Margaret River – Part Two

As mentioned in my last post on our little getaway to Margaret River, a visit is just not complete if you don’t actually go anywhere else BUT wineries. You don’t spend any more than an hour at the wineries’ cellar doors unless you’re there for lunch / dinner, so here’s a snapshot of what else A and I did in the 3 days 2 nights we were down south 🙂

ACCOMODATION

Burnside Bungalows
287 Burnside Road
Margaret River
WA 6285
+61 (0)8 9757 2139
info@burnsideorganicfarm.com.au

We arrived at Margaret River when it was already pretty dark so it took us a little while and a quick call to Burnside Bungalows before we managed to locate this quaint farm. I sure wasn’t disappointed – just look at the pictures! 😀 The bungalows are immaculately clean (by my standards) and are equipped with everything you could possibly need for a short 2 night stay or even for a family vacation of 5 nights or more. I mean, you’ll need the stove tops to fry up those fresh eggs courtesy of Burnside’s chooks! 🙂

I love too that you’re encouraged to just wander around the farm, armed with the handy little map that is provided upon check-in. In any case, the walking paths are very well delineated so you’re good to go, map or no map! This is a great location if you have little ones in tow or are just in the market for out-of-the-ordinary accommodation.

You know we’re city slickers because we were BEYOND fascinated with the farm animals running free, especially those Angus cowwws……. Well, I was fascinated fo’sho. Or maybe I was just hungry 😛

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS

Candy Cow
Shop 3, Botterill Street (off Bussell Highway)
Cowaramup WA 6284
+61 (0)8 9755 9155
Opens daily, 10am – 5pm

Anything PINK rates in my books! But really, Candy Cow is a sweet-tooth’s haven and a good pit-stop en route to Margaret River. Stretch your legs and stock up on candy of all flavours – you’d probably need a little sugar hit after all that driving anyways 🙂 We bought lots of fudge that we haven’t yet finished… methinks I might have to throw them out already hahaha

Cape Lavender
Carter Road (off Metricup Road)
Wilyabrup
WA 6280
+61 (0)8 9755 7552
Opens daily, 10am – 5pm

Getting to Cape Lavender is quite the dry/sandy/dusty adventure since you’re travelling for the most part on dirt road. With that in mind, it would quite be lovely to be greeted at the end of this journey by the brilliant sight of purple lavender in full bloom and their sweet scent, yes? Alas, it was not to be for me on both occasions as it was faar from lavender season. They’re more spring flowers and my visits were in early autumn / late winter. Anyhow, I consoled myself with their homemade lavender honey and bottles of lavender body wash 😀

The grounds are very well-maintained and I can just imagine, when the flowers really are in bloom, how wonderfully pretty a backdrop it would be for a wedding..

Lake Cave
Caves Rd
Margaret River
WA 6285
+61 (0)8 9757 7411
Daily tours – 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm

Lake Cave is one of three caves at Margaret River and is not the largest. That honour belongs to Jewel Cave. Anyhow, we decided that Lake Cave would be the most “manageable” and boy, did we get a good workout climbing those 350+ steps up AND down the cave. It’s interesting enough and is a good distraction from all the winery visiting. There’s a little tea room/cafe located right next to Lake Cave’s visitors’ centre which served up some awesome hot chips and nachos! It was right about lunch time for us and the food sure hit the spot 😀

Margaret River Chocolate Factory
Cnr Harman’s Mill Road and Tom Cullity Dr
Metricup
WA 6280
+61 (0)8 9755 6555
Opens daily, 9am – 5pm

I love my desserts but have never been much of a chocolate person. Still, being at the Margaret River Chocolate Factory was almost intoxicating! I spent so much time examining each chocolate bar/melt/chip/button/syrup/you-name-it-they-got-it, we just HAD to sit down for some hot chocolate… Well, that’s my excuse anyway. The hot chocolate was DELISH and that is exactly how I do my hot chocolate now – hot milk poured over chocolate buttons placed at the bottom of the mug. Stir.. and enjoy 😀 Thankfully there’s an outlet over at Swan River and although not the closest in terms of proximity, the drive there isn’t too crazy so if we need to stock up on choc chips, we don’t have to wait until we next head into Margaret River.

Simmo’s Ice Creamery
161 Commonage Road
Dunsborough
WA
+61 (0)8 9755 3745
Opens daily, 10.30am – 5pm

An ice-cream bar is every child – and my – favourite place ever, so I wasn’t about to pass up popping into Simmo’s on the way back into the city. It was a lovely, sweet and creamy way to round off the weekend 🙂 There’s a Simmo’s located in the Margaret River town centre but again, this would be the perfect pit-stop en route to Perth. Simmo’s in Dunsborough also has a fun park – let the kids loose, expend some of that energy, pop them back into the car and listen to the beautiful sound of silence as they sleep the whole ride home…

The Berry Farm
43 Bessell Rd
Margaret River
WA 6285
+61 (0)8 9757 5054
Opens daily, 10am – 4.30pm

Pop by the Berry Farm to load up on jams, preserves and port but don’t be expecting a stroll amongst bushels of berries or whatnot 😛 While you’re there, reward yourself with a cake and coffee at their Cottage Cafe but beware of the flies – the location is THAT rustic.

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And that, my friends, concludes my two-part series on Margaret River. I’ll keep in mind to check out new places the next time I’m there but, like many others who have been to Margaret River, I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up returning to my favourite spots 😀 tried and tested and a creature of habit – what more can I say xx

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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

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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…..