There was something very familiar about the Aravina Winery. I had a feeling of déjà vu as we drove down the vine-lined driveway. I discovered that it is the old “Amberley” estate, though now it’s been given a French Provincial/Hamptons style makeover; I barely recognised it from our Honeymoon. Rewind back to 2006 and Chef and I enjoyed a lovely meal there on the terrace – when I’d been the Chef’s Wife just a matter of days.
As well as the cellar door and restaurant there is also a shady playground for the kids, a café (for coffee and cake), a lovely gift shop and a small motor collection. I spotted a red Ferrari poking through the door and I think I ran towards it! (I’m a big F1 fan).
The grounds are stunning. We were seated on the terrace, overlooking the vines – what a view! Our waiter was excellent and answered any questions we had, without missing a beat.
Our only (very small) quibble was, that one of the people on our table was a gluten free vegetarian (that ate seafood). There weren’t many options for her so she asked if she could combine the scallop entrée and the side of lettuce to make a salad. This unfortunately got lost in translation and my cousin got the lovely scallop dish for entrée, followed with a bowl of lettuce for main. To be fair to Aravina, we never pointed it out to the wait staff to rectify it, it was just taken in good humour.
We all enjoyed our food. It was tasty, fresh and well presented. We had;
14hr braised lamb shoulder, char grilled lamb chops, pumpkin and sage puree, green beans and tzatziki $34 I had this – it was absolutely A*!! The lamb was delish, usually I wouldn’t nibble on the bones in public – but I just couldn’t resist! I didn’t want to leave a morsel.
The Aravina Estate is stunning, if you visit now you’ll enjoy it. But give it a few more months and it will be worth the wait. Internationally renowned Cape Lodge Chef, Tony Howell, is going to be leading the Aravina kitchen from early in the New Year. That will take the food to another level entirely. By then the terrace extension should be finished, as will the new function room. It’s about 10/15 mins drive south of Dunsbourgh. There is something for everyone here; Aravina is a must stop for your next trip to the Margaret River Region.