on the farm. The wines are produced in a state-of-the-art winery and are made to showcase the soils and climate where their grapes are grown.

Below is a short list of my favourite go-to places in and around Cape Town.

BETWEEN US

A beautiful venue with exposed brick walls, modern lighting and wooden furniture. The food is amazing! 

HONEST CHOCOLATE

A small artisanal Bean to Bar chocolate company making handcrafted chocolates with a distinct feel and taste. The uniqueness of the cacao beans can be tasted as the chocolates are not over-flavored or sweetened. My favourite Bar slab has to be the 70% Kalahari Salt! If you are feeling adventurous you can try the Pineapple & Buchu or Miso & Tamari Sunflower Seed flavors from the Artist Ranges. The Chocolate Café is located between Loop and Bree Street in Cape Town and offers coffee, tea, hot chocolate and a variety of sweet treats. They even have a dairy-free milkshake on the menu!

TOKARA RESTAURANT

Beautiful views and rare artworks! A gallery of curated art can be viewed at the entrance of the winery and a sculpture garden is located at the Delicatessen. The Tokara Restaurant is situated outside Stellenbosch and features amazing meals that include Kudu Tataki or Octopus Carpaccio. The full range of Tokara wines are also available on the menu and can be ordered by the glass. 

NORVAL FOUNDATION

The Skotnes Restaurant overlooks the Sculpture Garden of the Norval Foundation. You will find classical South African cuisine on the menu such as Lamb Bobotie. Bobotie is a well-known South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. To keep things sweet and local, you can enjoy Malva Pudding!  This sweet treat contains apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture. We tried the traditional South African pan cakes, yummy!

HEMELHUIJS

The Hemelhuijs (Heaven House) is located in the heart of Cape Town with an ever-changing interior. The menu changes seasonally but you can be sure to find freshly crafted juices and artisan cocktails every time. Hemelhuijs also boasts it’s own home range with beautiful blue ceramic plates that were inspired by a merchant ship that sank in the 18th century off the coast of South Africa. We had lunch at this treasure twice as the menu is just amazing.

THE TEST KITCHEN

This is one of the restaurants I haven’t had a chance to visit yet, but it is on my to-do list. The restaurant is located in The Old Biscuit Mill and serves Nouvelle Latin Cuisine with a South African touch. I’m curious to see the contemporary décor!

HARBOUR HOUSE

Located in Kalk Bay this is probably one of the best meals I have ever had. The menu has a variety of seafood dishes including Sushi, Scallops and Squid Ink Risotto. It has a relaxed atmosphere, beautiful views and the freshest ingredients. 

ORANJEZICHT CITY FARM MARKET

I love visiting local markets and one of them is the Oranjezicht Farm Market. This weekly farmers ‘market offers fresh produce and artisanal foods. It is a source of exceptional local produce but you will also find vintage collectables and a small section of clothing at this market. The local dishes we had was perfectly presented and so tasty!

NEIGHBOURGOODS MARKET

You will find this amazing market in the sky-lit warehouse of The Old Biscuit Mill. It is the essential showcase of Cape Town’s “finest micro-merchants, designer-makers, specialty-producers and food-alchemist”.  The market is open every Saturday and caters for all food choices – Halaal, Vegan, Gluten-, Lactoce-, Sugar free, Raw and Organic options are available. You are encouraged to draw cash before visiting the market.

THE TWELVE APOSTLES

This luxurious hotel and spa is situated at the base of Table Mountain National Park in Camps Bay. Camps Bay is a 10-minute drive from central Cape Town and is known for its fine white sand and a natural rock swimming pool. Service is immaculate and the Azure Restaurant serve some of the finest foods. There is a complimentary shuttle service to the city centre and V&A Waterfront if you can manage to leave the beautiful surroundings.

CAPE VUE COUNTRY HOUSE

Just outside of Franschhoek, you will find this gem of a guest house. Franschhoek is a beautiful little town lined with boutique shops and galleries. The surrounding wine farms are an excellent day excursion whilst staying at Cape Vue. The interior of this guesthouse blends colours and motifs noticeable from the natural fauna, flora and mountain surrounds. The private patio of each room allows you to sit back and take in the beautiful scenery.

Let me know if you have been there or are planning a trip to this beautiful wine country any time soon!