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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Margaret River Bakery

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

We’ve often stopped by Margaret River Bakery for a early morning pie. I can tell you that their buttery pastry and hearty fillings really help with winery/brewery induced hangovers! We’d heard great things about their breakfasts, so we stopped by for a more substantial bite to eat.

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It’s not your typical, sterile shop-like bakery. Margaret River Bakery is eclectic. The furniture and crockery are completely mis-matched. The café has a bustling atmosphere with a real mix of customers too. There are lots of freshly baked treats and breads available, as well as good coffee. It wasn’t particularly busy when we went, though I had to ask twice to get the previous customer’s dirty plates and glasses moved, which were still sitting on our table when our food arrived (see below pic).IMG_0013

Little Chef, with his plate barely fitting on the full table, devoured his fresh croissant that was filled with gooey cheese and good quality ham. Chef loved his brekkie burger, brimming with crisp bacon, runny egg, Swiss cheese, relish and rocket. It also came with a bottle of fresh juice. IMG_0019

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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

 

{Foodie Event & GIVEAWAY} City Wine – June 5th & 6th

City Wine

From the people that brought us the Unwined festival (Subiaco) and Sunset Wine (Scarborough) – City Wine is hitting the city on June the 5th and 6th. Last year, we visited City Wine, which is found at the Urban Orchard at Perth’s Cultural Centre – overlooking the city skyline. There’s lots of seating for enjoying a glass and some good food and live music.IMG_2049

It features some boutique wineries from many regions of WA – Margaret River, Ferguson Valley and Swan Valley to name a few; Swanbrook Wines, Happs (my fave!) 3 drops, Howling Wolves Wines, House of Cards Wine and many more. See the full list at City Wine’s website.

I do enjoy a vino of two; everything from a sweet Rose,’ to a fruity SSB, a nice smooth Shiraz or pinot noir. I had quite a few tastings and of those I really enjoyed the House of Cards Rose, it was excellent. That cellar door is located on Caves Road, Margret River (next to Gabriel Chocolate). I will be stopping by next time we’re in Margs!IMG_2065

I also really liked the Swanbrook Winery’s Chenin Blanc. I wasn’t familiar with this Swan Valley winery, but found out that it was formally Charlie’s Estate (and Evans and Tate before that). It’s since been taken over by a local family and they have a little café there too.IMG_2063

I also bumped into fellow blogger Casey – who has a great wine blog “Travelling Corkscrew”. If you love wine I’d definitely recommend that you check that blog out http://travellingcorkscrew.com/

Of course you can’t have a glass of wine without food – there are some excellent choices; Pizza Queens, The Hummus Club, Braised Bros – to name a few.IMG_2044

Entry is $25 ($21 if you book online), which includes all wine tastings and a tasting glass.

The urban orchard is located right next to the main city train station, so taking public transport there is super easy. More info at http://bit.ly/1RjB1kR

{WIN WIN WIN}

To win one of three double passes to City Wine on Friday 5th of June simply answer this question in the comments below… What is your favourite winery featured at City Wine this year? A full list is at City Wine Exhibitors . For a bonus entry, sign up to my email blog alerts (in the right hand column on my blog) and never miss a foodie post!

COMPETITION RULES

*The competition closes at 7pm Thursday 28th May 2015.

* Prize – 3 x Double Passes to the City Wine festival (value $50 each)

*You must live within the Perth metropolitan area.

*The winner will be selected at random from all comments made on my blog and Facebook as well as new email subscribers.

* Each person may enter once on Facebook or my blog and once as an email subscriber for a bonus entry.

*The winner will be contacted (via FB private message) and the prize distributed, if no contact is made by the winner within 24 hours there will be a re-draw.

*This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering this competition you are agreeing to the rules and acknowledging that Facebook is not connected in any way to this contest.IMG_2068

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

Margaret River Bakery

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Margaret River Bakery on Urbanspoon

After a few craft beers and bottles of wine the night before, a few of us were looking for a morning hangover cure. The Margaret River Bakery seemed like the obvious place to seek that out. So we ordered a few pies and sausage rolls to ease those queasy stomachs! IMG_0260

I thought I’d been here before a few years ago, but after stepping into the eclectic/vintage style room I wasn’t actually sure. I’d envisioned a regular bakery, but it’s really more of a nice café. There are lots of freshly baked treats and breads. Apparently it’s a great spot for breakfast and coffee too – so I’ve made a mental note of that for our next trip to MR.

Chef tells me that the pie was fantastic. It really hit the spot – it was tasty and had LOTS of chunks of meat. It’s so rare to find a meaty pie, Chef was stoked and it perked him up for the rest of the day!IMG_0265

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!).

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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