Perth Perfect: Day 4

Day 4 started out pretty well. With the early night rest, kids woke up on the dot just before 6 AM. They seem to have an internal alarm clock that goes off the same time daily regardless of school holidays or weekends. Pretty amazing, I must say.

The amenities here in the tourist park are great. It has hot showers, clean toilets and well-kept lawns. Most important of all: complimentary Wi-Fi,  an important feature for the workaholic me who needs to keep in touch with my colleagues on work matters.

Breakfasts are great bonding for us. Isabella would always insist on helping; be it cracking the eggs, beating the eggs, and washing the fruits. French toast is always fuss-free and kiddos love them.

Breakfast in Margaret River

Attempting to take notes of the food I make! Epic fail though, just not really my style. Perhaps in future, Isabella can make the food and I only take down the measurements.

Ingredients for french toast

Ingredients for french toast, eggs, milk, sugar, lemon zest and bread of course.

French toast with figs

Look at the color of the gorgeous fig from Uncle Frank’s garden. They may be tiny, but they pack whole lot of taste and nutrition. Super yummy and missing it heaps!

French toast

French toast with fresh fruits, Margaret river pot set yoghurt and blackberry jam!

Food styling French toast

Always seeing blogs do this with their food styling pics, and this is my wannabe attempt!

We were enjoying ourselves so much over breakfast with OJ and fresh fruits, that we lost track of time so it was a mad rush to get everything packed up and ready for our Margaret River Wine Tour conducted by Tony from Margaret River Vintage wine tours. The classic all day tour is $105 AUD per person, and will feature a selection of world class wineries and gourmet food shops. For more details, click here.

Margaret River Wintage Wine Tours

Our “limousine” for the day!

Tony was a big, tall and friendly man, and has this charm around him. Kids immediately took a liking to him, wanting to play with him and tell him jokes. He did tell us that he is really good with kids. We had tastings at Watershed Wines, and Leeuwin Estate. It was great to hear first hand stories from a local about these estates, the owners and the history of the Margaret River wine region and how it actually started.

Tony with kids

Kids with Tony

Watershed Winery along Bussell Highway started as a co-op with a lot of investors coming together to set up this winery and was nice to know that this winery is fully self irrigated. Amazing how technology and innovation changes the way grapes are grown and harvested, no longer relying on Mother Nature to dictate the quality of every year’s harvest. This is so totally new world!

Watershed Winery

The wineyard grounds with neat rows of vine plantings. This allows for machines to come in and help in the harvesting of the grapes.

Watershed Winery

The picturesque winery with an amazing view is popular as a wedding venue for many and to the left of the pic is actually the winery restaurant.

Next stop: Leeuwin Estate is a second generation winery started by the Horgans who were originally cattle farmers. With the help and advice from the late Robert Mondavi (yes, the same great man who gave us new world wines in the Napa valley), the land was converted to growing vineyards with initial plantings of chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and pinot noir. Particularly famous for its Leuwin estate concert series in the summer months featuring major Australian and international performances like the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1985. The winery is very supportive of the arts and even has a range of wine called the “Art Series” with its vintage in each category with a painting from an Australian artist on its label. How cool is that?

Leeuwin Estate

The stage that hosted the London Philharmonic Orchestra and other well known gigs. During the summer months, the lawns will be packed with people enjoying the sun, the concerts and a picnic.

Leeuwin Estate

Now to be given the moniker of The King of Wines is truly something to be proud of.

One advantage about coming on a wine tour, is the privilege to sample wines that probably in the reserve list and not having to pay a fee to sample them.

 

Leeuwin Estate wine saampling

Wine sampling

Leeuwin Estate winery Margaret River

And more wine sampling. If you sample wines on the reserve list as a walk in, they typically would charge you. But with Tony, everything is free flow!

Art gallery at Leeuwin Estate

The old cellar has been converted to an art gallery and it is open to the public for viewing.

We headed to Voyager Estate next. One of the wineries with absolutely the most gorgeous manicured lawns with beautiful rose bushes and shady trees.

Tasting notes at Voyager Estate

Classy isn’t it? Tasting notes with that shimmery logo!

The kids were really stoked that they can participate in the sampling as they got served non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice made from estate-grown grapes and selected during vintage and treated with as much care and attention as their wines. Available in red and white! We were quickly settled down to have a souperb lunch in the gold plate award winning restaurant. This was included the $105 that we paid and it was well worth it! I have attempted to make my own dukkah after this experience. All the food was beautifully executed.

Our lunch partners were two sisters from Perth that had joined for the tour. Over hearty conversations about their careers as mid wives, to breastfeeding and our days of studying in Perth as we enjoyed our meals.

Restaurant at Voyager Estate in Margaret River

The well lit restaurant hall with a fire place. Would be warm and cozy in the cooler winter months.

bread with dukkah at Voyager Estate

Bread with dukkah and evoo

Beef fillet medium at Voyager Estate

Black Angus beef fillet cooked medium, caramelised onion, potato skordalia, wild olives, egglplant and peppers for the hubs.

Nannygai fish at Voyager Estate

This was my lunch choice: Nannygai deep sea fish caught locally cooked with basil emulsion, tomato confit, green beans and a herb salad from the gardens. Light and healthy.

Kids had tempura fish and pasta and the best part was an ice cream treat and a much needed caffeine fix for the adults in beautiful blue motif cups.

Ice cream treat

A simple treat of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and strawberries makes the kids day!

Latte in beautiful cup

A cuppa of latte with a shortbread cookie in a lovely blue motif crockware

The scrumptious lunch was followed by an afternoon of pure indulgence through the heart of Margaret River. We then visited family-operated boutique vineyards at Bettanay’s Wines and Nougat (Tom Cullity Dr., Cowaramup) and tasted delights of olive oils from my favourite Olio Bello (36 Armstrong Rd, Cowaramup), chocolates at the Margaret River chocolate factory (415 Harmans Mill Rd, Metricup), cheese and yoghurt at the Margaret River Dairy Company (Bussell Highway, Cowaramup).

Bettanay's Wine and Nougats, Margaret River

Bettanay’s Wines and Nougats

Olives on branches, Margaret River

Olives on branches at the Olio Bello estate. We brought back 5L of their extra virgin olive oil. That was how much we love it!

Bettanay's Wine and Nougat, Margaret River

The making of nougat at Bettanay’s

Yummy soft nougats with assorted flavours from Bettanay's Margaret River

Bettanay’s Nougats, made using the law of traditional Montélimar nougat abiding to the rules of containing egg whites and at least 50% nuts and 10% honey. These were ultra yummy. Needless to say, I bought quite a few back to give away as gifts.

One notable place was the Venison Farm that we visited. Besides, a brief history lesson how venison farming started, we were treated to yummy samplings of salamis, hams and sausages. We also bought 3 pieces of steak for $5 AUD. It was a steal!

Margaret River Venison Farm

Margaret River Venison Farm

Free samplings of the venison salamis, sausages and hams at Margaret River Venison

Free samplings of the venison salamis, sausages and hams

Kids had a blast hanging around in the grounds particularly around the lemon tree with a very interesting signage. Huge lemons for the pickings. I think they get plenty of itchy hands who would nick their lemons hence the sign. They do actually sell them in the store.

Yellow lemon tree at Margaret River

Yellow lemon tree! La la la.. As the song goes

 

We definitely would recommend Tony to anyone interested in doing a wine tour. Having been to the Margaret River region for the umpteenth times, this was a breath of fresh air, having a local tell us the histories of the places we visited, sampling the reserves, never to have to worry about drinking too much to be able to drive. And the best part, a souper yummy lunch was included.

With the venison steaks from the farm, no prize for guessing what we had for dinner! Cooked the venison and beef steaks from the supermarket for 4 minutes each. Made a cauliflower red plum reduction with Siblings Shiraz from Leeuwin estate. Paired them with asparagus and blistered heirloom tomatoes and panfried potatoes. Why cauliflower ? This was what I had in my fridge and pantry, that’s why! I was using what I had and I really don’t have a recipe for this dish and I honestly cant remember the proportions either. But it tasted awesome!

Venison steaks from Margaret River Venison

Steaks marinated with salt and pepper and fresh thyme and olive oil

The stove in the campervan is pretty good and it cooks food really well. This is just so important for us as a family who cooks and it is great way to save money when on a budget holiday. Everything is so fresh and it is best we can provide for the kids.

Pan frying potatoes in campervan kitchen stove , Margaret River

Pan frying potatoes

Sauteeing cauliflower bits with leeks preparing for the red wine reduction in campervan kitchen stove,  Margaret River

Sauteeing cauliflower bits with leeks preparing for the red wine reduction

Cooking in the caravan kitchen

Blistered tomatoes, panfried potatoes, sauteed asparagus all ready for plating

Leeuwin Estate Siblings Shiraz

Andrew opened this bottle bought from Leeuwin Estate. Used this Shiraz for cooking down the cauliflower and leek with plums

Beef steaks with thyme cooked on the stove in the campervan kitchen

Once all the vegetables were ready, it was time to pan fry the steaks. 4 min each was all we needed.

Plating attempt of our dinner! Margaret River

My attempt at plating ! Steak with cauliflower red wine plum reduction.

Slicing of beef steak, revealing a nice medium well centre.

After plating to my satisfaction and taking pics, time to slice it up for the kids! Good to see the beef turned out really well, and not rock hard or over cooked.

What a great end to a long and tiring day. Looking forward to a perfect start to day 5.

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