Host a Party to Remember at The Spice Garden at Babylonstoren

Words: Julie Velosa

There are many incredibly photogenic and event-worthy spaces at Babylonstoren but the Spice Garden must surely be one of the most special. Imagine the warmth and lushness of the tropics, combined with historical nostalgia, all brought together by true farm hospitality and you’ll have an idea of what to expect.

The Spice Garden

Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms and is well-known for its incredible living gardens burgeoning with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Taking inspiration from the heritage of the Cape as a refreshment post along the spice route, the addition of The Spice Garden makes complete sense.

The garden was created as a temperature-controlled venue to grow some of my favourite ingredients – ginger, turmeric, galangal, black pepper, coffee and turmeric.   The tropical spice trees are small seedlings but in time the cinnamon, nutmeg and clove trees will fill spread their canopies.

It’s Getting Hot in here

Because these spices and aromatics thrive in the humidity of the tropics, they need a similar environment to live in here and thus the Spice House was conceptualised. The high-roofed, greenhouse-style building features an elevated deck area with water underneath, which helps maintain the right humidity.

Dropped gardens surround the deck and the lush soils allow these plants to grow in just the right conditions. You’ll be really surprised at just how large a turmeric plant can be – the small root you know belies the giant size of a full-grown plant in all its glory. The leafy greens surround the elevated deck and provide a beautiful natural backdrop for events.

The Healing Garden

The entrance to the Spice Garden is from within the walls of the equally beautiful Healing Garden, which features medicinal plants in manicured beds, interspersed between pergolas with quiet seating and shaded areas.

For an event or party, it provides a stunning area for guests to gather and enjoy the sunshine in-between courses.

Hosting a Special Soiree

When I attended a juice jamming session at Babylonstoren in July, part of the tour through the Healing Garden took us into the Spice Garden, and immediately I knew it would be perfect for my upcoming 40th birthday celebration.

High ceilings, stunning natural greenery, hanging kokedamas and the long cement table that just begged for a group of friends to share a meal around it.

Spice and All things Nice

Everything at Babylonstoren is executed with perfect style, it makes for an exceptionally easy way to host an event.

The team use leaves from the plants as organic table runners; they set it with stunning linen embossed napkins and a variety of beautiful glass canteens that make the room look full and effortlessly flawless.

The Food

The Spice Garden has its own special menu that is based around this theme. The team prepare, in true Babylonstoren style, an amazing feast worthy of many, many Instagram shares. From chai teas to chilli and spice-infused oils, dukkah and the most mouthwatering turmeric butter… and that’s just to start.

Fresh farm breads such as fougasse and olive ciabattas are grouped on the table and guests could start nibbling on arrival. Just sampling all the amazing infused oils is an exciting way to kick off a meal. We enjoyed a cold gazpacho-style soup starter, perfect for the unseasonably warm October day.

From there, baskets of fresh garden salads arrive – just-picked granadillas, ribbons of carrot and marrows, fresh baby beets, salad greens and blood oranges made for a delicious salad platter just bursting with flavour.

Baskets of charcuterie and biltong are also brought out and the convivial nature of passing these family-style dishes up and down the table is all part of the fun.

Of course, there is a plethora of award-winning wines from Babylonstoren’s amazing MCC to Chenin Blanc and their Mouvedre Rosė, which pair perfectly with this menu.

The Team

When hosting an event, the Spice Garden has its own team of dedicated staff who look after the group for the day.  The team move around the space so seamlessly and with such ease, it is as if the food and drinks appear on their own.

They took care of absolutely everything and it made it so easy for me as a host to just enjoy the day.

Cake made to order by Sweet Lionheart

Event Bookings

It truly is a unique and breathtaking event venue made all the more special by the team’s absolute excellence at what they do. My birthday celebration exceeded any expectation I could have possibly had.

The Spice Garden can host a maximum of 24 guests and must be booked in advance. From an intimate wedding to a special birthday or memorable celebration, I couldn’t recommend it more. | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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