Greenhorns, Perth CBD

The Raine Square redevelopment has created quite the hub for foodies in Perth’s CBD. From Tim Ho Wan and the soon to open Hunter and Barrel, and the plush Palace Cinemas with rooftop bar, there’s plenty of choices for dining. We headed into the city for a post-Christmas shop and pulled up a stool at Greenhorns Bar and Deli to fill up on some gourmet burgers. We were also on the lookout for some of their famous cheese gravy!

The bar is found on the ground level of Raine Square, in the food court. A hop skip and jump from Perth underground station and the Murray Street mall.

The Food

Chef chose the “House Double”, a double beef pattie, made with house ground WA grass fed beef with crisp maple bacon, grilled onions, melted American cheese and salad – lettuce, pickles, tomato, and smothered in house sauce.

The sides menu has tasty morsels like pork belly bites, fried cheese balls and cheeseburger spring rolls. We were there for one thing… the cheese gravy. Yep, you heard right, a bowl of gooey cheese to dip your burger in – talk about lush!

I copied Chef, though the other burger options – pulled beef, buttermilk chicken, truffle mushroom, Mexican, pulled pork and Greek lamb all sounded drool-worthy. The serves of chips are really generous too. The GF bun wasn’t the best I’ve had, but it was pretty good.

Little Chef picked the ”Grom Burger Combo”, which is quite a feast for little grommets. He devoured the cheese burger, fries and a drink in next to no time. It was a very good sized kid’s meal. The kids menu also features popcorn chicken, mac n cheese and even cheeseburger spring rolls!

Beer goes down a treat with a burger and Greenhorns are partners with local brewers Feral. There’s some good quality cocktails and a small selection of wines and spirits on offer too. My pick would be a boozy milkshake next time.

All in all, we liked Greenhorns a lot. The boys loved their fresh burgers, as did I. Though I do wish I could eat their delicious burgers as they are intended to be, on a buttery brioche #GF Problems What we all discovered that Cheese Gravy is a glorious thing to dunk your burger in – get on it!

Find out more on their website https://www.greenhorns.com.au/

Helm, Fremantle

Helm Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Creatures is as Freo as fish ‘n chips or the Dockers. New spot Helm, previously Creatures NextDoor, has an entirely different feel to its beer-hall neighbour. Helm is named for the buildings distinct architecture, evocative of a large ship’s bridge, as the building was designed in the 1980’s for the America’s Cup.

This light and bright bar-restaurant overlooks the bustling Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, we could be sitting on a cruiser. The décor isn’t so much “Love Boat” as it is cruise chic, with low key, neutral décor leading my eye out to the water view.

As dazzling rays of late afternoon light shine straight into the dinning space, through the huge windows, we shuffle around our circular booth to avoid the glare. Soon enough though, we enjoy a glorious sunset. There’s plenty of choices of where to sit, high tables by the bar, cosy booths, lounging by the window or even alfresco on the balcony.

The coastal, laid back vibe lends well to the kitchen’s focus on quality seasonal produce, with a fresh, Mediterranean feel. On the menu, dishes are cooked over fire and designed to share. There’s even dedicated vegan, vegetarian and coeliac menus that offer a lot of choice. Our waitress asks if we’d like all the food to arrive as it is ready, all together or however else we like.

The Drinks

Cocktails are the name of the game at Helm. A short, but well curated wine list is also on offer, as well as their own Little Creatures range of beers. I enjoy a summery take on the Aperol Spritz – the delicious Aperol Twist, a lip smacking concoction of gin, prosecco and aperol, served with strawberries.

The Food

The cocktail is perfectly paired with freshly shucked oysters ($4.50 each) with a mignonette sauce and squeeze of lemon. Looking at that view with an oyster in one hand and a cocktail in the other is what summer in Fremantle should be all about.

A plate of serrano ham, bresaola, prosciutto and a scattering of caperberries ($12) goes down a treat with a little house-made focaccia on the side.

Silky flesh of fire roasted eggplant ($18), is topped with jewels of sweet pomegranate and mint. Crunch comes from walnuts and crispy fried shallots on this winning veggie dish.

Helm, Fremantle

Several seafood dishes catch my eye, Abrolhos Island scallops, Cloudy Bay clams, but none more so than the tempting grilled Albany mackerel ($34). The fillets are served lustrous silver-skin up, and sit upon sliced green and heirloom tomatoes. A creamy, though mild, chili sauce finishes this summery dish.

Pillow-soft potato gnocchi ($26) is served with plump broad beans, peas, and liberal shavings of sottocenere, an Italian-style truffle cheese. A seagull watches us intently with a beady eye from the window. They’ll be no leftovers for him. While our dishes are delicious, it’s not all plain sailing – the portions are on the small-side.

This is most telling with the 12 hour arkady lamb shoulder, served with goats curd, mint and capers. Although it’s perfectly cooked and packed with charred, meaty flavours, for $36, there just isn’t enough of it. Sharing with Chef, we get just a few bites each.

Still a bit peckish, I devour the strawberry semifreddo ($16), with meringue and popping candy. The desserts are beautifully plated and a little more generous in size.

Thank goodness for Chef, who knows how to pronounce the rich chocolate “cremeux” ($17), saving me from embarrassment. A velvety chocolate custard-like cremeux is served with scrumptious peanut butter mousse and crunchy wattle seed brittle.

Helm is a welcome addition to the casual seafood cafes of the Fishing Boat Harbour. Here you can sit back and enjoy the view with a drink in hand and don’t have to shoo the pesky seagulls away from your share plates. Service is attentive and helpful. If the kitchen beefs up their portion sizes, we’d absolutely drop anchor at Helm again.

At a glance

■ Helm

Upstairs, 42 Mews Rd
Fremantle
Phone 6215 1063

■ Opening times

7 Days – 11.30am until late

■ Rating

food 4
service 4
ambience 4
value for money 3

■ style – Mediterranean   

■ wine – Extensive drinks list focusing on cocktails. Interesting wines, beers and spirits are also on offer.

■ Head Chef – Mathew Powell

■ Owner – Lion

■ feel – a fresh, inviting coastal space

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Share $6 – $38
Dessert $16 – $17

■ all in all – A shiny, new Mediterranean spot, which has a fresh focus on WA produce, top notch drinks and a stunning view over the Fishing Boat Harbour.

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.

Madame Queenie, Sorrento

Madam Queenie, Sorrento Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If you’re a fan of Voyage Kitchen, their sister restaurant Madame Queenie is found right upstairs. It’s a little different from the casual brekkie spot – with this eatery adopting a Modern Asian feel. From the windows, you can take in a stunner of a view over Sorrento Beach, making it a lovey place to dine at sunset.

I enjoyed a spur of the moment dinner there recently (hence the dark smartphone pics!). I love the open, modern dining room with it’s traditional wicker light features.

The drinks menu has plenty of options, whatever your preferred tipple. There’s lots of cocktails, as well as a decent winelist and local beers. I love a Margaret River chardy, so the Vasse Felix ‘Premium’ Chardonnay ($13) went down a treat along the fresh Asian flavours.

On the south east Asian inspired menu you’ll find favourites Pad Thai, chow main and Thai green curry make an appearance, as well as claypot dishes, fragrant salads and sticky beef short ribs. If you have a gluten intolerance, you’ll be spoiled for choice with over 20 dishes either completely gluten free or able to be made gluten free. I was stoked!

Madame Queenie, Sorrento

I loved the simple, but tasty chicken pad Thai ($22.50). The generous portion of chicken was served on a mound of rice noodles, with tamarind, bean shoots, peanuts, citrus, fried egg, coriander and a mild chilli kick. Spice it up with extra fresh chili, on the side.

A lighter option is the chicken san choi bao ($15.50). It’s a hands-on dish, where sautéed chicken, vegetables and bean shoots are scooped into lettuce cups.

Madame Queenie is also open for lunch and take away orders. Another great way to dine at the Asian eatery is to grab a group of 4 or more friends and share the “Queenies Banquet”. The food is fresh, tasty and very well priced making Madame Queenie a delicious spot for a casual ocean-side meal.

Find out more on their website

Burns Beach Café, Iluka

Burns Beach Café
Burns Beach Cafe and Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Burns Beach Café is one of my most favourite locals. We’ve visited too many times to count over the years. Recently we’ve been heading there a few times a week for our coffee fix, as we take our pup Ruby for an ocean-side walk. You may have noticed this if you follow me on Instagram stories (@TheChefsWifePerth), where I give a glimpse into my everyday life.

Burns Beach Café

The coastal spot is very popular, especially with walkers and people brunching. Even on a random Thursday morning I find myself queuing for a coffee. Fix is the roast – which is really, really, good.

Burns Beach Café

It’s very dog friendly too. Ruby sits in the alfresco area with us – there’s water bowls and even a doggy menu too! The ‘Doggy Num Yum’s’ menu includes Doggy Pupsicles and porky ears.

Most of the seating is found alfresco. You can enjoy an ocean view from many tables, though there is a road/small car park in-between. On the menu, there’s a wide selection of food and drinks. It’s a great spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Lately we stopped by for both breakfast and lunch.

Breakfast

It’s a big call, but the Potato Rosti dish ($18.50) is the best rosti I’ve had in Perth – and I’ve eaten a lot! The tasty and crisp rosti is served with bacon, runny poached eggs, a Branston style chutney, spinach, rocket and shavings of parmesan. I love it when gluten free doesn’t equal bland.

Burns Beach Cafe

Chef was equally enthusiastic about the “Blackstone” ($19.50) a yummy brunch dish comprising of more runny poached eggs, moreish bacon crumb, grilled tomato, smothered in buttery hollandaise and served on ciabatta toast.

Burns Beach Cafe

A small kid’s breakfast menu is available which includes bacon and eggs on toast or waffles with ice-cream, strawberries and popping candy!

Lunch

The lunchtime menu has a lot of choice with share plates and large plates, as well as hands on foods to keep to yourself, like some bloody delicious burgers. We were invited down for a lunch and Chef raved about the Pork Belly Burger, with white miso kimchi, Kewpie mayo and a fried egg – sunny side up. All burgers are served with a side of chips.

Burns Beach Cafe

My pumpkin salad ($25) was epic! The massive bowl was choc-full with roast pumpkin, grilled haloumi, broccolini, quinoa, walnut pesto and half an avo. Another GF gem. I recon I have a pretty big appetite but I couldn’t finish this.

Burns Beach Cafe

There is a small kids menu, which also doubles as an over 65’s menu – good idea! This offers chicken nuggets and chips, spaghetti bolognaise and Little Chef’s favourite – fresh battered fish and chips with a salad. All are generous portions and use good quality ingredients.

Burns Beach Cafe

Inside, there’s daily specials listed on the chalk board, as well as a display cabinet full of delicious cakes and raw treats.

Burns Beach Cafe

There is a large car park opposite, though it can still prove difficult to find a parking spot on a warm, sunny day.

Burns Beach Cafe

If you have kids in tow, you can also grab a takeaway coffee and an ice-cream and head over to the park opposite, where there’s loads of grass to throw down a rug, while the kids play on the shaded playground.

Burns Beach Café’s quality offering of food and drink, coupled with it’s stunning setting means that we’ll be back again and again to this brilliant café!

Burns Beach Cafe is located at 35 Ocean Parade, Burns Beach.

Find out more on their website burnsbeachcafe.com.au

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/

The Chefs Wife – Best of 2018

2018 has been the most action packed year yet for the Chef’s Wife! It’s been 12 months full of many highlights. Like every year, I feel like I didn’t blog as much as I wanted, but life just gets in the way. I’m slowly feeling ok with that, but I’d love to write more often on dining, foodie events and travel.

My blog highlights of 2018

Looking back, it was a busy old year! I was proud as punch to be ranked in the top 3 of Perth’s most popular and influential Food Review Blogs (source aussiefoodbloggers.com.au). The list is a fabulous way to discover more Perth Food Bloggers, including cooking-style blogs.

This year I have continued my monthly restaurant review for the Post (the Western Suburbs local newspaper). I’m heading into my sixth year of reviews and very proud to be a part of such a well written local newspaper.

I’ve been freelancing my little butt off! I also write about kid friendly places to visit and dine for Perth’s #1 Family Website Buggybuddys.

My blog highlight for 2018 was visiting the Gascoyne Food Festival in Carnarvon. I had three days in the winter sunshine packed with amazing WA produce, from touring the plantations with some of Perth & WA’s tops Chefs, to enjoying a lazy long table lunch and epic assado-style BBQ. It really struck home to me just how bloody amazing the fruit, veg and seafood is up in Carnarvon and that we need to support the hard working farmers by remembering to always “Buy West, Eat Best”.

For the City of Perth’s Eat Drink Perth food festival I checked out a vodka high tea, and Northbridge walking tour and loved getting stuck into “Let’s Thursday Like it’s Friday” with a cocktail walking tour of Perth city and tacos at Baby Mammoth.

I worked with City of Vincent this year to highlight the brilliant North Perth Café scene for Mothers Day. My own Mum and Little Chef joined me on a photoshoot – which was a first for me! Though it was far out of my comfort zone, I’m so happy that I was brave enough to give it a go. I loved the pics and discovering gems Satchmo and The Old Laundry.

Our beautiful city played host to some fantastic events this year. The Night Noodle Markets were excellent. I even had a chat with Marco Pierre White! My Brother in law, The Pastry Chef, used to work for him in London. Our favourite dining experience of 2018, has to be a tie. Billie H was a lunch to remember, as were our two epic lunches at the amazing Xanadu Winery in Margaret River.

I was lucky enough to head to Margs three times this year. I still have a few blogs to write from our stays at Binya Maya and Retreat on Roxburgh. That’s on my to do list for 2019 – as well as more travel. I was also really lucky to enjoy a few stay-cays in the metro area, with Crown Towers being cream of the crop! I relished every moment of a very special progressive dinner at the magical Crown last month.

My love for the Perth Hills continues with a few trips to gem La Fattoria and the new Naked Apple Cider House. There’s a few hills newbies I hope to try in the new year. I think this amazing part of Perth doesn’t get as much exposure as it should, so I’m more than happy to toot my horn about the Perth Hills at every opportunity. Which was why I was so excited to get involved with the Armadale Hill’s Araluen Avocado Festival recently.

My Favourite 2018 Openings

In 2018 we have eaten at many diverse cafes, bars, restaurants and even food trucks. Here’s my favourite new Perth dining spots for this year…

o   Cocktails by the harbour at Helm, Fremantle

o   Top notch Italian dining at Garum, Perth CBD

o   A egg-tastic brunch at 8 Yolks, Success

o   Huuuuuge burgers at Charcoal Charlies, Currambine

My Favourite “Oldies” of 2018

To be fair, some of these venues aren’t that old. With all the hype of new venues, it’s important to support existing restaurants that are doing a fantastic job too! Here are my favourite Perth dining spots I visited in 2018:

o             Piggy Food Co – North Freo

o             Cott & Co Fish Bar, Cottesloe

o             Moore & Moore – Fremantle

o             D’s Authentic Japanese – Connoly

o             Bistro Guillaume – Crown Perth

o             Guildford Hotel – Guildford

And THOSE closures!

Not only did 2018 hold many tasty new spots to try, it was the year that we said goodbye to lots of favourites – West @Ku De Ta, Basq, Hermosa… the list went on. I was so gobsmacked by the spectacular implosion of Ku De Ta, that I took a second to take stock and go through my blog, realising that since I started it in 2013, SO MANY of the spots we’d dined at had closed their doors – leading to my most popular post of the year – “32 Restaurants That Have Closed in Perth”. Fingers crossed 2019 is a much more successful year for Perth’s restaurateurs!

Vital Statistics

My background is in accounts, so I’m a total number nerd. I love a stat and think its pretty nifty to see how my little blog has grown from year to year. Here’s a few of my 2018 stats…

o             58 new blog posts

o             Over 48,000 views of my blog posts

o             15,000 social media followers, growing by the day.

You can follow me on social media at…

@Thechefswifeperth on Instagram

@perthchefswife on Twitter

On Facebook www.facebook.com/TheChefHisWifeTheirPerthFectLife

A Word on Invited and Sponsored Posts

To all the restaurants, artisans and local companies that have contacted me in 2018 – thank you for taking the time to discover my blog. I get an incredible amount of emails and invites on a daily basis and unfortunately it would be impossible to attend all the events I’m invited to, and not drown in “mum guilt”.

Another reason I limit my invited/sponsored posts is that I want to keep my blog as interesting as possible. An authentic meal at a restaurant (where the wait staff have no idea that I’m a blogger) makes for the most interesting and “real” blogging experience. Saying that, an invite to a restaurant that I’ve not had chance to discover or would not have thought to go to, always mixes it up a bit and offers some unique experiences… like meeting renowned Chefs (like having high tea with Chef Anna Polivou!), hanging on stage at the Regal Theatre or cooking in the C Restaurant Kitchen.

Sure, it’s great getting a freebie, but as the saying goes ‘nothing really comes for free”. With each kind gift and invite, a lot of my time and effort goes into creating posts to promote it. When I do collaborate with a brand, I do like to keep it local and you know I’m bringing you something I’m genuinely excited about.

Our 2018

This year had many personal highs and lows. Just like a rollercoaster, it seemed like it was all over in the blink of an eye. Outside of my blog and family life I love to get stuck into the Formula One season and my favourite book series Outlander. And I managed to squeeze both in. I can’t tell you how excited I am for Game of Thrones to be back on our screens in a few months!

This year my little business – The Chef’s Wife Social Media Management grew and grew. I love working from home and the flexibility that freelancing gives me, especially with Little Chef. Specialising in the hospitality, family and lifestyle industries. I work with cafes, hotels, restaurants, takeaways, lifestyle products, family brands and more to create content for their own blogs and social media platforms. Feel free to get in touch with any questions for your business.

Chef had a crazy 9 weeks working at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. He ran the Athlete’s Village Kitchen, which was open 24/7, so he was very burnt out after that. Currently, he’s helping to establish a new menu at the WACA, during their busy cricket season.

We were so excited to welcome a new addition to our house – a beautiful Groodle pup – Ruby Lou (Yes, we named our dog after a potato!). Ruby, or Roux for short, has fit in very well – particularly loving our coastal coffee walkies along Burns Beach.

What’s to come in 2019?

What’s happening in 2019? It’s safe to say there will be lots more food and travel – stay tuned to find out! I’m also hoping to catch up on my backlog of 20+ unwritten posts. Just thinking about that makes me break out into a sweat. In the last few months I’ve eaten at Bump in Burger, Fishbone Wines, Yefski and many more.

Lastly and most importantly – to all my followers, thank you very much for all your support! Every Facebook like, Instagram love and blog comment is really appreciated. It makes writing what I love about so rewarding for me.

Thank you very much for reading! I’m hoping 2019 is the best yet for us all. Wishing you health and happiness for 2019.

Happy New Year!

Amanda xx

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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Araluen’s Avocado Festival, 24 & 25 Nov

I visited the VERY FIRST and Perth’s only Avocado Festival at Araluen Botanic Park today! There’s lots of unique avocado food combinations created especially for this event from sauces and beers to ice pops and soap. I was pleasantly surprised with the foods I tried, everything was so creamy and smooth.

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It’s on all weekend, so be sure to head to the Perth hills tomorrow for a Sunday Drive and check it out. Whether you love to eat the healthy and versatile fruit, use avocado oil in beauty products or learn how to grow the fruit trees in your own backyard, this festival is avo-solutely for you!

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The two day event is held at the blooming lovely Araluen Botanic Park, in the amazing Perth Hills, just 35km from Perth’s CBD. Here’s what I discovered today at the Araluen Avocado Festival:

Avocado Packed Food

There’s a variety of food trucks and stalls that will please both sweet and savoury lovers. Tuck into treats like avocado pizza, frozen avocado yogurt pops and of course some green guacamole.

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Canary Foods, who serve up cuisine from the Canary Islands, topped a tasty chicken, chorizo and lamb paella with their delicious avocado and coriander dressing.

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I loved the Avocado Ice cream from SubZero Gelato.

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Avo-licious Drinks

I found a whole host of unique green drinks;

Avo and greens juice by the Farmers Wife, who is always found at the Kalamunda markets.

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Thorny Devil (From Mandurah) are serving up their range of beers, including a special guacamole beer, with very subtle coriander and avocado flavours.

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A smooth avocado Margarita cocktail by Crafted, the guys behind Lucky Chan’s and The Dutch Trading Co.

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Live Demos

On the stage, I watched Perthonalities giving talks and holding cooking demos, there’s a Smashed Avo competition too!

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ABC TV’s Verity James and Chef Vince Garreffa from Mondo Butchers cooked up a storm, while gardening guru Sue McDougall gave advice on growing both avocado and chili plants.

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Avo Products

There’s so much you can do with the versatile avocado. There is lots of stalls to browse, packed with avocado health and beauty products, soaps, preserves, the latest avocado tools and gadgets (so you don’t stab yourself trying to remove the stone!).

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Take home an avo tree! There’s a huge range of avocado and chilli plants, including hard-to-find varieties, which are available to purchase and grow yourself. And plenty of experts on hand to give you tips.

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Entertainment

At the amphitheatre, you can “Guac ‘n’ Roll” to the excellent live music! Throw down  a picnic rug and enjoy your food with some cool tunes and good vibes. There’s plenty to entertain the kids too, with an animal farm on Saturday and Storytelling on Sunday.20181124_122204_Moment

So, make sure you get along to enjoy some delicious Avocado at Araluen tomorrow, Sunday 25thof November!

See the full list of Avocado Special Offers, available throughout November at: https://www.perthhillsarmadale.com.au/avocado-special-offers

For more information, including the list of demo times etc, see the full event guide here: https://www.araluenbotanicpark.com.au/araluens-avocado-festival-2018/

Find Araluen Botanic Park at 362 Croyden Road, Roleystone.

This blog has been written by myself, in collaboration with Perth Hills Armadale. All words and opinions are my own. 

Bistro Guillaume, Crown Perth

My how time flies! I can’t believe it’s almost 5 years since my last long lunch at Bistro Guillaume – where modern and classical French cuisines collide beautifully. The Crown Perth restaurant is by celebrated Parisian Chef, Guillaume Brahimi. In his early career, he worked under legendary Chef Joël Robuchon (who has amassed an amazing 28 Michelin stars).

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Bistro Guillaume is still one of the most breathtaking dining rooms in Perth. Mainly black and white, with a fresh and bright splash of green. From the bar, to the statement foyer sofa; the striking shade of green is used throughout – even down to the green bottle of Tabasco sauce on each table.

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We were seated by the window, which overlooks the inviting Crown Metropol lagoon pool. This excited me, as part of our ultimate lunch deal was receiving a free pool pass!

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At the bustling bistro, there are spaces for groups and intimate gatherings. There’s also a large balcony, where you can dine alfresco, overlooking the pool. We started with some freshly baked bread and butter – the perfect way to start any French meal! Gluten free bread is also available.

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We had one of my favourite non alcoholic drops, a lemon Efferve’, a drink fit for a summery lunchtime. And of course there’s always room for a glass of wine too.

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For entrée we had a tasty country style terrine, served with pickles, dijon mustard and grilled sourdough. It’s a wonderful peasant style dish.

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I loved the organic steak tartare. The raw beef given even more flavour from cornichons, capers, shallot and a spicy tomato sauce. This gluten free dish was served with pomme gaufrette (crisp potatoes).

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I was SO pleased with my choice of pork belly for main. The sous vide pork was tender and served on a mound of creamy mustard brussel sprouts, cabbage, and pickled apple. As a side note, when I ordered the waiter let me know they’d be no crackle, because of the way it’s cooked. While I love crackle, that was fine with me. I was really pleased the waiter had mentioned it, to manage my expectations. What a delicious dish!

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The kingfish with cauliflower purée, shitake mushrooms, spinach and balsamic beurre noisette was expertly cooked.

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Though we ordered from the $55 set menu, we are still able to also order sides from the main menu. We picked a winner with the sautéed greens, smothered is a garlic cream, anchovies and smoked almonds.

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As we were dining on the $55, 2 course menu, we could have stopped there, but we thought we’d indulge a little further. A simple lemon tart (from the regular menu) was a hit.

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I traded up to the 3 course $75 ultimate lunch with a decadent chocolate delice. This silky smooth dessert is served with macadamia ice cream and salted caramel.

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We very much enjoyed our lunch at Bistro Guillaume and its relaxed and sophisticated vibe.

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I was invited by Crown to experience the $55 Ultimate Lunch. We paid for our drinks, sides and desserts. All words and opinions are my own.

The Ultimate Lunch and Dinner menu is available at Silks, Modo Mio, Nobu, Rockpool and Bistro Guillaume until 25 November, Pool passes must be used by December 6th.

See the Crown Perth Website for more on the Ultimate Lunch and Dinner offer.