Although the Margaret River area in Western Australia is generally first associated with the quality wines produced in the region, it is actually just as loaded with mouth-watering food options. Located around three hours south-west of Perth, the Margaret River area (which includes quaint towns such as Dunsborough, Busselton, Yallingup, Augusta and its namesake Margaret River) is the perfect destination for a long weekend retreat. A paradise for avid chefs and food lovers with a temperate climate and stunning scenery, the region prides itself on its tantalising array of locally- and organically-grown produce. From cheeses and chocolates to olives, nougat, ice cream, jams, relishes and more, there is something to suit every taste. Read on for five delicious destinations you should put on your itinerary next time you visit the Margaret River.
Named one of the “Top 10 Places to Go in Australia in 2013” by Fairfax Media’s newspapers The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, the Margaret River region is sure to be a top spot for tourists this year. A major draw that will have visitors looking to book a hotel in the Margaret River region this November is the Gourmet Escape 2013. This annual event will showcase more than 25 top Australian and international chefs and will present a range of quality food and wine options for visitors to enjoy. The weekend event will play host to legendary culinary talents such as Heston Blumenthal, Rick Stein, Tetsuya Wakuda and Neil Perry and “serves up” long lunches, exclusive degustation dinners, a pop-up beach BBQ and more.
If you’ve got to have your chocolate fix, then you’re sure to love a visit to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory. The business has been making award-winning goodies since 1999 and specializes in handmade, premium chocolates and truffles. One of the region’s most popular tourist attractions, the factory supplies free tastings of its mouth-watering delights, and visitors and witness the magic of the chocolates being made on interactive displays and through viewing windows. The factory in the Margaret River region is set on a picturesque rural property and creates over 100 different products, including novelty chocolates, body paints and ice cream. Tourists can also extend their stay by taking advantage of the on-site café.
A boutique, organic olive oil farm, Olio Bello is an award-winning business that is always popular with tourists to the Margaret River. The estate grows 14 different varieties of olives which are picked and pressed on the same day in order to ensure the freshest taste possible. Olio Bello is located on a 320-acre property that has been certified organic, and a visit to this artisanal producer provides the opportunity to try many rare olive oil varieties. Visitors to the farm can also enjoy other handmade goodies such as marinated olives, preserves, tapenades and dukkah in the tasting room and on-site café.
Voted one of Australia’s “Top 100 Gourmet Experiences” by Australian Traveller Magazine, Margaret River Providore is a food fanatic’s dream destination. Combining a carefully curated collection of vineyards, olive groves and organic vegetable gardens with the finest ingredients from around Australia and the world, Providore brings a new dimension to food and wine tourism in the region. Visitors to the working farm and tasting centre can watch as fresh produce, taken straight from the organic gardens, is turned into various products in the on-site kitchens. After that, foodies have the opportunity to enjoy free samples of more than 30 different goods.
A boutique wine and nougat business, Bettenay’s Margaret River Nougat Company has been hand-making their fresh treats since 2006. Always created in small batches, the nougat is produced from the finest fruit, nuts and local honey and does not contain chemicals or preservatives. The unique range of flavours is based on the traditional French style and includes more than 21 different flavour combinations. The nougat range — which can be sampled at the facility — includes honey and toasted almond, wildberry and macadamia and chocolate-orange swirl. The Nougat Company is Margaret River’s first and primary facility for this sweet treat and has received multiple gold medals at food shows around the country.
About the Author: Bella James is a travel writer and blogger who enjoys exploring Australia with her family. She loves to discover the best new wines and food flavours from around the country and frequently heads to the Margaret River region for holidays.