South West Tour Part 1: Bunkers Beach Cafe, Cape Kitchen, Vasse Felix, Margaret River Chocolate Company

I recently visited Dunsborough and the Margaret River region in the South West of Western Australia, a beautiful part of the country renowned for wineries, food producers and gorgeous beaches. We toured the region in a South West Coach Lines bus and followed a jam-packed two-day itinerary.

Bunkers Beach Cafe, Bunker Bay

We began the day with breakfast at Bunkers Beach Cafe, nestled in the sand dunes at Bunker Bay, with the beach and ocean a short boardwalk away.

We waited a few minutes for the cafe to open, enjoying the crisp morning.

Bunker Bay beach

Once inside, the cafe windows opened up to provide a spectacular view.

Stunning views

The sunlight streamed into the cafe as we sipped on coffee and pored over the menu.

Soy flat white

Our plates were piled high. Bunkers’ house made crumpet is served topped with a mountain smoked salmon, avocado and crumbled ricotta cheese (AU$19.50), garnished with a sprinkling of chopped chives.

House made crumpet topped with smoked salmon, avocado and ricotta cheese (AU$18.50)

One of the Cafe’s most popular offerings is Yallingup wood-fired bread served with rocket, shaved parmesan, prosciutto and poached free range eggs (AU$18.50).

Yallingup wood-fired bread grilled served with rocket, parmesan, prosciutto and poached free-range eggs (AU$18.50) – pictured with hollandaise sauce on the side

My breakfast was enormous – scrambled egg with nori, lupin tempeh crisps and toasted sesame on spinach and grilled Yallingup bread (AU$18.50). This is the egg-eating vegetarian’s dish of choice – which of course means I ordered a side of bacon (AU$4) to go with it! The nori strips give a salty, seafoody flavour to the soft eggs and the lupin crisps add crunch. It’s a generous serving, very filling and a unique way to serve scrambled eggs – but be warned, the fishy nori flavour won’t be for everyone.

Scrambled egg with nori, lupin tempeh crisps and toasted sesame on spinach (AU$18.50)

Bunkers Beach Cafe

Bunkers Beach Cafe

Bunkers Beach Cafe
Farm Break Lane, Bunker Bay (immediately adjacent to the Quay West Resort)
Naturaliste WA 6281
Telephone: (08) 9756 8284
Winter trading hours
Closed Wed and Thursday
All other days:
Breakfast 8.30am to 11am
Lunch 12noon to 3pm
Cakes and beverages 8.30am to 4pm weekdays; 8.30am to 4.30pm weekends
Private functions by appointment

See Google map and page for Bunkers Beach Cafe

Bunkers Beach Cafe on Urbanspoon

Cape Kitchen, Busselton

Cape Kitchen, Busselton

Cape Kitchen is a gourmet food merchant and gift shop located in Fig Tree Lane in Busselton. The shelves are laden with local and imported products and speciality ingredients, cook books, homewares and kitchen nick-nacks. It’s a treasure trove for food lovers.

Light lunches, coffee and tea, chocolate, cookies, cakes and muffins are available, prepared fresh daily in the shop’s deli/kitchen. Our Wyndham Resort host Sue had arranged to pick up a picnic lunch for us here at Cape Kitchen. While the ladies packed our lunch into a cardboard carton, we didn’t hesitate to explore the shop.

Oils and vinegars. On the top shelf, left side, truffle-infused products – oil, mustard, honey and sea salt flakes

Dried spices, nuts and fruits

Dried spices, grains, nuts and fruits

Things for tea lovers

Cook books. Above, earthenware dishes and tagines

The cheeses in the display looked superb, but there were also delectable looking muffins and bread rolls filled with sliced cold meat and salad. In the fridges, some of my favourite food brands, including Blue Cow cheese, Holy Smoke and Maggie Beer.

Fresh rolls and muffins

Local and European cheeses and all the tasty things that go with them

There are places to sit and enjoy a snack, cake and coffee or a light meal.

Places to sit in Cape Kitchen

Millbrook Olive Grove extra virgin olive oil, produced from olives grown locally, in the South West region. They also produce olive oil soap, dukkah and pure unprocessed honey, all available at Cape Kitchen

Cape Kitchen Gourmet Foods and Gifts in Fig Tree Lane

For lunch, we each had a big slice of pumpkin frittata, studded with pine nuts and pumpkin seeds, garden salad, fresh cornbread and butter and a smear of Fat Hippo tomato chutney made locally to a South African recipe.

Pumpkin frittata, bread and butter – picnic lunch by Cape Kitchen, Busselton

Pumpkin frittata – close-up

Cape Kitchen Gourmet Foods and Gifts
Shop 33-35 Fig Tree Lane
Busselton WA 6280
Telephone: (08) 9751 4350

More on Busselton
See my Busselton series about my 2011 Easter holidays Busselton.

Vasse Felix Winery

We visited Vasse Felix, the oldest vineyard and winery in Margaret River, established in 1967. The street Vasse Felix is on, Tom Cullity Drive, is named after the winery’s founder in honour of his contribution to the Margaret River wine region. I sold many a bottle of Vasse Felix wine in my hospitality days.

Regular readers will know I’m not much of a wine drinker. I skipped the wine tasting on this occasion but enjoyed the picturesque scenery. I did drink wine elsewhere on the trip.

Vasse Felix has three vineyards in Margaret River where the grape varieties best suited to each sub-region, soil type and topography are grown. The oldest vineyards are located here at the estate.

Vasse Felix vineyard

The striking timber and stone building that houses the Vasse Felix cellar door, restaurant and art gallery was constructed using local materials including granite that was removed from the first vineyard blocks at Vasse Felix in 1967 and wooden beams from the original Busselton Jetty. The art gallery features exhibitions from a collection of over 4,000 registered artworks by Australian and Western Australian artists, with a strong emphasis on Indigenous works. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and is available for private functions. The grounds are pristine and stunningly beautiful.

Lurking among the trees is a sculpture that reminds me of Aragog the acromantula, which is like a gigantic tarantula from the Harry Potter books. There are many more sculptures around the Vasse Felix grounds featuring (less arachnid-like) works created by local artists.

Autumn leaves

Our lunch was already spoken for, but I’d like to return sometime and dine at the Vasse Felix restaurant.

Vasse Felix
Corner of Tom Cullity Drive and Caves Road Cowaramup WA 6284
Telephone: (08) 9756 5000

Cellar Door opening hours
10am to 5pm, 7 days

Restaurant opening hours
Morning Tea – 10am to 12pm
Lunch – 12pm to 3pm weekdays
12pm to 4pm weekends

Art gallery opening hours
10am to 5pm, 7 days

See Google map and page for Vasse Felix Winery

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

The Margaret River Chocolate Company has been making and selling chocolate since 1999. You can get all kinds of chocolate products here – chocolate bars, handmade truffles, chocolate sauces, chocolate coated goodies and more.

Love the sign – like a giant chocolate bar

The most popular corner of the shop has to be the free chocolate pastelles station where you can eat white, milk and dark chocolate pastelles to your heart’s content. Grab a handful to munch on as you browse the rest of the shop.

Free chocolate pastelles – white, milk, dark

The cafe sells hot and iced chocolate and a range of chocolate delights including chocolate fondue, mud cake, and brownies. If you’d prefer something savoury, you can get a toasted panini with roast beef, ham off the bone, turkey breast or the vegetarian option, with fresh tomato, zucchini and two cheeses, mozzarella and aged cheddar. You can also get an ice cream cone featuring local ice cream made by Simmo’s.

The cafe at The Margaret River Chocolate Company

The cafe at The Margaret River Chocolate Company

There are over twenty styles of handmade chocolate truffles, nut clusters and chocolate-coated nougat.

Chocolate truffles

Chocolate truffles

Chocolate truffles and nougat

Chocolate truffles and nougat

Margaret River Providore sauces: passionfruit, raspberry, mango, tarragon vinaigrette, spicy steak sauce, tomato sauce with chilli, balsamic wild onion vinaigrette, garlic olive oil

Chocolate bars. Sugar-free bars are also available

There are also body products available including chocolate lip balm, chocolate-flavoured massage oils, chocolate bath salts, chocolate soap and cocoa butter. Just make sure you know exactly what you’re buying so you’re not disappointed when you get home and find that delectable ‘chocolate sauce’ isn’t what you were expecting at all!

The Margaret River Chocolate Company
Corner Harmans Mill Road and Cullity Drive
Metricup WA 6280
Telephone: (08) 9755 6555
Open every day of the year 9am to 5pm except Christmas Day.
Cafe open 9am to 4.30pm

See Google map and page for the Margaret River Chocolate Company

The Margaret River and Swan Valley chocolate factories provide viewing windows so you can watch chocolate products being made. Tip: If you’d like to watch the chocolate maker in action, don’t go around lunch time! I must be the queen of bad timing as I’ve missed out on seeing the chocolatier every time I’ve been at the Margaret River Chocolate Company.

See my blog post A food Lovers’ tour of the Swan Valley for a write-up of the Swan Valley store. You’ll see the store layouts are almost identical.

There’s a newish Margaret River Chocolate Company Concept Store in Perth city at 317 Murray St, next to Country Road.

TFP visited South West WA including Dunsborough and the Margaret River wine region as a guest of Wyndham Resort Group Asia Pacific.

See more blog posts about my recent trip to WA’s South West.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003656938850 Facebook User

    Love your vibrant pics – certainly making me hungry!