It may seem strange that South Africa's oldest and most venerable wine-producing valley is paradoxically also the one with the lowest profile. While the Cape province's rolling Winelands, which are made up of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, vie for attention - and thus get a lot of the acclaim - Constantia treads a quieter path, secure in the knowledge that two of its estates date back to 1685, making them the oldest in the country. For nearly 330 years, Groot (Great) and Klein (Small) Constantia have been harnessing the unique terroir and cool, crisp climate that lies between the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain range to create magnificent wines, including one of the most hailed of all time: the legendary Vin de Constance.
There is so much to see and do at Babylonstoren – a deluxe working farm hotel in the Franschhoek Winelands – that’s best to arrive with some sort of plan. This is how we’d spend 48 hours at this very unique accommodation.
If you are planning a holiday to South Africa, you may find it difficult to decide where to go and what to include. Do you prioritise lions and elephants? Or vineyards and historic battelfields? How about championship golf courses and award-winning beaches? If you choose the latter, do you prefer the chilly Atlantic shores with their penguins and seals, or the balmy Indian Ocean coastline with its turtles and whales?
Beautiful views, discreet service, enterprising chefs, and only the very best in food and wine: these are the best places to stay in Africa if you’re a foodie who wants a great hotel restaurant just steps away from your luxurious suite.
One of the joys of being on holiday is having the time to indulge in long, delicious multi-course meals (and one of the best parts is that they’re expertly cooked by someone else!). And, of course, one of the greatest pleasures of travelling is to delight and surprise your jaded senses with new tastes and aromas.
Come dine with our African Safari Experts as they savour the spicy scents and flavours of a Cape Malay curry and try their hands at rolling a perfectly buttery roti (a traditional round flatbread) under the watchful guidance of an authentic Cape Malay cook. But before you roll up your sleeves and inspire your inner domestic goddess, we recommend a short stroll down Cape Town’s memory lane to dip into a slice of South Africa's history that produced its multi-cultural melting pot heritage.