i (finally) adventured out towards Paarl , on possibly the hottest day this year , to wonder around the spectacular gardens of Babylonstoren. it is such a magnificent day trip to go on (pre-book lunch in their famous restaurant babel if you would like to eat there) for both holiday-makers and locals alike.
upon arrival you pay a small entrance fee (R10 weekdays, R20 weekends) which entitles you to a map and entrance to the entire property. the money collected from the fee is used to send the farm worker's children to school , so it is a great way to support local education.
i highly recommend taking a book , because there are SEVERAL magical benches and chairs hidden throughout the gardens , and the serenity is so worthwhile experiencing with a relaxing read.
we chose to eat a light meal at the greenhouse restaurant , which works on a first-come first-serve basis. this was a great way to break from our walking and cool day in the midday heat; not to mention that the food was divine...
aside from the prickly pear maze , the the uber-cool vegetable patch , and the swing located next to the puff adder (a winding wooden dome filled with some beautiful pot plants) , the farm shop was a highlight. i bought the most decadent plum, lemongrass, and gold leaf cordial - freshly made on the farm. it was great being able to find some lovely treats to bring home to remember such a lovely outing.