We’ve had a gentle day in Margaret River on our first day in town. This place began its life as a timber town and eventually became a surfing centre with its nearby ocean beaches providing a very good break of waves. The area between here and Dunsborough to the north has become a prestigious wine growing area. It seems to have quite an ‘arty’ feel to it.
We are staying at Adamsons Motel which is located on the Margaret River, down the hill from the main town. It has a nice collection of self contained rooms and it is only a short walk up the hill to the restaurants in town. Across the road is a rather funky Italian restaurant, La Scarpetta, which has an arrangement with the motel for breakfasts. They serve a straightforward plate of eggs, bacon an tomato, but it is in anise environment. La Scarpetta seems very popular as a dinner venue as cars are parked everywhere at night and there is no room in the street in which to park our bus.
Our first activity of the day was to go to Vasse (pronounced Vass, like my nephew-in-law) Felix and was originally established by the Holmes A’Court Family. The grounds are very attractive with many established native plants and it has a large gallery in which a large selection of paintings are on display for purchase. Of course, the wines are pretty good as well.
This area has some interesting places that manufacture foods etc\. and after leaving Vasse Felix we visited a nougat factory. Some of our group seemed to think that their products were quite fantastic, but I reckon that I can buy much the same thing at many shops in Melbourne. A much more interesting place to visit (for me) was Providores who sold a very diverse range of oils, chutneys, jams and sauces. There were lots to taste and I particularly liked their Lime and Vanilla Marmalade. Unfortunately, they don’t ship any of their products to Melbourne, so I will have to look for some substitutes. I may find some similar things in our favourite boutique supermarket, Leos in Heidelberg.
The major activity of our day was a visit to the Voyager Winery with its magnificent grounds and buildings. It has a strong Dutch / South African influence in its design. One of our party, Ruth, had a connection to the winery and was able to organise a tour and a private wine tasting. We tasted six wines – 3 whites and 3 reds, and enjoyed the experience. From there, we had a long, and slow, lunch which went on until after 3.00 pm. (I vaguely remember the days of similar long lunches like this when I was a young business professional!) The meals were superb and the restaurant at the winery was equally as nice. To be able to top off the meal with an excellent wine was superb. We used the time in the cellar to also capture group photo.
To conclude the day, we drove down to Prevelly Beach to celebrate the sunset with some cheese and a glass of bubbly. We couldn’t get to the main lookout at Surfer’s Point because the road was closed but we found a good spot further along near the little jetty. t was very windy, but it was fun to watch a kite surfer who occasionally managed to position himself right into our view of the sun and offered an additional element for our photos. Jill and I had a pizza for dinner as for some reason, our appetites were not very strong after such a long lunch. For some reason, they are quite expensive here in Margaret River. Oneas home that might cost $13 0r $14 at home, sell for $23 at the restaurant here.
We’ve had a little rain overnight and I hope that it doesn’t continue through the day and disrupt our planned outdoor activities. There seems to have been lot of wild weather in this area lately with heavy erosion evident along parts of the coast.