Karen Roos

The owner and creative director of Babylonstoren on House of Cards, the best burger in town and her bucket list.

Cape Town is for me the most beautiful city in the world: biologically diverse, cosmopolitan, plugged into global trends.

What I love about being at Babylonstoren is the escape to a world of fresh air, healthy food, a grounding of yourself.

When out-of-towners come to town, I take them around Chapman’s Peak and Simon’s Town by car; on foot I would pick Camps Bay and Long Street and parts of Woodstock.

The best burger I’ve had recently was at the Planet Bar at the Mount Nelson – call it my corner café. It’s good for people watching too. Regrettably, I do love the occasional hamburger…

Another favourite restaurant is Maria’s for authentic Greek food and a long history of owner-chef pounding the premises. I always start with the meze and have the chef’s special for mains.

An annual Cape Town event you’ll always find me at is Design Indaba. The conference, every year, makes my adrenaline go on a high.

My favourite TV series currently is House of Cards – it’s fresh and dangerous.

I love watching DVD oldies like Bridget Jones and the Pride and Prejudice series (with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, not the remakes).

My favourite weekend getaway is Babylonstoren for complete relaxation.

On my bucket list to do in the Cape is a drive around Chapman’s Peak in a vintage open-top sports car. It’s still an ideal.

My best coffee in Stellenbosch is from De Oude Bakkerij (now known as Schoon De Companje).

My best coffee in Cape Town is from Deluxe Coffeeworks.

My favourite after-work drinks spot is the office space I share with other creative people. I enjoy the warmth of people sharing the same problems and the same absurdities of their jobs.

An easy-to-do outdoor activity I highly recommend is wine-tasting on horseback in the winelands.

Apart from Babylonstoren’s red, two good wines for special occasions are Cederberg Shiraz and Kleinood Shiraz. Or a good Italian chianti…

The best book I’ve read recently is Middlemarch by George Elliot – a re-read, actually. The characters are complex and modern. A political rally described in it could have occurred quite easily in our recent election.

The best movie I’ve seen recently is The Grand Budapest Hotel. I loved the exuberance and unreasonable optimism of the characters.

I’m currently busy creating a new wine-tasting area at Babylonstoren and learning about cheese-making, as well as developing new products for our shop with Maranda Engelbrecht.

On Sundays you’ll find me in the garden.

Fashion is where everybody can be a designer or a stylist.

Straight after this, I’m checking the rooms [at Babylonstoren] to see if they look perfect to receive guests.

One day, in my second life, I want to be a writer.

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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 21 May 2014

9 Responses to “Karen Roos”

  1. Patricia Hyde

    I stayed here with a small foodie group from Accoutrement in Sydney Australia in April this year and it is truly a beautiful place with a great philosophy and concept. Would love to return at sometime in the future.

  2. Jacqueline Collier

    The glass house is something really special. Now that you don’t see everyday !!! Living in Johannesburg I have dreams of Babylonstoren regularly and cant wait to visit again.

  3. Dee Seabrooke

    I have just moved to Cape Town from Australia but have been here quite a few times. Babylonstoren is my absolute favourite place to go to. Perhaps my favourite in the world. We have wandered and eaten and stayed and bought and it has all been amazing. Stunning place with great style and extremely well run. Number one place to bring visitors. Happy, very attentive staff who are gracious. A great achievement and a credit to you. Well done.

  4. Amala S.

    Babylonstoren is a fabulous experience. The garden, restaurant, farm shop and of course the guest accommodation. We were suitably impressed.

  5. Cathy

    I love Babylonstoren and also take visitors there…the peace and serenity is tangible….and yes, I am a journalist and editor and writing is my passion! (I also produce the Stellenbosch and Wine Routes and Paarl & Wellington and Wine Routes tourism books). Keep up the sterling work…we all appreciate it.

  6. Felipe Mazibuko

    Babyonstoren is on my wishlist before Easter

  7. Esme Sonnekus

    Wat ‘n ongelooflike mooi plek. Ek kan God se teenwoordigheid daar voel. Wil ure in die tuine deurbring (Be still and know I am God…). Awsome!

  8. Heidi

    Babylonstoren is on my list!