You know the drill. Pack the car, fill up the coffee cup and get on the road. It’s time to leave your worries behind you and head down south for the annual escape from the Perth bubble.
But hey—you know what is as good as a holiday? Yep, you know it: a change. Surely the ultimate life recharge must then be to combine both a holiday and some change?
The joy of the South West is that there are always new discoveries to land upon. We’ve pulled together some of the newest (and not as new but still kinda new) openings for you to hit up on your next trip down to WA’s wine and food paradise.
This is a seriously great addition to Busselton’s main strip. As authentically French as you can get this side of the world, entering Bistro Breton is like taking a mini holiday within a holiday. Owners Thibault and Fanny opened the doors this past summer and have been run off their feet with enthusiastic crepe lovers since day one. It’s no surprise: they are bloody good. Fanny’s mother and kitchen mentor is one of Brittany’s most acclaimed crepe chefs—she’s written two books and has several restaurants—so it is no wonder that her talent and skill has been passed down to the next generation. Go the full monty and enjoy a savoury buckwheat gallate for main, followed by a sweet crepe for dessert. They order their buckwheat flour all the way from France for the real deal, which is also gluten-free. Not sure what to try first? Ask Thibault, he’s the expert (the Breton sausage, mustard sauce and fried potato is pretty epic though, just saying).
Victory Point Cellar Door
Yes, yes, we know ANOTHER cellar door? Well, it is Margaret River so what do you expect? Plus, we’ve been here, tried the wines, gazed at the view and it’s already one of our new favs. A family run winery, Victory Point wines have actually been winning awards left, right and centre for some time now, they are rated a five red star winery by James Halliday. The vines were first planted here 20 years ago by Judith and Gary Berson and their labour of love has proved to be well worth it. It is easy to while an afternoon away once entering their rustic and welcoming cellar door. The attention to detail follows through from the wines to the building: a beautiful marri bench is the centrepiece, with the wood sourced from their own property. Settle in and make yourself at home, it’s time to taste some wine.
Wild Hop Brewery
Beer lovers might have caught wind of the new must-visit brewery down south. Seriously, don’t miss this one, even if you don’t drink the stuff. Wild Hop Brewery is based in Yallingup and their relaxed vibe is totally suited to a day of sunshine, craft brews and some wood fired bites. A family run brewery, the venue is also family friendly, with a playground good enough to make grown ups jealous. Stunning views over the water and a rotation of interesting brews are only topped by some tasty feasting; the menu is ideal for sharing so bring the tribe with you. What about the beer you say? Well, as each keg runs dry it is replaced by another one-off creation.
Walk Talk Taste Margaret River
Normally we’d just shrug—yep, a new tour company. Aren’t there lots of those in a wine region filled with tourism draw cards? Yes, there are, but Walk Talk Taste Margaret River is the first walking tour. And boy, is there plenty to learn about (and taste) in the heart of Margaret River. Start at the Old Settlement by the river and work your way up the hill, learning about the history of the town and all of the behind the scenes action at some of the towns carefully selected cafes, restaurants and bars. Skip the breakfast buffet; you want to come here hungry with six stops for everything from the art of good coffee through to some famous Margaret River marron. A heavenly day trip for foodies on foot.
Right On Burgers
The overlooked cousin of the South West, Bunbury is well worth popping into on your journey southward. Some of the best food we’ve tasted is from the kitchen of chef Brenton Pyke. The good news? He and his wife, Bec have recently opened the doors on a new joint selling the stuff of dreams: burgers and soft gelato. While they made their mark in the city with their original venture, Market Eating House, this next spot ticks all the boxes a burger joint should. Right On Burgers is also smack bang in prime burger position. Right outside the cinema complex for a mid-week date night, and over the road from Lost Bills bar, you can take your burger over to wash it down with a local brew. Check out their Insta if you want some confirmation on their drool worthiness. Oh, and to see the colour popping interiors and exteriors.
Domaine Naturaliste Cellar Door
Domaine Naturaliste is Bruce Dukes’ baby. He’s the award-winning winemaker behind a cabinet full of different Margaret River wineries, including his own label. Up until recently though, the range was only available at the local bottle shop and on wine lists. You might recognise the location as the previous home of Knee Deep restaurant, however Dukes has been working with the vines for well over a decade. Take your time, sit down for a guided flight and if the autumn sun is out you can enjoy the experience out on the shady lawn.
Not-So-New Honourable Mentions
Ok, so these joints don’t have those fresh paint and new carpet smells, but we bet you haven’t tried them since your last trip down south.
Chows Table, Yallingup: Chinese feasting from the heart and home of chef Mal Chow.
Pizzica, Margaret River: Some of WA’s most authentic pizza.
Burger Baby, Margaret River: Solid burger action and killer onion rings.
Melo Velo, Nannup: Grab a bike with your long black.
Yardbyrd, Witchcliffe: Retro, quirky and cosy with a tasty home-made menu.
Stomp’d, Denmark: Sample and buy wines from the region, paired with a simple yet perfectly formed bar menu.