Fishbone Wines, Wilyabrup

Fishbone Wines, Wilyabrup
Fishbone Wines Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

There are many, many quality winery restaurants in the Margaret River region. Recently, we tried a winery that’s quite different to the usual south west spot. Fishbone has your classic offering of superb Margaret River wines, but here there’s a little twist – we enjoyed the wines in their sushi restaurant.

Fishbone Wines, Wilyabrup

The Wine

I always like to begin a winery lunch with a wine tasting, to suss out my favourite drop to enjoy with our meal. The Fishbone cellar door has some cracking wines! Though it’s no surprise, as their Winemaker Stuart Pierce has won many awards, including the prestigious Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy in 2010. My pick is their fruity 2017 chardonnay.

Fishtail Wines, Wilyabrup

At Fishbone, there’s casual dining outside on the terrace, with a view over the rolling lawns and countryside.

Fishtail Wines, Wilyabrup

We sat in the modern dining room, by the vibrant fishtanks and artworks.

Fishtail Wines, Wilyabrup

The Food

The Japanese-Korean fusion menu has so many tasty morsels to choose from and the food is very easy to share. Larger meals like ramen bowls, salad and fried rice sound mouth-watering too. The sushi roll portions come in half (4 rolls) and full (8 rolls). The Bulgogi Barbeque rolls GF ($17/$30) are stuffed with marinated Wagyu beef, lettuce, avocado, and spring onion.

Double salmon rolls GF ($17/$30) are filled with fresh salmon, avocado, onion, spring onion, topped with lightly torched, aburi salmon and sparkling fish roe, with teriyaki sauce, mayo.

Fishtail Wines, Wilyabrup

The miso pork, with crisp katsu pork was also popular on our table of 3.

On the specials board were Bulgogi fries ($12) topped with the moreish bbq beef, sour cream and spicy mayo. These were bloody delicious and I’m so happy to see they’ve now made it to the main menu.

Desserts are by locals Tucker and co. These all-raw treats are totally guilt free too as they are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. We shared three. White Choc and Blueberry Cake ($8.50) Cashew and coconut flesh, with white choc and berry. Topped with white choc cream and coconut beetroot sprinkles

My favourite was the orange blossom and raspberry square ($10). A wild orange and vanilla slice on an almond biscuit base, topped with raspberry, lemon curd and dried edible flowers. The peanut butter wheel ($7.50) is also delicious. Simple, raw handmade peanut butter and caramel coated in chocolate. These were scrumptious desserts to enjoy a little something sweet, without feeling like you’ve overeaten.

We loved our light lunch at Fishbone. The friendly, chatty service is really something special, as is the food and wine. Bookings are highly recommended at the popular spot. I’d absolutely go back for seconds (and thirds!).

Find out more on Fishbone Wines here.

White Elephant Café, Gnarabup

White Elephant Beach Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

When I’m dreaming about my next break in Margs, images of leafy wineries, lush forests and the untouched, rugged beach terrain dance around in my head. The ocean is so popular here, though there aren’t too many spots where you can dine by the sea… which is what makes White Elephant Cafe in Gnarabup so darn popular! The ocean view dining spot in the Margaret River region enjoys stunning views over Gnarabup Beach and serves up healthy and hearty breakfasts, lunches and coffee n’ cake.

We were staying just 5 minutes away at the beautiful air bnb Retreat on Roxburgh. A big breakfast at White Elephant Cafe was in order, before a busy day of wine tastings! The beach side spot is incredibly popular, which is no surprise when you spot that view! The 2 car parks get packed out in Summer. We visited mid-week, and there were plenty of shaded outside tables, there’s also space indoors for when it gets a bit breezy.

The breakfast menu is served until 12 noon and includes bircher muesli, Spanish eggs, Freo sardines and more. Service is minimal but friendly, with orders taken at the window and drinks orders picked up via buzzer from the main serving counter. There’s a good range of coffee, tea, smoothies and juices.

White Elephant Café, Gnarabup

The Food

I loved the smashed pumpkin on toasted sourdough ($19.50), with fresh avocado, feta, runny poached eggs and spiced pumpkin seeds. I don’t mind a veggie dish, but I couldn’t resist a side of bacon.

White Elephant Café, Gnarabup

My Dad chose the brekkie burger ($14.50). It’s usually served on a fluffy toasted milk bun, though he opted for the gluten free option. Brimming with crisp bacon, runny egg, cheddar cheese, aioli and tangy tomato relish.

White Elephant Café, Gnarabup

Here, the food is as delicious as the view. We really enjoyed our brunch and I would absolutely return to White Elephant Café.

Get more info on their website: www.whiteelephantcafe.com.au/

Retreat on Roxburgh Margaret River

Are you looking for a home away from home in the Margaret River region? I’ve found a cracker! Retreat on Roxburgh is a wonderful holiday home, where you can find a cosy space to enjoy – relaxing on the fairy-lit deck with a glass of local wine, watching a movie upstairs in the TV room or curled up by the fire with a book. The Airbnb is also found in the perfect spot for exploring the Margaret River region.

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Back in April I was doing it a bit tough. Chef had been away from home, running the Athletes Village kitchen at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games for a couple of months. It was definitely taking its toll on both Little Chef and me, being on our own for so long. Luckily, my wonderful parents whisked us away for a much needed break to Margaret River. We spent 4 blissful days at Retreat on Roxburgh.

The beautiful holiday rental was our home for a relaxing three nights. And we loved it so much we went back again recently. It has a secluded bushland feel, but still only 5 minutes’ drive from the convenience of Margaret River Town and the amazing local wineries.

The modern property features open plan living, two bedrooms with super comfy beds (sleeping up to 4 people) and stunning views of natural bushland and horse paddocks from every window. I particularly loved the cosy breakfast bar nook.

We were greeted by the wagging tail and friendly woof from Cooper, owner Annie’s friendly Dalmatian. Annie is very welcoming and lives in the Annex next door.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the delicious breakfast basket that Annie left for us on the kitchen bench. It was packed with everything we could want for a breakfast or two – local eggs, avocado, a fresh loaf of bread, muesli, milk and butter – even some chocolate and lemons from her tree!

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The gorgeous kitchen is well equipped with pretty much anything a Chef could need. If you’re not out eating like us, you’ll be able to cook up a storm at Retreat on Roxburgh. We did rustle up some tasty platers and breakfasts there. And of course there’s a BBQ on the deck for cooking in the great outdoors.

Retreat on Roxburgh Margaret River

We loved the cosy mezzanine TV room upstairs, with a sofa you can lounge and sink into, perfect for watching a movie.

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A retreat is the perfect time to focus on yourself and do those things you don’t have time to do at home – like take a long, candlelit bubble bath with a glass of wine! The bathroom also features a heater and towel warmer – essential during those South West winters.

Another winter must is the wood fireplace, which is so cosy.

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Outside, you’ll find a covered deck for alfresco dining, overlooking landscaped gardens, paddocks and bushland. It is a magical spot – especially when you switch on the fairy lights as the sun goes down.

Retreat on Roxburgh

The house is perfect for a family getaway with older kids, girly weekend or even a couple of couples (the king single beds can be configured into a queen). I wouldn’t take young children, mainly as there are a few steps inside and Annie’s property has a lot of her own beautiful ornaments around. 9 year old Little Chef was under strict instructions to not touch anything and thankfully there were no accidents. What Little Chef did love about the property was giving Cooper lots of pats and helping Annie lead her horses back into the stables. Annie was brilliant with him, and such a pleasure to chat with.

Retreat on Roxburgh

I loved getting up in the morning, breathing in the pristine country air, filled with notes of the sea and eucalyptus. Looking out over this peaceful paradise, where brilliant blue fairy wrens fly through the bushes and horses graze nearby, with a cuppa in my hand.

Retreat on Roxburgh

Though you might want a retreat to get away from the bright city lights and digital world, handy WiFi is available at Retreat on Roxburgh. I did try to switch off, but it is difficult in my line of work *wink*

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What’s Nearby?

Retreat on Roxburgh is so very close to some fantastic sightseeing spots… there’s many bushland walks and beaches to discover. The property is very close to Caves Road, making it a great base for wherever we were heading out for the day. It’s 5 minutes to Prevelly Beach and 5 minutes to Margaret River Town.

Where to Eat in the Area?

Here’s a few of my picks…

This time around, we enjoyed a lazy winery lunch at Xanadu, a long standing favourite of ours.

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Also, just a short drive away is Watershed Winery.

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I was so happy to finally tick White Elephant off my list for breakfast, which was a good as the view. The spot at Gnarabup beach is just 5 minutes drive from Retreat on Roxburgh.

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In the town, Brewhouse Margaret River, Burger Baby and Margaret River Bakery are also favourites of ours. There’s just never enough time to fit in all the restaurants, wineries and cafes I’d love to try! And if you want to put the kitchen to good use, we suggest you head to the Margaret River Markets on a Saturday morning for some local produce.

Hidden away in peaceful bushland, Retreat on Roxburgh feels a world away from the daily grind. We can see Annie has put a lot of love and thought into Retreat on Roxburgh. And it is immaculately clean. It has a real home away from home feel and offers so much value for money (from under $200 per night). The property has many living areas and wide open space to relax in. If you love horses, then you’ll really love it here. Book yourself a relaxing retreat – you’ll love it.

Find out more on the Retreat on Roxburgh Facebook page or book here.

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Xanadu Margaret River

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Chef and I were wowed by our winery lunch at Xanadu earlier this year. The restaurant is a stunning setting for a long lunch – the perfect mix of classy and casual. The plates that came out of the kitchen were thoughtful, innovative and above all – delicious. Their Head Chef Melissa Kokoti knows exactly what to do with the amazing local produce on her doorstep, as well as growing a lot of her own vegetables and herbs onsite.

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I jumped at the change to dine there again, when we were recently invited back for an encore. It was brilliant timing as I was already planning on enjoying a break with my parents in the foodie’s paradise that is Margaret River. This time the weather was a little chilly, so we enjoyed the ambiance inside the stone and timber-clad restaurant.

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As well as the amazing food, I was looking forward to a glass or two of my all time favourite chardy (the Black label 2016 Xanadu Chardonnay). I was so excited to hear that just a few days earlier Xanadu had been awarded the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy at the Melbourne Wine Show for their 2016 cabernet sauvignon. It’s regarded as being Australia’s top wine award, it’s been awarded to a WA winery only a handful of times.

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Xanadu Restaurant Manager Dexter, with the Jimmy Watson Trophy

We started off our lovely lunch with a glass of bubbles, from Xanadu’s sister winery Yarrabank. The sparkling Cuvee is made with French yeast and went down a treat. We looked over the menu and there are so many taste bud tempting dishes on there. The sashimi style ocean trout is a vibrant, flavour bomb of a dish. Plated beautifully with beetroot, black sesame, fish roe and lime, the fresh trout was silky smooth and absolutely delicious. I loved this entrée.

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My Dad made a bee-line for the moist smoked hock – mainly as it featured a bit of black pudding, a favourite of his. Plump broad beans, mint and apple made up this tasty dish which was finished with a garnish of thinly sliced crisp pig’s ears. That may sound a bit iffy, but they’re essentially the same as pork crackle and very moreish.

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The katalfi prawn dish was served in a deep, wide lipped bowl, which added to the drama of the striking whole prawns. The plump prawns are wrapped in a crisp pastry, which sit on a bead of smoked almonds, quinoa and pomegranate.

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The three of us were still gushing about our entrees when our mains arrived. I don’t think the Arkady lamb belly dish should ever leave the menu. Scrumptious rolled belly meat is so flavoursome. I love it. Served with parsnip, green olive, an almond vinaigrette and broccolini, I was so chuffed that I chose this dish.

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Rankin Cod was the market fish of the day, perfectly pan fried and accompanied by fennel, potato, tartare, herbs and lemon.

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There is so much finesse to the pretty venison dish. The game meat served in a crisp cigar along with beetroot, an oyster cream and bone marrow.

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Desert was a showstopper. Last time, I adored the strawberry panna cotta. This time a zingy lemon mousse, white chocolate, lemon balm, apple granita is served in a stemless wineglass… which was really quite apt, as after a few wines I was on the way to  feeling a bit legless myself! I love wine, but rarely have more than a glass or two in a sitting, as it does go to my head.

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My Mum also loved her mille-feuille of salted caramel, vanilla, praline, and dark chocolate sorbet. mille-feuille means “million layers” in French and refers to the puff pastry.

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Cheese goes so well with wine, so my Dad chose a creamy blue gorgonzola. The cheese, which was surprisingly sweet, was spread liberally on lavosh with nut and fruit pastes.
If the choice of a whole menu is just too much, Xanadu’s Chefs can create a degustation of their favourite dishes for $85 per person.

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The day we dined, Xanadu had been announced as being in the top 50 restaurants in Western Australia, by the WA Good Food Guide. Another very well deserved accolade for the popular winery restaurant. If you haven’t been to Xanadu yet to see what all the fuss is about, you really must book a table next time you’re in Margs – it’s simply superb.

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Find more info on Xanadu Margaret River on their website.

Big thanks to Dexter and his friendly front of house team, as well as Chef Mellissa and her talented Chefs, for making our Xanadu lunch so special. We’ll absolutely be back.

Burger Baby, Margaret River

IMG_1756There’s a new burger joint in Margs! Burger Baby is found on Bussell Highway – right in the heart of town. The casual eatery has an eclectic, vintage vibe. At Burger Baby you can dine inside, where there’s lots of tables, as well as comfy sofas. The alfresco area, which overlooks the main street, looks pretty special at night with its fairy lights all lit up.

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The table service is small-town friendly. The chatty staff gave us helpful suggestions, as we decided which burgers to choose from the menu, which also features chicken burgers, pork belly burgers (yum!), lentil burgers and more.

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Chef chose the Everything Burger ($19) on a buttery brioche bun. As the name suggests, it’s a massive burger, brimming with beef, bacon, caramelised onion, tomato, greens, pickles, melted cheese and mayo. The 70% grass fed beef patties are finished with wagyu, just to add a little extra fat content. You know, fat = flavour after all.

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I chose the “everything burger” too. The gluten free bun was totally stuffed with so much tastiness. It’s a delicious burger, and the GF bun was one of the best I’ve had!

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Little Chef wolfed down a mini beef cheese burger ($9). There is also a mini chicken n cheese kid’s burger available. We shared a piping hot serve of chips. There are plenty of sides, like loaded chips, corn and salads available too.

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For families who love a game night there’s a pile of board games (Guess Who, Cluedo etc), as well as a pool table and foosball table. Little Chef found a few friends and had a great time playing foosball.

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Burger Baby’s fresh and tasty burgers are well worth checking out for a delicious and great value family meal in Margaret River town.

Find Burger Baby at 1/115 Bussell Highway, Margaret River, WA.

Bina Maya Yallingup Escape

Bina Maya Yallingup Escape is a must for your next getaway in the Margaret River region. We were invited to stay in the shiny and new two bedroom villa, for a blissful two nights, by owners Sara and Tim. I had a ball looking around the luxury Adrian Zorzi built villa – let me show you…

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The luxe Bina Maya, which opened early in 2108, has a secluded bushland feel. Saying that, it’s only minutes from the conveniences of Dunsborough and Yallingup. Not to mention the amazing local wineries… 

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Offering a two bedroom “Villa” or four bedroom “Residence”, both spots at Bina Maya feature uninterrupted bushland views, open plan living, luxe bathrooms and stunning design features like a floating dining table, Italian leather sofas and big, comfy beds.

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Outside, you’ll find landscaped gardens and a deck for alfresco dining. Bina Maya is set in 7.5 acres of native bushland. It’s a magical place at dawn – Bina’s meaning is “light of the morning” and Maya means “our hut” in Aboriginal. There’s bush tracks to walk around the property where you’re likely to see kangaroos, and a creek flows in winter. The local roos love to nibble on the lawn, we spotted one with a joey at dusk. Little Chef was so excited!

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Once we’d settled in at our villa, I poured myself a glass of wine and found a spot to read by the window – I felt a million miles away from anywhere.

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A Foodie’s Paradise

The state of the art kitchen is well equipped with pretty much anything a Chef could need. Trust me – he checked out all the cupboards and draws! From a well-stocked pantry with basics like herbs, EVOO and flour, to an essential Nespresso machine and lots of utensils and appliances – you’ll be able to cook up a storm at Bina Maya.

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Chef loved cooking in the kitchen, what better way to make the most of the fantastic local produce. He threw together some easy “Posh Dawgs” with locally made Beef and Bootleg Brewery Stout sausages, Margaret River Kimchi and local cheese. And BBQ’d lamb cutlets with a beet and quinoa salad for me. So tasty!

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The stunning kitchen also has some cool features like a ultra-mod tap, that clicks out to be used like a hose in the sink. There’s even a dedicated wine fridge, to pop your wine bottles in, keeping them at the perfect drinking temperatures – red or white. And the practical laundry is cleverly hidden away behind cupboard doors. And of course there’s a BBQ on the deck for cooking in the great outdoors.

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Indulge

A retreat is the perfect time to focus on yourself and do those things you don’t have time to do at home – like take a long bubble bath with a glass of wine! The custom-made bath caddys are so handy – with spots for your wine glass, candles, even your iPad!

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Tech Savvy

Though you might want a retreat to get away from the bright city lights and digital world, handy WiFi is available at Bina Maya. There’s also a Sonos smart wireless speaker to stream your phone’s music playlist to. I had a bit of Oasis and 90s rock in the background while we enjoyed our dinner on the deck. Streaming services are also available to watch on the TVs. Perfect for binge-watching in the king-sized beds!

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Comfort

Sara really has thought of everything, no expense has been spared. From slipping in-between the indulgent organic cotton sheets, or wrapping yourself in a fluffy bathrobe, to underfloor heating in the luxury bathrooms – essential during those South West winters!

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Another winter must is their designer European Morso fireplace, which I bet will be so cosy. All the quality organic toiletries are locally sourced and contain no nasties. The Enliven botanical mint hand wash smells divine. I literally couldn’t stop smelling my hands!

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Yoga

Massage treatments or private yoga and Pilates sessions are available at Bina Maya. I can’t recommend Daphne from Solas enough. She had mountains of patience working with me, a yoga virgin, and I totally loved it.

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Last year I took time out to focus on my health. I wasn’t feeling great and came to the conclusion that a lot of it was attributed to gluten. Now that I’ve ditched the bread and pasta, I feel much better and moving into 2018 I’ve looked at ways in which I can feel even better by adding more exercise and movement into my daily life, which is largely spent chained to my laptop. This yoga lesson is a positive little step in this direction!

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And thank you Daphne for my natural Solas Essentials goodies. More on Solas here.

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Need Something a bit larger?

The neighbouring “Residence” was having the finishing touches put to it when we stayed at Bina Maya. If you think the Villa is breathtaking, just wait till you see this…

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The four bedroom, 2 bathroom residence features a huge open plan living area, one of the most stunning kitchens I have seen (imagine cooking in there!), which opens out to a large deck with day beds and huge entertaining area.

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The larger house is perfect for a family getaway, a group of couples or a girly weekend (many of the king beds can be split into singles) or even a small wedding.

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What’s Nearby?

Bina Maya is sooooo close to some fantastic spots… there’s pristine bushland and beaches (my favourite has to Meelup). The villa is just a few streets from Yallingup Woodfired Bread. Their bread comes hot out of the oven each afternoon. Head there about 4pm to pick up a fresh loaf, Little Chef loved their rustic fruit loaf.

One of my favourite wineries of all time Happs is close by. I’ve long been a fan of pretty much all their wines, their rosé and preservative free range in particular. Their Dry rosé is new to me and I loved it. Simmos Icecreamery is also just around the corner, where we headed for goofy golf and a scoop or two.

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Cape Naturalise Lighthouse, is a short drive away and a tour to the top of the lighthouse is definitely recommended! Want to indulge even more? I headed to the award winning Bodhi J Indjinup Spa Retreat for a relaxing massage, in a treatment room with a view!

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Where to Eat

In the Bina Maya handbook, Sara (a self-confessed foodie), has listed some great places to dine at in the local area, including newbie Yarri by acclaimed Chef Aaron Carr. Here’s a few of my picks…

Aravina Estate is the perfect all-rounder in the Dunsborough area. Great food, plus lush gardens, a mini motor museum, big playground, gift shop – oh and there’s wine too! This time around, we enjoyed a lazy winery lunch at Xanadu, a long standing favourite of ours (blog coming soon!). Though it’s at the southern end of the Margaret River region, it’s well worth a drive to.

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Not a wine lover? That’s OK! The south west has several spots where beer drinkers will enjoy. Eagle Bay Brewing Co is a short drive away and has good food too.  And if you want to put that beautiful Bina Maya kitchen to good use, we suggest you head into Dunsborough and grab some local provisions from Merchant & Maker. We got Kimchi, gourmet salad, and more! The neighbouring Dunsborough butcher is also excellent.

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Hidden away in peaceful bushland, the Scandi-chic Bina Maya villa feels a world away from the daily grind. We could see a lot of love and thought has been put into Bina Maya by Sara and Tim, to make sure each and every guest finds their happy place here (mine was sitting at the window nook).

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Bina Maya is truly stunning. Book yourself a relaxing retreat there – you’ll love it.

Find out more on the Bina Maya website.

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And a special mention to B Directory, who arranged this amazing weekend for us. They’re a local Perth company who bring West Aussie businesses and bloggers together.

Thanks Elsa and Kristy! X

Aravina Estate – Yallingyup

UntitledawAravina Estate Restaurant & Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chef and I love nothing more than a delicious meal over a glass of wine when we dine in Margaret River, though we don’t always feel comfortable taking seven year old Little Chef along to some of the fancy winery restaurants. So for us, Aravina ticks all the boxes. It is a classy, but laid back winery with great food and wine, plenty of things to do and see and best of all its family friendly!IMG_9810

On our break to Margs last year, we visited Aravina. We drove down the sweeping driveway, past the many rows of vines, parking near the lush gardens. It was the third time we’d visited. The first being a decade earlier, on our honeymoon. It was known as the Amberley Estate and their Chenin Blanc was my favourite tipple. Aravina has a French provincial style cellar door and is set in gorgeous surroundings, with lush plants and huge lawns for the kids to run about on. The dining room is equally as stunning.IMG_9825

 

Aravina’s restaurant is a great spot for a lazy lunch. We’d been here before, but not since their well renowned Executive Chef Ben Day took over the kitchen along with his team. Chef Ben is known as a bit of a forager and gather and I was excited to see which interesting local ingredients we’d get to try.  On his menu, only the highest quality local produce is used, with a lot of it grown onsite. We picked a 2014 ‘Single Vineyard’ Shiraz , $12per glass to enjoy with our lunch. It was wonderfully smooth.IMG_9830

 

Chef and I enjoyed two courses from the set menu for $60 each (or $70 for three). The Aravina menu changes regularly, so these dishes won’t be available now, but you can see how beautifully plated they are. Chef chose the tender Blue Ridge marron with marron dashi, which is a Japanese style soup. It’s served with fermented celeriac and foraged mushrooms.IMG_9837

I adored the crispy lamb pastilla, which is a little like a northern African spring roll. It was brimming with moist lamb and accompanied by a charred eggplant salad, date & rose puree and dollops of hung yoghurt.IMG_9842

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Brewhouse – Margaret River

img_9997Brewhouse Margaret River Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

All this unseasonal wintery weather has had me thinking about our trip to Margaret River last year. We found a beaut new spot on a soggy old day, with a roaring fire, quality beer and hearty pub grub.img_9994

If there’s something Margs isn’t short of it’s a brewery. Brewhouse is found just on the outskirts of town, about an 8 minute walk from the Margaret River Tourist Information Centre, handy if you’re staying in the town itself. There’s a big beer garden, patio and sandy playground for the kids. img_9983

With the rain teaming down outside, I just had to have a hot chocolate to warm me up. We were lucky to get the best seat in the (brew)house – right next to the cosy roaring fire!img_9979

Chef, who loves a craft beer or three, was spoiled for choice at the bar. There’s something to please all beer lovers from your regular Aussie larger, an English golden ale, stout, pale ales, pilsner, IPA and more. Chef was impressed by Brewhouses’ German style Kolsch. img_9993

The food menu has a stack of choice. You can either share plates and choose several dishes from the “sharing is caring” menu or fly “hans solo” and keep your dish to yourself! Chef chose a pulled pork pizza, $22. The moist meat, with tangy house made BBQ sauce, onions and bocconcini cheese was a delicious combination.img_9985

Feeling like a pork dish too, I picked a very tasty sounding pork roll with chips from the special’s menu, $24. The roll was brimming with a generous chunk of farmhouse pork belly, sweet pear chutney, pan gravy and a fennel slaw. The pork belly, complete with crispy crackling, was as delicious as I’d hoped. I did find it a little difficult to eat without a knife and fork though.img_9991

In keeping with our piggy theme for lunch, Little Chef enjoyed a bacon pineapple and cheese pizza $12, from the “Young Ones” menu.img_9984

We found the food offering at Brewhouse is tasty and well priced. We’d absolutely go there again for a top notch pub meal and hopefully next time the weather is pleasant enough to chillax in their beer garden too!img_9982

 

Simmo’s Icecream – Dunsborough

UntitledsssSimmos Icecreamery & Cafe on Urbanspoon
This was our second visit to Simmo’s Ice creamery. It’s a few minutes south of the sea-side town of Dunsborough; set in lovely green and shady grounds. With a playground for the kids, a crazy golf course and… wait for it… an Ice cream Eating Emu!! No Joke. Watch your fingers!!
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IMG_9937We had;

The grandads in our group had Rum n Raisin in a cone (it was delicious I was told). Untitledrnr

Little Chef chose Bubble-gum. I had anticipated this from the last visit and dressed LC in a matching blue shirt! Haha Luckily, he didn’t drip much this time and remarked that it was “super tasty”. IMG_9926

The service at Simmo’s is super friendly. One of the lady’s in particular (I wish I knew her name), was absolutely lovely. She was very chatty and gave us a few tips of where to eat in the area. After giving her my order “Meringue, Blueberry & White choc” and “Banoffee Pie”. I asked her what her favourite flavour was; “Mascarpone Orange Swirl” which she popped a mini scoop of on the top. And OH. MY. GOODNESSSS The lovely lady was absolutely spot-on. I think I liked that flavour the best too!!Untitled3ic

Lyons Den – Yallingup Private Holiday Home

I was trying to find the perfect holiday home in Western Australia’s South Western region. There were a lot of people to please. I had my English Cousins visiting us. There were 6 of them; children, parents and grandparents. Then there was the 3 of us and my parents too. Luckily there are a lot of BIG houses in the Margaret River wine region!! I spent hours searching on the internet. I happened upon the website www.stays.com.au , which was invaluable. IMG_9582

Lyons Den has 6 Bedrooms. A King with spa en-suite, a double with shower en-suite, two further doubles, a twin bedroom and the kids bedroom with two bunks and a trundle. There is also another bathroom with shower and bath. It can easily accommodate about 15 people and 2 or 3 familys comfortably. The chef’s kitchen was given the tick of approval by Chef. It had a double sized fridge/freezer, huge breakfast bar, great stove and Nesspresso machine (which was a god-send after a few late nights!).There is also a large dining table and sofas galore!IMG_9584

The kids were kept entertained. As well as lots of books and toys in the room there was a fabulous playground and sandpit. Also outside overlooking Geographe Bay was the tennis court and large entertaining patio with BBQ.IMG_9580

Lyons Den is a short drive south of Busselton, down Caves Road. It’s only about 5 minutes from Yallingup too. Whilst we were there, we discovered the beautiful and historic Caves House, which is a fantastic pub with a huge decked outdoor area and manicured gardens. Though the ocean at Yallingup might be a bit rough for swimming, there is an absolutely fantastic playground by the beach for the kids.IMG_0112IMG_0106IMG_0126IMG_0320

On the second day at LD, I thought I’d see what was behind the garage door. I’d assumed it was just an empty double garage – but I found bikes, tennis equipment, scooters, footballs and a TABLE TENNIS TABLE!! We were all very excited and had a boys vs girls tournament that night – I’m pleased to say the girls won!

Oh and the spa bath was a hit too!

Though this post is obviously not about food, it was part of a food and wine holiday and I thought I’d share our experience in case any of you are looking at having a holiday with extended family. I’d never booked private accommodation online and I found it a very easy experience; from booking online to  Alison promptly answering my questions. I would love to stay at Lyons Den again one day. There is something at Lyons Den for everyone. I think it would be a lovely cosy house in winter too, with the wood fire roaring! (no pun intended!).