Itinerary: A week long trip in the wine country of South Africa (just outside of Capetown) as a belated 30th birthday celebration.

Travel Time: An 11 hour flight from London to Cape Town followed by a 45 minute drive to our hotel.

Accommodation: The main reason we chose to visit this part of South Africa was because of the hotel Babylonstoren. I had seen it mentioned on a few different blogs and travel guides over the years and had kept it in the back of my mind for when, if ever, we might head to this part of the world. Situated in the Drakenstein valley, Babylonstoren is a hotel, farm and winery all in one. Most of the grounds near the Cape Dutch-style guest cottages have been cultivated into beautiful gardens. It is really one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever been.

Highlight(s): Being my first time to set foot anywhere on the continent of Africa, I had high hopes for this trip and it did not disappoint. The beautiful weather, abundant sunshine and hospitality of everyone we met certainly helped, but the real winner of the trip was where we stayed. My favorite thing to do was take a lazy late afternoon walk through the expansive gardens. You might come across the chickens headed to the hen house for the evening, guests enjoying a cup of herbal tea in the greenhouse or maybe stumble upon a new section of the garden you had not explored yet. Most days were filled with grabbing breakfast at Babel (the restaurant on the grounds and where most of the edible things from the garden ares used), followed by a run or maybe a swim in the pool and a massage in the spa, then off to explore either a nearby winery or drive to the beach or Cape Town. And in the evenings when we returned to our cottage, we were always greeted with a lovely aperitif before heading out to grab dinner.

One evening when we came back to our cottage, we opened the door and were greeted by an owl that had somehow managed to fly down the chimney into our room! I, very bravely, ran as fast as I could out of there! The poor little thing was more frightened than anything and eventually we managed to open the back door to the cottage while it was hiding under a table and it flew out on its own.

It was hard to say goodbye to this place once it was time to leave but if we ever find ourselves in South Africa again, I definitely plan to stop by for even if just for a little visit.


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*shot on a Rolleiflex with Kodak Ektar & Portra 800*


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