Karen Roos An interview

Winona Griggs

About Me: Karen Roos

Hello there! My name is Karen Roos, and I am the proud owner and creative director of Babylonstoren. Today, I want to share a little bit about myself, my favorite things, and some of the places I love in Cape Town.

The Stunning City of Cape Town

Let’s start with Cape Town, shall we? I must say, Cape Town is truly a gem. It is a city that boasts incredible biological diversity and is deeply connected to the global landscape. It’s a place where different cultures blend, and you can feel its cosmopolitan energy pulsating through its streets.

Discovering Babylonstoren

Now, let me tell you what I absolutely adore about being at Babylonstoren. It’s like stepping into a whole new world. The air feels fresher, the food is deliciously healthy, and being there grounds you in a way that’s truly magical. It’s a sanctuary of sorts, where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Showcasing Cape Town to Visitors

Whenever friends or out-of-towners come to visit, I always make sure they get a taste of Cape Town’s beauty. If I have a car, we’ll take a scenic drive along Chapman’s Peak and make a stop in Simon’s Town. But if we’re on foot, you must experience the vibrant streets of Camps Bay, enjoy the lively atmosphere of Long Street, and explore the unique corners of Woodstock.

An Unforgettable Burger Experience

Now, let’s talk about burgers. Who doesn’t love a good burger every now and then, right? Recently, I had the pleasure of indulging in the most incredible burger at the Planet Bar in the Mount Nelson Hotel. It’s become my go-to corner café, where I can savor a delicious meal while enjoying some people-watching. Life’s little pleasures, right?

Have you heard of Maria’s? It’s one of my favorite restaurants! They serve incredible authentic Greek food, and what’s more, the owner-chef has a long history of making magic in the kitchen. Whenever I go there, I always start off with their delicious meze and then move on to the chef’s special for the main course. It’s a dining experience you won’t want to miss!

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There’s an event in Cape Town that I look forward to every year – it’s called Design Indaba. This conference is like a burst of energy for me; it gets my adrenaline pumping with excitement. The creativity and innovation on display are truly awe-inspiring. It’s an event that brings together artists, designers, and thinkers from all over the world, and every year, it never fails to leave me inspired.

Now let me tell you about my current favorite TV series – House of Cards. This show is like a breath of fresh air in the world of television. It’s gripping, suspenseful, and, at times, even dangerous. The storylines and the performances by the cast are top-notch. If you’re a fan of political dramas and like a bit of edge in your entertainment, then House of Cards is definitely a series you’ll want to check out!

When it comes to movies, I have a soft spot for the classics. I love watching oldies on DVD, like Bridget Jones’s Diary and the Pride and Prejudice series. But not just any versions – I’m talking about the ones with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, the originals that captured the essence of the stories in a way that no remake ever could. There’s something special about these films that transports me to another time and place, and I can watch them over and over again.

When I need a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, my go-to destination is Babylonstoren. This place is pure paradise, offering complete relaxation and rejuvenation. The peaceful atmosphere, beautiful gardens, and luxurious amenities make it the perfect weekend getaway. Whether you’re looking to unwind by the pool, indulge in a spa treatment, or simply enjoy nature, Babylonstoren has it all.

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And finally, there’s one more thing on my Cape bucket list – a drive around Chapman’s Peak in a vintage open-top sports car. Just imagine cruising along the scenic route with the wind in your hair and the ocean as your backdrop. It’s a dream come true. Exploring the beauty of Chapman’s Peak in style is an experience I can’t wait to have.

I want to share with you my top recommendations for the best coffee, after-work drinks, and outdoor activities in Stellenbosch and Cape Town.

When it comes to coffee, my absolute favorite in Stellenbosch is De Oude Bakkerij, which is now called Schoon De Companje. Their coffee is simply amazing and always hits the spot. If you’re visiting Stellenbosch, you definitely need to try it out.

In Cape Town, my go-to spot for a great cup of coffee is Deluxe Coffeeworks. The atmosphere is cozy, and their coffee is consistently delicious. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, it’s a must-visit coffee shop.

Now, let’s talk about after-work drinks. My favorite spot is actually the office space I share with other creative individuals. There’s something special about coming together with like-minded people and discussing our work and the challenges we face. It’s a place where we can unwind, share stories, and enjoy the camaraderie.

When it comes to outdoor activities, I highly recommend going wine-tasting on horseback in the beautiful winelands. It’s an easy-to-do activity that combines the joy of horse riding with the pleasure of tasting delicious wines. It’s a unique experience that I guarantee you’ll love.

Lastly, let’s talk about some good wines for special occasions. While Babylonstoren’s red wine is fantastic, two other options worth considering are Cederberg Shiraz and Kleinood Shiraz. These wines are perfect for celebrating special moments or enjoying a romantic dinner. And if you’re in the mood for something different, a good Italian chianti can always hit the spot.

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I hope you find these recommendations helpful and that they enhance your experience in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. Enjoy!

The most amazing book I’ve come across lately is Middlemarch by George Elliot. I’ve actually read it before, but upon revisiting it, I was struck by how complex and relatable the characters are. There’s this one scene that describes a political rally, and it feels incredibly relevant to our recent election. It’s fascinating how timeless some themes can be.

The best movie I’ve watched recently is The Grand Budapest Hotel. The characters in this film are bursting with energy and a delightful sense of irrational optimism. It’s infectious and makes you question your own outlook on life.

These days, I’m keeping busy by creating a brand new wine-tasting area at Babylonstoren. It’s an exciting project that allows me to explore my passion for wine. On top of that, I’m also diving into the world of cheese-making and collaborating with Maranda Engelbrecht on developing new products for our shop. It’s a creative and fulfilling journey.

Sundays are my garden days. That’s where you’ll find me, tending to my plants and enjoying the tranquility of nature. It’s a peaceful retreat that helps me recharge for the week ahead.

Fashion is a realm of endless possibilities. It’s a space where anyone can become a designer or a stylist. There are no boundaries or rules, just pure creativity waiting to be unleashed. It’s inspiring to see how fashion can empower individuals and allow self-expression to thrive.

Right after this, I’m going to inspect the rooms at Babylonstoren to make sure they are ready for guests.

Someday, in my next existence, I dream of becoming a writer.

Someday, in my next existence, I yearn to be a writer.

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