{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

Swan Valley Tour

My work mates and I spent an afternoon driving through the Swan Valley recently. On this occasion, we stuck to venues on and near to Great Northern Highway. After 2012 being full of hens days wine tours, I’d not been to the swan valley for a while.  There were a few places I’d been looking forward to visiting. The Cheese Barrel and Sitella Winery in particular.

IMG_9953

Houghton Café on Urbanspoon
UntitledheFirst stop was a wine tasting at Houghton’s modern cellar door. The historic winery is amongst gorgeous lawned grounds, shaded by the flowering jacarandas. Houghton have some pretty good wine too. I was very keen on their sparkling classic. I’ve been to Houghton before for food and I can tell you that their food patters are fantastic!IMG_9950

Next stop was the Kimberly Rum Company. Here spirits were on the menu! At this distillery you can try “Canefire” – their rum-like spirit. It is made from sugar cane, which is grown in the Ord River Valley around Kununurra. They also have vodka etc to try. We could have 3 tastings here and I opted for the slushy cocktails – the Fruit Tingles were the best!! The yummy cocktail mixers are available to buy – just add booze!

Mondo Nougat on Urbanspoon
We then stopped at Mondo Nougat. We had a sample of the scrumptious nougat. I really liked the coffee flavour. If you are after an actual coffee, there is also a café at mondo, where you can sit and enjoy there wide range of sweet Italian delicacies.

Recently, local Perth Company Morish Nuts also set up shop next door to Mondo Nougat. There were a few different types and flavours of nuts to sample. The nuts indeed proved to be extremely Morish! I loved the wasabi macadamias and treated myself to a bag of them. The very best Australian nuts are used at Morish, they are all delicious.

Sittella Winery & Cafe on Urbanspoon
UntitledswSittella Winery was a gorgeous place to stop. As we arrived there was a very festive air about the place and soon, as a bride appeared it became apparent why! Sittella is surrounded by lush vineyards and has beautiful gardens overlooking a dam and gazebo. We had a wine tasting at the cellar door, they lovely and knowledgeable Sharon guiding us through the various wines. My pick was the 2012 – SGT – Shiraz Grenache Tempranillo – I loved it.IMG_9991

The Cheese Barrel on Urbanspoon
IMG_0014We then headed to the Cheese Barrel. I’d heard good things about this cracking spot for wine and cheese. It’s right next to Olive Farm Wines (on Great Northern Hwy). I would recommend that you also visit the winery, as they have some stunning wines there. At the Cheese Barrel you will find very high quality farmhouse and artisanal cheeses from all around the world. Make your own cheese platter and pair it with locally produced Olive Farm Wines.  If you’re the designated driver you can still enjoy a wonderful “5 Senses” coffee, they have a fantastic Synesso Hydra Espresso machine, imported from Seattle.IMG_0030

It is also very child friendly; down stairs is a large shaded sandpit. We shared a few different platters, being in a large group.

IMG_0022Each platter had a few different cheeses and accompaniments like fruit, olives, lavosh, smoked hams and chicken. There were some delicious cheeses. My all-time favourite, Irish Cashel Blue is on the menu. They also have genuine Brie – imported from the Brie region in France.IMG_0020

It was a gorgeous day, but unfortunately we didn’t make our last stop – Feral Brewery. Our bus driver said we had gone over our schedule and had to head back home. Oh well, that’s something for next time I think.IMG_9980

Reid’s Lounge @ The Breakwater Hillarys

Reid's Lounge at The Breakwater on Urbanspoon

What a stunning day it was for drinkies and nibbles at The Breakwater. There were 10 of us celebrating Mrs G’s birthday and Reid’s Lounge was a fantastic location. We sat on the balcony, overlooking Hillary’s Boat Harbour.

Reid’s is a little more sophisticated than the downstairs bar and has an extensive to share/tapas menu.  We had;

 

* Antipasto plate Turkish bread, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomato pesto, cured meats, capel cheddar, pickles & mustard $32

* Salt n Pepper Squid $15 

The nibbles were complimented by a lovely glass of sparking rose. I was impressed by the bar staff – they seemed very knowledgeable when I was chatting to a barman about champagne. And when he realised the glass of bubbly he poured wasn’t “bubbly” enough; he opened another bottle for me. I’m so glad he did, as it was a great drop.

 

It was an excellent way to spend a couple of lazy Sunday hours. Thanks Mr & Mrs G 🙂 🙂

Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery – Margaret River

Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery on Urbanspoon

It was a beautiful sunny day – PERFECT beer garden weather!! We arrived at Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery at the start of lunch service, as we heard it was a busy venue. We had no problems with wait times for our food or getting a good table.  Little Chef made a bee-line for the gigantic fenced playground, as soon as he spotted it! We grabbed a shady picnic bench, within meters of the slides, so we could watch LC as he played.

image

Chef, (surprise surprise) opted for the beef burger ($25). It consisted of a fresh sourdough roll stuffed full of a good sized beef paddy, bacon, cheddar, tomato, lettuce, pickles and cheeky’s secret sauce. It came with a side of fries and aioli. Keeping it local, the paddy was Leeuwin grass fed beef and that was full of flavour and juicy.

 image

I, regretting that extra scoop of simmos ice-cream, chose the calamari salad ($25). This was packed full of fresh ingredients! The tender squid was crispy, coated in a light Cajun crumb. The salad was made up of watercress, bean shoots, cos lettuce, cucumber, Spanish onion, orange segments, avocado & cherry tomatoes. They were very generous with the squid and avocado. It was dressed with a sweet and sour honey, lime & saffron vinaigrette.

Little Chef had the cheeky plate ($12). We thought that it was great to have a choice other than the standard nuggets and chips etc. On the plate was a vegemite sandwich, yoghurt, apple slices, sultanas and a juice. He thought it was brilliant. Kids love to graze and pick – this was perfect.

 image

Chef enjoyed the beer, He chose a fresh and crisp Kiwi pilsner named “Hatseller”. For those wine drinkers and designated drivers, fear not! There is also a cellar door in the same building as cheeky monkey. Everyone is catered for. “Killerby Cellar Store” showcases their wines as well as lots of local gourmet produce including;

– cheeses from the Blue Cow Cheese Company

– Seasonal produce from Newton Bros orchards (Manjimup)

– Yahava coffee from Vasse

– Margaret River’s Berry Farm jams

– Frankland River olive oil

– Cambinata marinated yabbies and homemade dukkah

– Pukara Estate’s caramelised balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise

– Manjimup Truffle Company truffle products

Sure it was pub food, but it was GOOD. Everything tastes so fresh and wholesome in south west WA. We enjoyed Cheeky Monkey. Mostly, as our little monkey was so well catered for. All we had to do was sit, sip and admire the view across the dam.

image

Open daily from 10am-6pm

 4259 Caves Road, Margaret River

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!