Margaret River – Part One

In this one year alone, I’ve been lucky enough to visit Margaret River TWICE! And I’ve loved both times equally, first with A and then with my parents when they popped by Perth in June.. I suppose it’s the city slicker in me but being anywhere CLOSE to nature is awesome – the clean air, lush greenery, tranquility – simply au naturel “chicken soup” for the soul, if you know what I mean 😛

Anyhow, my boyfriend – like me – has a Type A personality but his is very much prevalent in ALL aspects of his life and very much so even when he travels.. Me? I’m a super laid-back traveller – you’d love going on a group holiday with me because I’m quite happy to just do whatever it is the majority / minority wants to do. That being said, if I have to step up, I will, of course, especially if it’s somewhere I’m familiar with.

SO. Being meticulous meant that my dear bf planned our little weekend getaway to Margaret River to an absolute ‘T’ and it was a fab 2 nights 3 days in celebration of both our birthdays back then in March 😀 We wined, we dined and we “caved” – an “all-rounded” way to take in Margaret River which I wholly recommend! Because seriously, how many wineries can you visit before you start yawning, one, at the sight of yet another buncha grapes or two, from consuming too much wine, whichever hits home first… It helps too that Margaret River is really easy to navigate – the road signs are pretty much everywhere – so people, EXPLORE! We had so much fun driving around, making a few wrong turns here and there – oh the joys of road trips!

Ah… Reminiscing is bittersweet – I’m now itching for another road trip! I’ll just have to be contented with the memories for now 😛 Read on for my recs on wineries and eateries! Here’s Part Two on where we stayed and other Margaret River sights and sounds.

Friends, if you’re ever in WA to visit A and I, you know where you’re headed! 🙂 xx

* * * * * * * * * *

WINE

Cape Mentelle
331 Wallcliffe Road
Margaret River
WA 6285
+61 (0)8 9757 0812
Opens daily, 10am – 4:30pm

Cape Mentelle holds a special SPECIAL place in my heart, considering how I’d worked with and/or for them much of my working life. We didn’t manage to experience the Degustation Tour and Tasting unfortunately as it was fully booked out but I’d highly recommend it nonetheless! PS – Do something different at each winery, if you can. It’ll make the visit much more interesting really. In any case, the sommeliers at Cape Mentelle’s cellar door are very knowledgeable so that in itself may be enough for you. It was for us 🙂

Leeuwin Estate
Stevens Road
Margaret River
WA 6285
+61 (0)8 9759 0000
Opens daily, 10am – 5pm

You have not visited a more well-manicured winery until you’ve been to Leeuwin Estate! So sooo pretty I got extremely trigger-happy while my stepfather was taking his time wine-tasting. The sommelier was extremely patient with us even though it was a little past the cellar door closing time so kudos to them for not turning us away 🙂 Yet another estate with a restaurant that I would DEFINITELY want to visit the next time around.

Vasse Felix
Cnr Tom Cullity Drive & Caves Road
Cowaramup
WA 6284
+61 (0)8 9756 5000
Opens daily, 10am – 5pm

Vasse Felix is a SPRAWLING winery – sooo impressive, it’s no wonder the estate is an extremely popular venue for outdoor weddings. The food at the restaurant is amazing too, so pop by for lunch on your way back to Perth city. The foodie in me just HAD TO go once again when I was with my parents 🙂 I mean, Vasse Felix isn’t just around the corner y’know? There’s a little art gallery at the winery too – perfect for killing a little time while waiting for your table at the restaurant. Remember to call ahead to make reservations!

Voyager Estate
Stevens Road
Margaret River
WA 6285
+61 (0)8 9757 6354
Opens daily, 10am – 5pm

Rows and rows of rose bushes line the driveway leading in to Voyager Estate and I can just imagine how pretty it must all be when in season! I didn’t get to experience the roses in its full glory either time but the winery still ranks high on my list of beautiful wineries 😀 Have a nice leisurely stroll and just amble around on the premises – you won’t regret it, I promise.

Xanadu
Boodjidup Road
Margaret River
WA 6285
+61 (0)8 9758 9500
Opens daily, 10am – 5pm

“Xanaduuuuuu…. Xanadauuuu…. Xanaduu-uu-uuu….” is what rings through my head EVERY TIME I just think of the word. It’s almost as if I can’t say the word without singing it. Gah. Anyhow, I especially loved the use of empty oak barrels in the winery’s cellar door. There’s a restaurant at Xanadu too but it was closed for a private function, so next time maybe!

DINE

Goodfellas Cafe
97 Bussell Highway
Margaret River
WA 6285
+61 (0)8 9757 3184
Opens daily, 6pm – 9.30pm

A great little pizza cafe that the bf and I happened to find on our first night in Margaret River. Wood-fired, thin crust pizzas… Perfection! Pop by for a casual dining experience but take note not to arrive too close to closing time – my parents, I and TWO other groups of customers were turned away almost ONE HOUR to closing time because the cafe didn’t think they were going to have anyone walking in just then. Well, that’s what you get in a sleepy little town like Margaret River.

Vasse Felix
Cnr Tom Cullity Drive & Caves Road
Cowaramup
WA 6284
+61 (0)8 9756 5050
Opens daily, 10am – 3pm

Helmed by Executive Chef Aaron Carr, the Vasse Felix restaurant is only opened for lunch. The food is fresh and ingredients seasonal – you know you’re in epicurean heaven. Nothing beats that amazing view of the estate you get too, so dine outdoors if the weather permits.

Voyager Estate
Stevens Road
Margaret River
WA 6285
+61 (0)8 9757 6354
Opens daily

Make reservations ahead of time like I did with my parents or you’d just have to look into the restaurant longingly and wistfully… 😛 The menu changes seasonally and each dish on the menu is accompanied by a wine recommendation. My stepfather and my mum opted instead for a flight of red wines each. I was designated driver so I was more than content with my feast of seared scallops mmm-yum-YUM!

Winos
85 Bussell Highway
Margaret River WA 6285
+61 (0)8 9758 7155
Opens daily, 3pm – late

Go communal and indulge in an extensive menu of tapas at Wino’s! The food is amaaazing and the service fab. I’m still dreaming of their pork crackling served with apple sauce… Soooo bad for you but SO SOOOOOO goooood… Staff will quickly run through with you Wino’s tapas dining style when you’re seated and the world is your oyster thereafter! Knock yourselves out ordering individual dishes that you fancy or do what the bf and I did and order the “Chef’s Feast” that comes complete with a menu of items which are served in a specific order for MAXIMUM gastronomical pleasure 🙂 If only Wino’s is just a hop, skip and jump away from our apartment…..

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