16 Jul2014


How could you resist a visit to the Babylonstoren Farm Shop with still lifes of vegetables/produce like this beautifully arranged and left as eye candy throughout the utterly charming space?


A chalkboard announcing the shop…


…a few healthy looking chickens on a wooden bench to one side of the main entrance to the shop.


Inside on stone counters, various preserves, jams and jellies.


Cordials and quince in syrup.


Backlit palo tsina shelves made for the most elegantly rustic juxtaposition. The stone walls or rough plaster looking intentional as a foil to the clean modern lines of bottles and other containers. I am sure this place was styled to the max, but the effect was really impressive.


Really an inspiring way of displaying all natural and homemade food and drink.


A pyramid of blue cans with estate olive oil, on the same side as dozens of hats and other paraphernalia. In another part of the store, lots of beakers and glass vessels as well.


Candles with various scents, and linen or jute tablecloths from France with fruit and vegetable prints were things to covet, but they were wickedly pricey. All locally made or grown stuff was great value.


In the bakery area, thick granite tabletops on simple wooden legs looked so nice I wanted to do something similar at home, but finding stone that thick and that wide is a special order kind of thing. Trust most dealers in the Philippines to only carry stone that is 60cm wide, meant for bathroom or kitchen counters. Try and get a meter wide and get all kinds of beady eyed looks. Not to worry, I will figure this out yet.


We were at the shop late in the afternoon, so the bread selection was limited, but again, the way things were displayed made it all seem so casual and appealing, but it probably took some planning to get it to feel like no effort was expended at all.


The teen fanning the flames with this simple mechanized process that REALLY worked wonders. Just a bit of air targeted at the base of the flames and things were cracking hot!


Is that what the mean by “balled trees”?? These were literally roped around the roots into “balls”!! Note the gorgeous french tablecloths to the right, say $120 or more, yipes! And they looked like old fashioned rice sack material!


Another still life…


…next to the most ginormous kamote or sweet potato I have EVER seen! Can you imagine how many kamote chips you could make from this?!


On another side of the farm shop was an air-conditioned or walk-in section with chiller… a list of available cheese, cases of satsuma oranges, charcuterie and other goodies made we want to apply for a job so I could explore everything in more detail and spend my days slicing sausages, ham, cheese and throwing together sandwiches and salads to munch on!


More cheese…


…hams and sausages…


…and glass-fronted chillers with stainless steel interiors. Stunning!


I bought a bag of satsumas for 15 Rand or roughly $1.50 or PHP70. Seriously?!?, these worked out to like PHP3 each and they were delicious!!


And on the way out, piles of french market baskets. I should have bought half a dozen of them here, but was worried about carting them around with us. Overall, the visit to Babylonstoren’s gardens and shop was one of my favorite stops in this part of South Africa.



  1. chinachix says:

    what a beautiful store. loving the backlit shelves, great merchandising!

    Jul 16, 2014 | 9:33 am


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  3. artisan chocolatier says:

    Off topic with the indulgence of MM.

    THANK YOU SISTER for the wonderful surprise! An entire box for me?! WOW! I am in fruit heaven just looking at them.

    My endocrinologist will not be seeing me for looong time. hehehe

    Thank you MM and Mrs. MM for bringing it to Cebu.

    Daghang Salamat!

    Jul 16, 2014 | 10:54 am

  4. Footloose says:

    “Not to worry, I will figure this out yet.”

    Ata boy, MM

    Jul 16, 2014 | 4:21 pm

  5. Natie says:

    Looks like shops in France..

    Jul 16, 2014 | 9:23 pm

  6. Footloose says:

    Never mind its phenomenal size but have you ever seen a more vein bursting enraged camote that this?

    Jul 16, 2014 | 10:46 pm

  7. Thel from Florida says:

    Very impressive alright!!!! Suddendly craving for chicken tinola upon seeing the native chickens. And the kamote–it’s a BIGGGGGG one-WOW. Appreciate all your posts very much.

    Jul 16, 2014 | 10:57 pm

  8. ling says:

    i soo love the store!

    Jul 17, 2014 | 8:53 am

  9. ami says:

    Martha Stewart documented the planting of a tree in one of her blog entries and when the tree got delivered to her farm, the roots were also balled up like that using burlap and ropes. They had to cut thru the materials to release the roots.

    Jul 17, 2014 | 10:14 am

  10. dianne says:

    that device looks like bellows :)

    Jul 18, 2014 | 12:28 am

  11. Shane says:

    MM, you can always have a custom concrete countertop/slab fabricated instead. Made from scratch, it can be built and shaped, and personalized. We have a 1920s Arts and Crafts home in Dallas. When we remodeled a few years back, we looked into different granite and custom concrete countertop options. If I recall right, they almost have the same price with more options and flexibility with the concrete.

    Jul 25, 2014 | 12:01 am


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