In continuation of the previous post…
The next morning, we went to the local Margaret River Farmer’s market. Staying at Quality Inn which is at WalCliffe Road was super convenient, as we were only 5 minutes away (driving) from the market. We were really lucky to have stayed over the weekend as the market is only open every Saturday from 8am to 12pm. The Margaret River Farmer’s market showcases local fresh produce so I was really looking forward to it.
Upon arriving the market I was intrigued with the sweets and baked goods from this Italian stall called I Pasticcioni. The stall are owned and run by an Italian couple. I could easily tell that the pastries and biscuits from here are homemade and made with love, and possibly with the recipes passed down by the Italian nonnas.
At one glance everything looks super good, especially the Cannoli tower! I couldn’t decide if I should get the Cannoli or the Rum Baba (regretting big time as I am typing now, should have gotten both), but I went with the Cannoli instead as it gets filled with the custard filling on the spot. There are also a huge range of biscuits available, most of them $1 or $2.5 each. You can opt for a mix combination i.e. a $20 worth of biscuits and they will pack it onto a box and brown bag to take home.
There were a lot of people at the market shopping for local produce, getting their dose of breakfast, and most importantly coffee. A long line was seen at Combi Coffee, a vintage looking food truck. An absolute interesting set up of coffee stall, very pretty in sight.
I tend to walk towards the food stall, and spotted this huge range of breads at this stall. The display was pretty and very country side, breads were all in old woven baskets and atop of wooden chopping boards. There were tastings of loaves like multigrain, fruit, rye – all chopped into little pieces and coated with butter so patrons could feel free to have a taste. The smell of the bread was just amazing so I bought a sourdough loaf from the Margaret River Bakery stall. I wished I could work here all day, the idea of having basked in the aroma of freshly baked goods will be a dream come true for me.
As we walked further, I spotted Chef Matt Stone at one of the stall. What a nice surprise. His tattoos did give me some goosebumps!
We left the market after buying what we need and went ahead with the other planned itineraries of the day. The first stop was at Gabriel Chocolate factory. Situated on the picturesque Caves Road, Gabriel Chocolates is a new venture on the already successful House of Cards winery and they are both located within the same compound. Gabriel Chocolate is open 7 days a week, from 10am to 5pm.
Gabriel Chocolate source cocoa beans from all around the world such as Venezuela, Java, Ecuador etc and make them into dark chocolate, milk chocolate, sweet milk chocolate range. The color of the boxes signify the type of beans used, and just like wine or coffee, the beans exhibits different characteristics hence flavours, if I may say, end notes even though all of them is say, dark chocolate (made of 72% cacao). It was a memorable learning experience for me as well as my tastebuds. In the end I went with the blue box, which is Rio Caribe beans with 72% dark cacao – which has a subtle yet lasting earthy and nutty notes. It was truly different with any other chocolates I have tasted in my entire life.
We left Gabriel Chocolate after buying couple of chocolate bars and got back to the Caves Road heading towards Dunsborough. We stopped by Eagle bay – a nice picturesque beach, almost near the tip of Cape Naturaliste. The arvo sun was glistening on the majestic deep blue water like crystals as the gentle waves beat against the formidable rocks and caresses the soft sands.
We found a spot just quiet enough for us to quietly absorb the serenity of the surroundings – admiring the untouched nature; the trees that looked like it had withstood its test of time, rocks that had been washed by the salt and minerals of the sea. Eagle bay beach was truly a sight to remember.
The silent was broken by the sound of my rumbling tummy hence we decided to head back into the town for food. As we drove past Country Life Farm, we saw this weird looking animal which got my attention, and in fact got my husband to pull the car over. So please, pardon me as that was my first time seeing a bison! It was weirdly cute!
I also saw this handsome looking goat which was quite photographic and in fact, knows how to look straight into my camera lens! I bet it has had years of experience strutting in front of cameras because of the amount of people who had admired and taken shots of it in its entire lifetime. What a poser goat!
For lunch we chose to try Bootleg Brewery. The brewery is located admist the rustle of century old trees, with a breathtaking view of lake and estate. The place is nicely setup with indoor (canopy) or outdoor seating on benches covered by large umbrellas. Obviously we went for an outdoor bench seat just like the locals though I must warn, flies were everywhere but heck, this is summer in the bush!
The menu was pretty much pub-food like with lots of stuffs that has chips on the side . We went for the usual suspects which was Fish and Chips and Beef Pie, with Pale Ale called SpeakEasy IPA. The chips were sinfully good.
After the heavy duty lunch, we felt like we needed a quick pick me up (before we fall asleep on the benches) or something sweet so we decided to go hunt for more chocolates! Margaret River Chocolate Factory was our next destination.
While husband was shopping for some chocolates as souvenirs, I helped myself to the free tasting pastelles and took some pictures. We didn’t stay for too long as Margaret River Chocolate factory has a shop in the city so we figured if we needed anything from there we could also visit the city store instead.
Next, we adjourned to the Margaret River Nougat Company which was just slightly further along Tom Cullity drive. Along the way I saw this peculiar scene of this tree that had so many birds standing on its branches. Check out the photo below.
The building of Margaret River Nougat Co. is a modern yet timeless architecture. It does actually look like a small home office, and I would love to have a place like this, with staircase at the outside of the house that leads to the rooftop, overlooking the big blue sky. It does also look like a perfect venue to host a small wedding ceremony, with a garden and lake just outside the porch. Hubby said he dreams of building a place like this in the future. LOL.
Inside this awesome building is where the magical creation of the nougat happens. Trays of freshly made nougat can be seen from the little glass window overlooking the busy kitchen, as the chef puts his sleeve up and stir the sticky luscious nougat in a big mixing bowl before ladling them onto each tray to set.
The freshly made nougat when set, is then cut into bars before hand-wrapped with a plastic wrapper that grandly showcases the fillings of the nougat i.e. dried fruits or nuts, depending on the flavour combination. They are then placed onto this giant rack which are partitioned according to different flavours. I couldn’t decide which one to go with but in the end I chose the Yahava Coffee and Almond Nougat which is in light brownish color (instead of cream white) as it recently won Gold Medal award and of course for its special heavenly taste.
The day has gone pretty quickly with long drive along Caves Road and hopping between shops. It was almost 3pm and I realized we have a last destination to go to before the businesses ceases operation for the day – The Berry Farm. It is albeit far but it was on my to do list so we quickly head back to the road and drive towards the city heading towards Rosa Glen.
We reached Berry Farm Cottage Cafe just about 3.30pm and the cafe staffs were already spotted cleaning up the premise. However we were lucky to be told that they were still serving freshly baked scones! As full as I am, there was room to squeeze in for this perfectly baked scones which was super fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outer layers. And oh, not to forget the taste of the Strawberry Jam from The Berry Farm and Chantilly cream – what a marriage in heaven. I also ordered a much needed dose of Flat White to keep me going for the rest of the day. Someone please tell me where to find scones as good as these in Perth CBD.
After our lovely tea break we adjourned to the Berry Farm shop premise which is just next door to get some of the heavenly jams home. Buying here from the shop saves me at least AUD3 dollars so I stocked up by getting two bottles of the Strawberry jam. I still like the Strawberry ones, but they are aplenty of other choices i.e. Blackberry, Fig, Apricot, Plum range – all of the different flavours are published on the Berry Farm Jams website.
Besides jams, Berry Farm also sells Preserves, Sauces and Salad Dressings. Also, the fortified Club House Series Port wines are pretty good as well, and customers are allowed for a free tasting up to 6 choices – so make sure you try some. Some of the wines also comes in miniature bottle so they are ideal for souvenirs too. Choices are truly aplenty here!
We left Berry Farm with happy purchases and drove back to the hotel. After a quick nap it is again, dinner time! We made a reservation at Morries Anytime for a tapas dinner. I have read so much about this place and been wanting to try the food. We were greeted by the lovely staffs who introduced us to daily specials as well as gave us enough time to look through the menu. Morries Anytime does tapas for sharing as well as mains. In the end we ordered three tapas dishes for sharing which were Mac and Cheese Croquettes (chef’s special), Trio of Burgers (consisting of Pulled Pork Kimchi burger, Japanese fried chicken burger and Wagyu burger), as well as Crispy Masterstock Pork Belly in Thai Caramel Dressing. Everything was beyond belief awesome – I love especially the pork belly as it was so sinfully crunchy and then coated in tangy caramelized Thai dressing. It was a bomb.
And that was it. The next morning we had breakfast at our hotel and left Margaret River with a sad heavy heart but we promised ourselves that we would make another tour here if we have a chance again. Margaret River you will be missed!