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July 25, 2011

Well, it’s safe to say that BC and I were totally spoiled last weekend. We spent Friday and Saturday visiting my old roommate, her husband and their adorable almost one year old in Bridgehampton. This visit consisted of our staying in our own little guest cottage, spending two days on the glorious Wainscott beaches, enjoying wine and music at the nearby Wolffer Vineyards, and creating a farm fresh masterpiece dinner followed by night swimming(!). It really was a lovely Summer Friday and we are forever grateful to Lett, Ry and Ava for having us out.

And then we returned to Brooklyn. Ascending the stairs to our third floor brownstone apartment, you could feel the wall of heat hit. Ugh. I began thinking of places I’d rather be. Like somewhere 65 degrees and sunny. With sweeping mountain views and equally commanding vineyard vistas. Babylonstoren, outside Cape Town, South Africa will do just fine.

Babylonstoren has a long line of history beginning in the 16th century. The timeline on their website charts the past including all the owners the building passed through. The house is an example of Cape Dutch architecture which features soft, whitewashed walls of stone or brick, ornate gables and thatched roofs.

Babylonstoren actually just  opened its doors for guests in 2010. It has been a working farm for most of its existence. Recently, a kraal (which is an enclosure for livestock) was converted into the restaurant Babel.

While we’re on the subject of food, let’s just start there. I absolutely love that they note “We take food seriously at Babylonstoren.” I appreciate this statement. And this one “We don’t like to tamper unduly with food or slash it to bits – pick, clean, serve is our approach.” Amen. I recommend that you check out the menu on their site – its almost too much, too good!

So simple and clean. As much as I’m drawn to eclectic spaces with more going on, there really is a tranquility to all white spaces. If anything, that hearth sure adds the perfect amount of warmth. Note the sliding barn style doors leading to the bath and the dutch door (where the top half opens separately from the bottom.)

Guests are allowed to help with the garden harvesting, pruning, planting or picking. The garden is built in the tradition of the Cape, reflecting its history as a halfway station between Europe and Asia, where ships would replenish their supplies. The pool, a converted reservoir looks absolutely refreshing. And the list of things to do nearby include wine tasting and antiquing.

If I’m not here tomorrow, you’ll know where I’ve gone.

Images via Babylonstoren

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