Two days in Yallingup, Part 1 – Arimia Estate, Seashells and Lamont’s Smiths Beach
After morning tea at The Berry Farm, we drove on to Yallingup – around 40 minutes from Margaret River (approximately 3 hours drive from Perth).
Our next stop was a late lunch and wine tasting at Arimia Estate.
It’s easy to miss the rusted metal Arimia sign set against a dry stone wall, and we wondered why anyone would think it a good idea to build a cellar door and cafe tucked away 2km down this quiet road (mobile reception was patchy too). But sitting at our table on the timber deck, we understood why. It’s a stunning, secluded setting – a building constructed from wood and recycled materials, surrounded by nature. A bushland oasis awaits.
We were met at the cellar door by Cam, who led us through a tasting. We chatted about wine and food matches – he recently tweeted me while I was in Singapore, about his favourite match: Hainanese chicken rice with Margaret River chardonnay – I had to confess I had matched my chicken rice guided by hawker rather than sommelier – with iced lime juice.
Arimia’s wines are released in Premium, Prestige and Reserve ranges, and while you’ll find your more typical Margaret a River varieties (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot), they have produced several interesting wines you’re less likely to find on your average Margaret River winery crawl, such as Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre, Shiraz Viognier and Zinfandel. Jac’s always keen to try new grape varieties and less common blends, and we emerged with a bottle of the Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre (a little spicy with sweet fruit flavours of cherry and berry).
We started lunch with baked ciabatta topped with cracked sea salt and pesto, served with dukkah and Arimia’s own olive oil. Jac ordered the citrus cured salmon with tomato, potato crisps, caper and oil dressing and green bean salad, matched with 2012 Sauvignon Blanc. By this time I was desperately craving rice and chose the confit duck and porcini risotto with parmesan, creme fraiche and sweet vinegar reduction (it did the trick). We finished with coffee and old-fashioned lemon slice served with a generous dollop of cream. If not for needing to check in at our accommodation and freshen up before dinner, we could’ve easily stayed there, sinking lower into our chairs, until they kicked us out.
Before we left, I took my happy belly for a walk and checked out owner Malcolm’s collection of bonsai trees. Malcolm himself and wife Ann were hard at work in the cafe and at the cellar door, chatting with guests. By the way, ‘Arimia’ is named after Malcolm and Ann’s daughters Ariann and Mia, who also work at their namesake Estate.
242 Quininup Road
Yallingup WA 6282
Telephone: (08) 9755 2528
Cellar door and cafe are open 7 days 10am to 5pm
Bookings are recommended, especially on weekends and holidays
We paid for our meal and received a 50% discount.
We checked into our accommodation for the night at Seashells Yallingup. There’s ample free parking for guests at the front of the building. Our 1-bedroom apartment was comfortable, complete with living room, kitchen, bedroom with ensuite bathroom, laundry facilities and balcony. We are fans of self-contained apartments such as this – they provide more living space than most hotel rooms, and the fridge and fully equipped kitchen allows us to self-cater, stock up on snacks and cold drinks of our choice and make cuppas whenever we want.
We had a few hours to relax before dinner and sank gladly into the couch to watch DVDs (don’t laugh!) – Beverley Hills Chihuahua 2 and 3, which I hadn’t realised Jac had packed. You don’t have to supply your own entertainment – there are in-room movies and Foxtel channels for free.
Yallingup Beach Road
Yallingup WA 6282
Telephone: (08) 9750 1500
- We stayed in a self-contained 1 bedroom apartment compliments of Seashells Yallingup.
- All rooms at Seashells Yallingup have garden views overlooking Caves House’s heritage listed gardens, which guests are free to access.
- Wifi access is available, but only free up to 200MB. After that, the cost is $10 per day (up to 400MB) or $55 per week (up to 2000MB). I didn’t use Seashells’ wifi – I used my iPhone and iPad’s 3G service to access the internet.
Lamont’s Smiths Beach
We’ve been to Lamont’s Bishop’s House and Lamont’s Wine Store in Cottesloe, and we looked forward to dining at another Lamont’s. Like other Lamont’s food we’ve enjoyed, the dishes often appear simple – but there’s a wonderful harmony of flavours – a bowl of wild olives, shiny, briny and fragrant in garlic and rosemary oil; crusty warm baguette best torn apart by hand and eaten with lashings of the supplied soft French butter. Our shared entree looked plain Jane but was a stunner to eat – Shark Bay whiting in tempura batter with a salad of shaved fresh fennel, enhanced with a squeeze of the grilled half lemon.
Jac’s main course was the sage and prosciutto wrapped chicken breast with crushed peas, garlic mash and Brussels sprouts. I ordered the special of the day, local marron with aioli, broccolini and Waldorf salad. It looked spectacular and I couldn’t wait to lift those tender tails out of their shells, the crustacean-related mess and effort was totally worth it. Jac found the prosciutto around the chicken a little too salty; I kept sneaking garlic mash off her plate. We shared a side dish of beautifully bright broccoli and sugar snap peas, transformed to something special and deceptively rich with the addition of truffle oil and pistachios. We also split a dessert, bread and butter pudding with cinnamon poached plums and vanilla bean ice cream. The thick slab of hot pudding had a soft custardy centre, comforting and decadent at the same time, delicious with the sweet spiced fruit. The perfect way to end the meal.
Lamont’s Smiths Beach
Located within Smiths Beach Resort
Smiths Beach Road, Yallingup WA 6282
Telephone: (08) 9750 1299
TFP and Jac dined compliments of Lamont’s Smith Beach. Prices have been included in this post for your information.
Next morning, we went for a walk around Caves House’s gardens before checking out and driving to breakfast. Just a couple more meals/blog posts to come in this series…
About this trip and this series – Margaret River 2014
We visited the Margaret River region in the south west of Western Australia for four days in May as guests of the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association and were hosted by restaurants and businesses in the region.
We drove to the region and used a Margaret River Region Map to guide us to the stops on our itinerary.
The full list of blog posts from this trip is below, in reading order:
- Discovery Menu, Voyager Estate, Margaret River
- Bettenay’s – Margaret River Nougat Company
- Dining in Margaret River town
- Lake Cave, Margaret River
- Brookwood Estate
- Margaret River Chocolate Company and Providore
- Margaret River Farmers Market
- The Berry Farm, Rosa Glen
- Two days in Yallingup, Part 1 – this post
- Goanna Gallery Cafe, Dunsborough
- Two days in Yallingup, Part 2 – Aravina Estate
For more information about visiting the Margaret River region including how to get there, visit margaretriver.com
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