A few weekends ago, Jac and I and my friend K, her hubby P and her sister R went to the Lower Chittering Markets held at Christos Valley Estate in Chittering Valley, around an hour’s drive from Perth.
It was a gloriously bright and warm sunny mid-September day, and the picturesque vineyard and green hills provided a stunning backdrop for the markets. We were surprised when we arrived at just how many cars there appeared to be – entry/exit and parking was ably coordinated by local blokes brandishing walkie-talkies.
Arrival at Chittering Markets. Park on the grass then just walk up the path. Follow the parking guys’ instructions and all shall be well!
Even with the vines looking bare at this time of year, it’s simply gorgeous at Christos Valley Estate vineyard. I think I’ve said it before – I reckon vineyards are among the most beautiful places in the world.
An esky full of frozen choc-dipped bananas and pure fruit ices.
Esslemont Estate Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Toodyay (for non-Perth/WA people that’s pronounced “Too-jay”)
Ringwould Farmhouse Cheese, Albany. If you like goats cheese (or are game to give it a try), Ringwould makes fantastic goats cheese that does not smell too “goaty” (a fear that puts some people off goats milk products).
We bought bottles of fresh juice and 2kg bags of oranges and mandarins at the Chittering Valley Juices stall. Free samples of juice were available.
Virg’n Orange juice – nothing but orange juice in this bottle. Jac enjoyed a fresh lemonade (both 500ml juices were $3 – market special). Chittering Valley Juices’ two orchards are located in the Chittering Valley.
Free tasting at the Regan’s Ridge Organic Olives stall. The Regan’s Ridge olive grove is located on the banks of Moore River, Gingin. They produce premium quality extra virgin olive oil and plain and marinated green and black table olives.
Swan Valley Gourmet Fungi in Gidgegannup specialises in gourmet mushrooms and grow-your-own mushroom kits. We bought a mixed pack of gourmet mushrooms which Jac stir-fried with marinated beef and mung bean sprouts for a delicious dinner at home. A mini Swan Valley Gourmet Fungi mushroom kit was featured in the most recent Urban Locavore box.
Locally grown vegetables
Locally grown vegetables
Croissants by Bindoon Bakehaus & Cafe, Bindoon. For sale were bags of 5 Senses coffee, croissants and flavoured breads – caramelised onion; olive, feta and chilli; basil pesto; chorizo & thyme and rustic white.
Time for some grub. A highlight of the Lower Chittering Markets hosted by Christos Valley Estate Winery are the Greek food stalls, savoury and sweet. The prices aren’t the cheapest but it’s all homemade but we enjoyed everything we ate (and wished we could eat even more!). The signs very helpfully include English descriptions as well as the item names in Greek, so you can ask for “orange yoghurt cake” instead of stumbling on “portokalopita”.
Today’s soup of the day (AU$8), ladled from a big bubbling pot, is avgolemono – Greek chicken noodle with lemon.
Jac and I shared a Greek lamb roll (AU$10) stuffed with slow roasted lamb and smothered with your choice of sauce – gravy (our choice), tzatziki, chilli roasted capsicum & feta mustard.
Greek lamb roll with gravy. There IS lamb hidden beneath all that gravy. Very messy and satisfying.
This was K’s Greek lamb roll, with the chilli roasted capsicum & feta mustard, which she rather enjoyed.
Greek lamb roll with chilli roasted capsicum and feta mustard
Next (not so Greek but still served up by the friendly Greek ladies) – Bavarian grill hot dogs.
Jac’s Bavarian grill hotdog – elaborately painted by Jac with sauce and mustard. Jac likes everything that comes with sauce to be heavy on the sauce. And yes, she is a very messy eater!
Jac and I also shared Greek pie with leek and feta (AU$8)- so very buttery!
Around the corner from the Greek savoury food tent is the possibly even more popular Greek sweets tent.
Serving up baklava.
We shared melomakarona (honey syrup cookie) and portokalopita (orange yoghurt cake).
The portokalopita was a chunky orange-scented square with layers of pillowy custardy soft filo pastry. A delicious dessert after the roast lamb roll and hot dog.
A best-seller was the scones with jam and cream served with pots of tea. As tempting as it was, I had to say no – no more room!
Lots of tables and chairs to sit, eat and relax. Christos Valley Estate wine was also available by the glass.
It was busy, but there was plenty of seating and lots of room to move. But you may need a hat/sunscreen on a sunny morning like this one – the markets are open air and only some tables have shade. Not sure what the arrangements are for the rainier, muddier wintry Sundays.
We sat right next to citrus trees. Kids and adults alike hunted around for fallen fruit and pocketed their finds (isn’t that stealing?)
The images featured in this post capture only some of what was available at the markets. Other stalls included Gidge Gourmet Fudge (boy, were those free samples popular!), organic avocado oil, West Coast Honey, local fruit (we sampled some lovely juicy strawberries) and plants for sale and Andersen Cacao Creations – organic gourmet chocolate.
The Lower Chittering Markets were held on the third Sunday of each month throughout winter, 9am to 1pm (see market information). They have ended for the year. If they come around again next year, I’d highly recommend taking a drive to Chittering to these markets for a lovely morning out. And it’s so important to keep supporting our local farmers and food producers – farmers markets like this are one of the best ways to do it. Don’t forget to bring an esky!
View Larger Map
Christos Valley Estate
260 Chittering Valley Road, Lower Chittering
How to get there:
Take Great Northern Hwy to Bullsbrook
Turn right at Bullsbrook into Chittering Road
Drive 17km down Chittering Road and turn right into Chittering Valley Road
Christos Valley Estate is 3km along Chittering Valley Road (on the right).
On the drive back to Perth past the Swan Valley, we made an impromptu stop at The Cheese Barrel – that’s coming up in another post.