Food Photography – my favourite photos.

IMG_9367Something that goes hand in hand with food writing is food photography. I think without the colour and story telling that a picture provides, blogging would be a bill dull. It’s terribly cliché, but so very true, that a picture tells a thousand words. I really love taking photos too. I started out using the camera on my Samsung Galaxy, which served me fairly well, as luckily camera phones are good quality these days. Chef had been talking about getting a DSLR camera, for photographing his food, for a few years. A few months into the blog, I could see the merits of investing in a good bit of equipment. So we chose a Canon 700D.Untitledgrilld

It’s taken me a little while to get used to it. It’s not as inconspicuous as whipping out my mobile and at first I was a little uncomfortable, thinking I was drawing attention to myself. I didn’t feel comfortable using it when Chef and I went to dinner at Amuse. I didn’t think it would be good manners at an expensive restaurant to start clicking away with a beeping camera. But that’s just me, I probably could turn off the beeps if I knew how! Poor Chef has learnt that he must wait to be told he can eat, till I have a good shot of his food! I do photograph my own dish last, it’s only fair. The chunky DLSR is part of a bloggers uniform and I won’t go dining without it. Wether I remember to pop the SD card in is another matter… Chef just rolls his eyes now, I’ve done that a few times! Whoops!IMG_0285aa

When I attended the Eat Drink Blog conference last year, I picked up some good tips from the photography session. It also cracked me up that whenever there was attractive food around, a scrum of bloggers would gather, clicking away with there DSLRs! I felt at home. I really love the photo I took at the Mushroom Farm on Day two of the conference.Untitledcmmmmmmm

I really love to eat out during daylight hours, as it obviously brings better lighting conditions. So this has also brought more eye rolls from Chef, as I’ll say something daft like “It’s raining today, let’s go to Bib and Tucker on a sunny day”. The things we bloggers do for a good beach shot…IMG_9696

A few people have remarked that I have a good eye for photography. I just put it down to dumb luck, as I feel there are a lot of things I still need to learn about how to use our camera to its full potential. Looking to the future, I hope to do a food photography class soon.IMG_8793

I love to use Instagram. Last week I added yet another social media platform – Pinterest. Now, I’m still a Pinetrest newbie, so I don’t really know what I’m doing! If you’re on Pinterest be sure to follow me on there too – I’ll be adding my very favourite photos.

LINK>> http://www.pinterest.com/chefswifeperth/Untitled

Here are a few of my favourite pics from the last year and you’ll notice that they’re not all of food. Wether it’s edible or a beautiful part of WA, I just love a good photo 🙂IMG_0112 IMG_9807aUntitledzIMG_9857

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

Eagle Bay Brewing Co

IMG_0294Eagle Bay Brewing Co on Urbanspoon

First impressions are so important – in all aspects of life.

On a trip to WA’s south west, in 2011, we happened upon the newly opened Eagle Bay Brewing Co. We had already had lunch that day, but popped to EBB for a drink. Unfortunately at that time, you weren’t able to be served alcohol without a meal there, as they had a very limited liquor licence. We were disappointed as it looked lovely. We’d just sat down and our 2 year old had stated to play on the playground. He was pretty upset that we were leaving so suddenly. The lady in charge gave him a little toy crocodile, which cheered him up and stopped the floods of tears. It was a simple gesture, but one I never forgot and I always had in mind that we’d come back here again.IMG_0317

UntitledebFast forward two and a half years… We were in the South West with our English cousins. They were visiting Perth for 2 weeks. They enjoyed brilliant weather for most of the time – except this one day. The gloomy drizzle that blankets Britain had popped over to say “hiya”. We sat overlooking the beer garden and we could appreciate, that on a sunny day, we would have a spectacular view. To be fair, even in the gloom the view was pretty nice! Eagle Bay Brewing Co is surrounded by a working sheep and cattle property (Run by farmer John). His children, Nick, Astrid and Adrian, run the EBB Co.IMG_0310

The menu is pretty simple, but the food is tasty and well executed. We ate;

Italian Sausage, Mushroom, Spinach and Fontina Cheese ($24)Untitledpebb

Friend sweet corn bread, black bean salsa and guacamole ($20)Untitledee

Beer Battered Fish n Chips ($28)ebbc

Beef burger with bacon, cheddar, garlic mayo, beetroot, tomato, lettuce & fries ($22)Untitledebbcb

IMG_0316We enjoyed Eagle Bay Brewing a lot. The men among us really loved the beer too! There is a large sandpit for the kids and they can have a kick about on the grassed area or a wander around the flower and veggie patch. The outlook is stunning, rain, hail or shine. IMG_0313

Aravina Estate Restaurant

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Aravina Estate Restaurant & Cafe on Urbanspoon

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.IMG_9987

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). IMG_9979

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.

UntitledaawOur 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;

IMG_0020Seared WA scallops, Cauliflower puree, apple and radish salad  $22

IMG_0037Wagu Beef Burger, bacon, gruyere cheese, truffle mayo, pickles and fries $26

IMG_0040Pan Fried gnocchi, ricotta, zucchini, preserved lemon, mint and pine nuts  $26

IMG_004214hr 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.

IMG_9999The 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.

2014 /15 ENTERTAINMENT BOOK DISCOUNTS

* 2 for 1 mains with gold card

 

 

 

 

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South West WA mini break– Margaret River

Xscape Cafe on Urbanspoon

Last month we enjoyed a well-earned break to the south west of Western Australia. Unlike previous wine tasting trips to “Margs”, this mini-break was much more child-friendly. Luckily for us, and Little Chef, children are well catered for at most places. We found a great place called “Xscape at the Cape Fun Park” (on caves Rd) in between Dunsbourgh and Busselton. There was everything there from wacky putt golf, to a wooden maze, train rides, bouncy castle and a multi-level playground. They stocked a large selection of delicious, locally made Millers ice cream and for the parents there was the fantastic Yavaha coffee!! Their Chai latte is a favourite of mine.

We stayed in the hamlet of Peppermint Grove Beach. It’s halfway between Busselton and Bunbury, near Capel. Peppy has no shops or even a café, but that adds to its charm. It’s so sleepy and peaceful. We’d wake up with the sun and head straight to the beach, at the end of our street.

We loved the beach there. It was great for LC, very calm and the beautiful waters of Geographe Bay were crystal clear. Chef tried his luck at some beach fishing and caught some Flounder and Yellowtail. We saw dolphins and even had a visit from a friendly sting ray. A little bit of paradise!