Tuesday 20 October 2015

Wining and dining in Margaret River


As promised in my last post, below I have outlined my favourite places to wine and dine in the Margaret River region.  I have broken the post up into the best wineries, followed by the best meals.

My top 3 wineries

1. Heydon Estate

My sister had recommended that I visit this winery, given its coincidental spelling with our family name. After chatting to Mary, one of the lovely owners, we discovered that we are distantly related, so of course I had to include this in my list of favourite wineries!  Rated as a Halliday 5 Red Star Winery, the wines were fantastic, particularly the "The Willow" 2010 Chardonnay, the "WG Grace" 2009 Cabernet Savignon and "The Urn" 2013 Botrytis Semillon.

2. Leeuwin Estate

The lengthy driveway and beautiful grounds of Leeuwin Estate are enough to make this into my top 3 wineries. The grounds of Leeuwin Estate are in fact used each year for the Leeuwin Estate concert - past performers include Sting, Jack Johnson and Diana Ross. I have explained more about the food at Leeuwin Estate below (it was necessary for us to return the day after our wine tour to have a meal there), but in terms of their wines, their Art Series wines (on which famous artworks are printed) are definitely worth trying - in particular, the 2012 Art Series Chardonnay. It's well worth a look around the art gallery located at the basement of the cellar door, where all the artworks that have been reprinted on the Art Series wine bottles are on display.

3. Voyager Estate

We went to Voyager Estate directly after Leeuwin Estate, and the grounds, while equally stunning, were quite a different style. The neatly trimmed hedges, beautiful white architecture and stunning views over the vineyards made this a very special place to visit.  Upon arrival we tasted five of their wines, then enjoyed lunch in their restaurant (which I have mentioned below).

Other notable wineries to mention:

Vasse Felix for its Heytesbury Cabernet Savignon and Watershed for its remarkable views and beautiful architecture.

My top 3 cafes/restaurants

1. For brunch = The Margaret River Bakery

On our first morning in Margaret River, I grabbed some takeaway chocolate croissants and drinks from The Margaret River Bakery which were delicious, however it wasn't until our final morning as we were about to drive back to Perth that we decided to dine in for brunch (and really regretted not dining in prior to this). We both ordered the banana pancakes with honeycomb butter, berries and maple syrup which were incredibly delicious. We also decided that it was necessary to buy three of their patisserie items to keep us going for the long drive ahead (which ended up lasting the next few days, given how big they were!). We opted for the caramel and almond slice, the chocolate brownie and the jam donut. We could have easily chosen just about anything in the display windows.

2. For lunch = Leeuwin Estate

We had visited Leeuwin Estate on our wine tour, and decided that we needed to return the following day for lunch, which was a very wise decision.  We opted for the special of the day - a 45-day aged rib eye fillet to share, with fries, broccolini and a platter of chimichurri, dijon mustard and truffle butter (not to mention the sourdough with olive oil that we ordered as an entree).

3. For dinner = Muster

In addition to Heydon Estate, my sister also recommended that we visit Muster, a modern restaurant in the main street of Margaret River.  We both ordered the rump steak with cafe de Paris and hand cut chips, followed by the Bahen & Co. chocolate custard, hazelnut dacquoise and hazlenut icecream. I think the pictures below speak for themselves.

Other notable cafes/restaurants to mention:

The White Elephant Beach Cafe for its views over Gnarabup beach and Voyager Estate for its beautiful dining area and deliciously fresh nannygai fish (served with an avocado and mango salsa).

 Next up - my favourite places to eat in Perth! Stay tuned...


  1. Looks amazing Ali! Love that you got to visit Heydon Estate! And the desserts from The Margaret River Bakery look incredible! x

    1. Thanks Dom! Those desserts were incredible...still daydreaming about them now!