“Got anything planned for the weekend?” workmates asked me on Friday.
“Nothing whatsoever,” I said. “I am looking forward to sleeping in and doing absolutely nothing!”
Yeah… so much for that! As it turned out, I had completely forgotten we made plans for Saturday a while ago – Jac reminded me on Friday night – to take her uncle and aunt from Queensland to the Swan Valley.
And so I admit I was a bit grumpy when I woke up on Saturday morning… but it didn’t take long for my mood to improve.
We love taking visitors to the Swan Valley, located approximately 25 minutes from the Perth CBD. Each time, we follow a different itinerary along the Swan Valley food and wine trail, depending on everyone’s interests.
Our first food stop was Uncle Neal’s choice, after we uttered three magic words: The Cheese Barrel. Actually, probably only one magic word, as I don’t think he cared about the words on either side of ‘cheese’!
We sat out on the deck and designed our own cheese platter, choosing four cheeses from the Ultra-Premium selection: Farmhouse Gold, Healy’s Pyengana Cheddar, Brillat Savarin and everyone’s favourite, Yallingup Brie.
After several stops (Mondo Nougat, Morish Nuts, Whistler’s Chocolate Co and The Great Northern Distillery) we went to Lamont’s Swan Valley where we sat down to lunch after a free wine tasting at the cellar door.
Jac and I had a fantastic lunch at Lamont’s Swan Valley a couple of years ago, and yesterday’s was just as enjoyable – I really am a big fan of the place. The food is excellent, and the setting is relaxed and informal, especially if you sit at the wooden tables outside.
We each picked a dish to share. Veuve, the Jack Russell terrier we met on our previous visit, patrolled the grounds, while black labrador Truffle hovered, hoping for treats.
The temperature was quite mild yesterday, in the low to mid-20s (Celsius), ideal for being out and about with no worries about the chocolates melting in the car. The sky was grey and overcast, with just a brief period of light drizzle. And although the day was cool, it didn’t stop us from having honey ice cream at The House of Honey before we headed home.
PS. I got my sleep-in today!
Our Swan Valley itinerary
I didn’t take pictures at all of our stops, but in case anyone is interested, I’ve included a list below of the places we went during our four or so hours in the Swan Valley yesterday. The beauty of the Swan Valley food and wine trail is that most places are on or just off two main roads – the Great Northern Highway or West Swan Road – and the tourist attractions are well marked on brown signs, so it’s pretty easy to navigate.
Get the Swan Valley food and wine trail map here (PDF 822KB).
Harris Organic Wine
179 Memorial Ave, Baskerville
A tasting session (6 wines) is $10 per person, or free if you end up purchasing any wine.
640 Great Northern Highway, Herne Hill
In addition to nougat, they sell homemade gelato and Italian cakes, pastries and biscuits, to take away or enjoy in the cafe. Free sample of nougat available only upon request.
640 Great Northern Hwy, Herne Hill (very conveniently located in same building as Mondo Nougat, with an adjoining door between the two shops!)
Highly addictive candied caramel-coated roasted nuts. Yesterday we also sampled wasabi macadamias, abalone macadamias and chilli dusted versions of the caramel-coated nuts.
Whistler’s Chocolate Co
506 Great Northern Highway, Middle Swan
Free tastings, chocolates to buy, a cafe and a grassy area out the back for the kids to run around.
The Great Northern Distillery – next door to Whistler’s
496 Great Northern Highway, Middle Swan
No free tastings, but you can purchase rum tastings for $4 per 15 ml measure.
The House of Honey and The Sticky Spoon Café
867 Great Northern Highway (Corner of River Road), Herne Hill
Free tastings, honey products and my favourite, honey ice cream.
The meadery is a newish addition (I’m not a fan of mead myself though)
You may also be interested in this blog post from 2012:
A food lovers’ tour of the Swan Valley