Drink Up, Drink Up, Fill Your Cup…
In the first in a series of recommendations, Cam guides you through the regions go-to places.
If you’re coming this ways, well, you might as well get out and about and see what’s so good about the joint, right? Well, there’s stacks to see. And do. And, almost more than anything, there’s stacks to imbibe. Call this a little imbibl
Yahava is our own terrific little roaster just south of town. Pop in for a cup of joe, or engage in a taste of different blends, single origins and more. Educational without being a lecture, you’ll find out more about the bean around the world and all manner of brewing methods. Hot tip: the single origins are always GREAT.
Cnr Bussel Highway & Rosa Brook Road (just south of town itself)
In the middle of Bussel Highway, in what was the old BP service station, pop by Riversmith and catch Lachie, Karen and co, who will put pep-àstep. Hot tip: chase the coffee with one of Lachie’s excellent, delicious shrubs (fermented juice drink. Dee. Licious.) Hot tip #2: the Lamb. The MacDonalds farm their own, excellent lamb, coming direct from the source to your plate, it’s pretty great stuff.
122 Bussel Hwy
Opposite Settler’s Tav (see below) there’s a cute little caff, Sidekick, that will get you going with Dukes (Melbourne) coffee that’ll get you back up and ready for a days dancing, sightseeing and more.
5/110 Bussel Hwy
Colonial Brewery, for a long time, used the excellent tagline ‘an oasis of beer in a desert of wine’. And for me they’re really one of the best beer producers down here. Lots of different beers, but for me the Hot Tips: the Kolsh and the porter really are exceptional.
Osmington Road, north east of Margaret River town centre
Just north of Margs, near Churchview is The Beer Farm. This is probably my favourite brewery in WA, if not Oz. Their range is excellent, slightly eccentric but never soley slave to fashion or trend. Great, refreshing, interesting beer all round. Hot Tip: the India Pale Lager, though Brown Ale fans should taste this from tap.
177 Gale Road, Metricup (north east of Cowaramup)
Margaret River is (justly) renowned for its wines, and to me it is truly the best region in Oz for serious, terroir focused wines – drinks that really express their site. So there’s a stack to visit, which is simultaneously a good and bad thing. But you can’t miss Vasse Felix – the original commercial producer in the region, with an outstanding restaurant, incredible art gallery and almost obnoxiously delicious Chardonnay in particular. Hot tip: the Heytesbury Chard. World class, particularly if you can get one with a couple of years behind it. Hot tip #2: LT’s desserts in the restaurant. As good as anything I’ve had, literally anywhere. Again, world class. Hot Tip #3: Look out for the region’s tallest and most excellent restaurant manager.
Cnr Caves Rd and Tom Cullity Dve
It’s not that their white wines are remotely bad. It’s more that their reds are really just incredible. The Watson’s at Woodlands Wines turn out terrific wines seemingly year in-year out, and though the top end wines might seem pricey, if you were to buy Bordeaux this good, you’d need to pay double, possibly triple the amount of their most expensive wine. Hot tip: the Margaret Cabernet blend. I can’t think of another wine in Oz for $50 that even gets close to being this good
3948 Caves Rd
George Heydon is my dentist, so I’ve got every reason to hate him – except that he’s a lovely bloke, loves cricket and makes amazing wines at Heydon Estate. Classic MR to its bootstraps, it’s really a great little joint to pop by. Tot tip: WG Grace. Always released with time behind it, and always a magnificent exempt of Margaret River Cabernet.
325 Tom Cullity Dve
(Conflict of interest alert!! [I’m the wine manager here]) Much as I adore MR Cabernet and Chardonnay – and we make ‘em – the way I put it is like so: I love Italian food, but I don’t want to eat it every night. And I don’t want to live in a world without Spanish or Malay or Japanese. And I’m the same with grapes. So at Arimia we produce a range of pretty spiffing alternate varieties that will, we reckon, surprise, inspire and satisfy. In a young region, we’re doing a pretty decent job of showing that not everything is settled as far as what grows well here. Hot tip: Grenache, either in trad Provençal rosé format, or GSM is supremely fun little drink.
242 Quininup Road, Yallingup
Friday night, for The Spirit Moves, you’ll be heading to one place: Margaret River Distilling Co. Sure, you’ll be dancing up a storm. But it’s a beautiful bushy environment with, importantly, a great floor. Hot tip: Get there early and get some sustenance from their kitchen before dancing up a storm.
Cnr Carter’s Road & Maxwell Road