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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Hainault Vineyard and Cafe

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My regular readers will know that I adore the Perth Hills – I was born there and spent much of my life in the Kalamunda area. I’m slowly working my way around the many boutique venues in the Bickley Valley Wine region – last weekend we visited Hainault Vineyard and Café with my parents.IMG_7791

Hainault is in the middle of the Bickley jarrah forests, near to the old Perth Observatory. It’s a small family run vineyard, which was established about 35 years ago. The staff are very friendly and welcoming – and the winery dogs are too!IMG_7757

The veranda and decking areas overlook the vineyards below – a stunning view. It would be easy to while away a few hours here over a bottle of wine.IMG_7759

I was driving, so I had a glass of the Carmel Juice Company’s Apple Juice. It is a clear juice, with just a hint of green and tasted so smooth. None of the acidic taste you get with supermarket bought juices. I loved it. The juice is locally produced, handcrafted just up the road, from the Giumelli’s orchards.IMG_7765 IMG_7788

The food available is a “home cooked” style – don’t expect 5* food – it is a tiny family run winery after all. On the menu you’ll find soup, tarts, salad, freshly baked cakes etc. As well as weekend lunches, the café is also open for morning and afternoon teas.

We shared the Vineyard Platter. It serves two people and is reasonably priced at $40 – I’ve paid $55 for something similar in the Swan Valley. It was absolutely brimming with food! Everything was really fresh and tasty.

* Cheeses – Wattle Valley Brie and Old Cheddar Cheese Company Cheddar

* Meats – free range coppa and prosciutto

* Antipasti – Thai style olives, sun-dried tomatoes, homemade olive tapenade and sundried tomato and cashew pate, salad and fresh fruit too. It was served with a warm Lawley’s Bakery Cape Seed Cob Loaf – which was really fresh and tasty too.IMG_7772

Mum and I shared a dessert. We really shouldn’t have, but it sounded so tempting! The Figs are soaked in Hainault Ruby Port, which has a fruity, jam flavour and is served with vanilla ice-cream ($8). It tastes as lush as it sounds!IMG_7783

At the cellar door you’ll find Rose, Merlot, Cabernet, Semillon, Sparkling Pinot Noir Brut, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer to taste. My mum loved the dessert so much, she treated herself to a bottle of the 2012 Ruby Cabernet ($24).IMG_7790

Hainault is a charming little winery and a must stop on a tour of the Bickley Valley vineyards.IMG_7797