12 Adventures for People who Travel to Eat

 

Foodie Adventures

People who travel to eat

Food is what brings people together and planning your gastronomic encounters while travelling the Margaret River Region is both a social and a culinary adventure. There’s a strong relationship between the region’s chefs, winemakers, restauranteurs and brewers, and taking the time to meet the people and taste the local flavours can be a one-of-a-kind experience. Get around this curated top-twelve intel.

Connect with country, head out on a coastal fishing experience with Josh Whiteland, a Wadandi Cultural Custodian.

1. Marron

This freshwater crayfish is endemic to the south west and has delicate sweet meat. The best way to cook marron is simply boiled and eaten straight from the shell with a squeeze of lemon or slice the marron in half and pan fry with butter and a little garlic. You can buy marron at seafood mongers 34 Degrees Blue and often at the Margaret River Farmers’ Market and at local butchers. If you’d rather not cook yourself, you can find marron on restaurant menus across the region. Tip: Cape Lodge head chef Tony Howell would make an excellent intro to this delectable crustacean.

2. Walk, Talk, Taste

The small group walking tour, Walk Talk Taste, offers curated excursions of Margaret River’s people, produce and place. There are two four-hour tours, brunch or dinner, where you’ll have exclusive access, meet the makers and taste some of the region’s very best culinary offerings. Highlights include native botanical infused gin, sake paired with canapes, and a cocktail masterclass, all the while skipping between venues on a hidden bush path. Think of it as a guided gourmet passport to the region’s premium food, coffee and wine.

3. Fishing with Josh Whiteland

Djiljit Coastal Fishing Experience with Josh Whiteland, a Wadandi Cultural Custodian, includes a coastal walk in Meelup Regional Park with chance spotting of dolphins, whales and schools of fish. As Josh explains the six Aboriginal seasons and surrounding edible plants, he turns the coastal scrub into nature’s supermarket while foraging for a salad of native herbs. Josh provides all the gear including a keen eye to catch fish. He cups his hands around his eyes and looks for fish, incredibly able to detect their movement in the ocean. He’ll clean your catch and barbeque it there and then. You’ll leave feeling richer and more connected to region than before.

Walk Talk Taste Margaret River Region

Walk Talk Taste offer curated excursions of Margaret River’s people, produce and place.

4. Food photo opportunities

For Instagram worthy dishes that look as good as they taste, it’s hard to go past Aravina. Think of the backdrop options on ‘portrait mode’: picture-perfect winery views of rolling vine-lined hills, or violet agapanthus edging a lush lawn, or views across a lake with vines beyond, or perhaps tall eucalypt trees, or a pretty Hampton’s style table setting on a balcony complete with white balustrades. The food is worthy of the photos too, with chef Ben Day creating delicious dishes using seasonal ingredients, many from their own kitchen garden, which you can also wander around while snapping away.

5. Wine tasting and food experience

What’s better than a leisurely lunch overlooking the vines and native bushland? Clairault Streicker is a bit of a hidden gem with stunning landscapes, a seasonal menu celebrating local produce and an extensive wine list of classic Margaret River varieties. In winter, tuck up with a glass of their Streicker Bridgeland Block Syrah or Clairault Margaret River Cabernet Merlot, a shared cheeseboard and good company by the stone fireplace or if the sun is calling, take one of the provided picnic blankets onto the lawn and admire the gardens. The surrounds make the food experience that extra bit special.

6. Close to town

Swings and Roundabouts in Margaret River township has undergone a recent renovation. It’s convenient location on the main street offers epic grazing boards to share with carafes or bottles of their own wine as well as authentic Italian woodfired pizzas. The shady vine covered veranda is lovely in warmer weather and the open fire makes it a cosy option on cooler days.

Truffle Kerfuffle Festival Manjimup

Truffle Kerfuffle, a week long celebration of the truffle season held in Manjimup in June.

7. Best burgers

Spoilt for choice, there’s loads of great burgers to get your hands around in the region. Normal Van is a cult food truck favourite who know how a good burger is made. Their fries are triple fried – the way fries should be. The Farmhouse Beef Burger at the Brewhouse in Margaret River with cheese, bacon, salad, mustard and pickles is so good that you won’t even care that its dripping down your chin. Caves House Hotel will serve up a satisfying beef burger after a surf, or if you’ve surfed Margie’s Main Break, The Common in Gnarabup does a juicy Common Pounder.

8. Truffles

The best thing about winter is definitely truffles. Australia’s most prolific truffle growing region, Manjimup, is just 90 minutes from Margaret River and great for a winter day trip. Book in for a truffle-laden lunch at Truffle and Wine Co, or pick up some truffle infused cheese, salt, honey and more at Southern Roasting Co. You’ll find the black gold at major regional events like Cabin Fever Festival and Truffle Kerfuffle.

9. Learn to cook

Relive your Margaret River food adventure by learning how to cook from some of the region’s best. The cooking masterclasses at Cape Lodge are educational and fun, following themes such as fish, truffles or French Bistro. After learning plenty of cheffy secrets, join your classmates for a long lunch in the acclaimed restaurant. For those wanting to perfect sourdough, the masters at One Table Farm hold a number of detailed hands-on classes that come with a ‘mother’ starter to take home. So special is the regenerative farm-based cooking school that YouTube sent a crew to film a mini-documentary at the farm, which has been viewed over three million times.

Glenarty Road

Sip your way around small-scale wineries.

12. Buonissimo!

For a taste of La Dolce Vita, pick up some florentini, freshly baked chocolate croissants or perhaps a porchetta focaccia at Claudio Biscotti’s stall at the Margaret River Farmers’ Market.

11. Farmgate Tour

Take the back roads for an exploration of culinary delights with Forage Safaris. Go straight to the source, get to know the farmer and food with provenance on the Half Day Food and Farm tour. You’ll visit Marybrook Premium Produce, Jersey Farm Olive Grove and finish off with a wine tasting and walk through the Wine Sensory Garden at Whicher Ridge (the only one of its kind in WA). When you’re done, there’s an option to enjoy a delicious platter amongst the winery – a biodiversity hotspot for native plants, birds and animals.

12. Vegan-Friendly

Sip your way around small-scale wineries on the Farm Feast & Artisan Wines Tour with MYDRIVER. Catering to small groups and vegan-friendly, it provides a unique look into boutique wine production and traditional farmhouse cooking. Go behind the scenes and meet the makers, followed by a delicious three-course feast at Glenarty Wines.

Miki Kitchen’s non-traditional Japanese degustation dinner is a wonder – both to behold and to digest.

Other Notable Foodie Adventures:

  • Yallingup Woodfired Bread & Margaret River Woodfired Bread
  • Margaret River Chocolate Co – for little kids, big kids and adult-kids
  • Margaret River Nougat
  • Miki’s Kitchen for Japanese degustation
  • Chow’s Table (try the soft shelled crab!)
  • Winery lunches at Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate, Cullen, Vasse Felix, and Wills Domain

Now that you know what you’re doing, it’s time to book your stay

Author Dianne Bortoletto

Dianne Bortoletto is a food and travel writer, a regular contributor to Your Margaret River Region magazine and published in Italianicious, Luxury Travel, OUTthere, IN (LAN inflight), RedBull.com, Lightfoot Travel and Broadsheet. She’s been commissioned to write for Tourism Australia, Tourism WA, Perth Convention Bureau and Rottnest Island Authority. Dianne knows her way around the kitchen, wishes she could surf, pretends to keep fit and loves the sound of fast cars. Her other loves include a Greek named Zorba, a Westie named Bella, the Margaret River region and all things Italian. She's an ex-chocoholic and is shamelessly addicted to travel and proper coffee. Having travelled the world, Dianne knows how good we have in the Margaret River region. You can follow her adventures on her blog Travelletto.com / Instagram: @travelletto / Twitter: @travelletto

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