Tasting Our Way Around the Margaret River Region 14

The Margaret River Region in Western Australia’s South West has long been known for its great surfing and delicious wines.  But now it is also becoming known for its home-made produce and tasty foods.

taste Margaret River Region

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During the recent school holidays we took a short getaway 2½ hours south of Perth to Busselton (staying at the BIG4 Beachlands Holiday Park) and spent a day exploring the taste sensations throughout the Margaret River Region.

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We start our day by driving 30 minutes further south to the town of Margaret River, we turn off Bussell Hwy onto a narrow winding road, driving carefully for another 10 minutes, we barely see a soul, finally The Berry Farm sign.  The wheels of our car crunch along the gravel driveway as we pass chestnut and citrus trees, we turn into the car park – it is packed.

Walking into the cosy cafe` with a log fire burning we order scones with jam and cream, coffee and a milk for our 7 year old son Lewis.  Heading back outside we locate a table under shelter with a pretty view of the terraced tables surrounded by native gums and colourful flowers.  We watch the yellow bellied Willy Wagtails flutter in to pick crumbs from nearby tables.

taste margaret river region

Our plates arrive with the most delicious smell of warm scones.  They are big, fluffy and just plain YUM.

taste margaret river region

After devouring our morning tea we head over to the Berry Farm store.  We sample the full range of jams, my favourites are the strawberry kirsch with its little kick in flavour and the apricot.  There is also a selection of spicy sauces, vinegars and chutneys.  Our shopping bag is quite laden down, but before we leave we let Lewis have a play to burn off some energy, then it’s back into the car.

taste Margaret River region

At the corner to turn onto Bussell Hwy we stop at the newest chocolate factory in the region Temper Temper.  Temper Temper source the highest quality of dark chocolate from around the globe.  You can taste them all to help you to decide which bars of chocolate are for you.

taste Margaret River region

Next door to Temper Temper is Vasse Virgin.  They originally began by manufacturing soaps made from olive oil and no nasty additives.  Since then they have expanded their range to include facial cleansers and moisturisers for men and women.  Lewis has a ball trying them all out before heading to the sink and washing his hands with the sample soaps.  Due to my partner Steve’s Greek heritage he relishes tasting the fresh olives and tapenades.

taste Margaret River region

Heading back north on Bussell Hwy we stop at the town of Cowaramup which first enchanted us a few days earlier as we passed through on our way to the Amaze’n Margaret River.  The town has taken on its historic nickname of Cow Town by lining the streets with black and white cow statues.

taste Margaret River Region

After playing on the cows we stroll into the Candy Cow – which would be any child’s fantasy with all the walls lined with assorted lollies and brightly coloured candy.

taste Margaret river Region

With a cup full of coloured sugar in our hands we are back in the car and this time on the hunt for something more savoury.  We wind over to Caves Rd and up to Margaret River Venison.  They have a good selection of mild salami, spicy chorizo and sausages.  After a quick taste we buy an emu salami stick to fry up later tonight.

taste Margaret River Region

Next is the Margaret River Dairy Company to add to our dinner nibbles plate.  We taste creamy bries, cheddar, full flavoured vintage and choose to buy the stronger flavoured port and smoked cheeses.

taste Margaret River Region

I think we should include at least one stop at a winery whilst in the region, I try to find a more child friendly option.  The 3 Oceans Wine Company flyer advertises playing fields and a PlayStation.  Unfortunately it is pouring with rain and no PlayStation in sight.  However Lewis is very good as we taste our way through their range of wines.  I teach him about looking at the colour of the wine, swirling the glass to release the bouquet and flavours, he even sniffs the wine and gives quite good descriptions – a budding wine connoisseur in the making 😉

taste Margaret River Region

Winding our way back and forth between the main arterial roads of Caves Rd and Bussell Hwy we stop at Margaret River Nuts and Cereals to check out some locally grown almonds and cereal mixes.  Lewis isn’t interest in the nuts but instead goes straight outside to kick the soccer ball into the goals on the lawns.  I don’t really blame him the nuts are a little stale and the lady serving is not at all pleasant.

Not to worry onward and upward.

taste Margaret River Region

A reward for being good on our tasting road trip I include the familiar Margaret River Chocolate Factory, though it is packed full of people.  We are lucky that we can even get near the tasting bowls for a scoop of the chocolate buds.  We decide that since we have visited the Margaret River Chocolate Factory and neighbouring Providore in the Swan Valley (just outside of Perth) we would give them a miss today.

taste Margaret river Region

Making our way back towards Busselton we pass the picturesque Little Fish Restaurant where we ate lunch the day before.  It had been beautiful sitting out on the deck overlooking the dam with a crisp glass of white wine before devouring the tender ribs.

taste Margaret River Region

In the last town of Dunsborough before Busselton we call into the famous Dunsborough Bakery to grab a baguette for our nibbles plate later tonight.  We are welcomed with that good old fashioned bakery smell: yeasty breads, hot pies and sweet cakes.

taste Margaret River Region

I had planned on finishing our road tripping tasting tour of the Margaret River Region with an ice-cream from Millers – purely to compare with the one that we had tried from Simmos a few days earlier 😉  But our stomachs are just too full with all that wonderful tasty and delicious locally home grown produce.

Which gastronomical place have your been to or would like to visit?

Please tell me about it in the comments.

taste Margaret River Region

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About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

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14 thoughts on “Tasting Our Way Around the Margaret River Region

  • Lyn - A Hole in my Shoe

    We are so spoilt to have this lovely area so close to home, shame we only get there once a year or so. The good is each time we find more delights to tease our palates. Thank you for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard

  • jim@reflectionsenroute

    That sounds like an awesome tasting tour! We’ve had some pretty good luck with tasting tours in France, especially in the Loire valley. Our favorite technique was to ask the sommelier at lunch for a wine recommendation then afterwards ask him for more information about the winery, then find it on the map and go out for a tasting. It never failed to make for a good afternoon.

  • Ruth

    Oh my! Oh my! This region is a foodie favorite. I have to save this post since I would love to drive the area. I like the variety of offerings in the region. Looks like you are not stuck with one type of food.

  • eileen g

    I think it’s interesting to see what wineries do and don’t do to encourage parents to taste with their kids along. We’ve actually be to one New York State winery that had a playground in back. a few places haven’t minded if we sat with a checkerboard playing with our daughter while we tasted. at one place we wound up setting up setting my daughter up at a table with MadLibs, a coke and some crackers while we stood at the bar to taste (we had to be at the bar unfortunately). I can see not wanting your tasting room to be like a nursery. But i can also see not wanting to rule out an entire class of tourists, either.

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      Some of the places are becoming more child friendly in this region as well (I thought I had located one 😉 ) as many of us who use to regularly visit the region in the days before kids had stopped going when the baby boom happened in 2008. Next time we visit the region we will go on the hunt for more child friendly wineries.

  • Linda Bibb

    What a lovely tour; thanks for sharing it on #TheWeeklyPostcard. You’ve succeeded in your article and made my mouth water. I imagine I could spend many days going through the area and its wineries, especially as we have no young children to concern ourselves with.

    If Lewis, at his young age, was able to detect the various aromas in the assorted wines you were sampling, it seems to me that he might have a future as a sommelier. It’s a well-paid position. Not everyone has that talent.

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      Thank you for the kind words about my article Linda.
      At the moment Lewis wants to build hotels 🙂 However a sommelier is not something he would have thought of as yet – I will have to get him to try the aromas of the quaffing wines we drink at home.