Sunday, December 28, 2014

Margaret River Lodging, Food, and Activities Review

Water wheel trough
Margaret River has something for almost everyone. If you are into wines, there are a multitude of vineyards to sample. The beaches and forests appeal to nature lovers. Places to stay suite travelers with deep pockets and those who prefer to ‘rough it’. Most of the area, at least in the early spring, has ample space on the roads for bicyclists and cars. For information about this rating system, see Sydney Reviews.

Where we stayed…
Four Carrots

Grange on Farrelly Margaret River Motel (18 Farrelly Street, Margaret River 62825, +61 8 9757 3177) was a funky, older place set up in duplex cabins around a central garden area.
L to R: Superior twin room, Bird on flower, Bathroom
The birds (and there are a lot of them) are not any more cooperative than any others we've tried to photograph. Although the garden isn’t ready for close inspection, I did spot a bunny in the underbrush. We had a huge room (Superior Twin) with, hooray, two trash cans, free internet, and a coffee maker; the beds were good, too. There's a 'balcony' sort of arrangement between the two rooms with tables and chairs; this overlooks the garden. Dave, while waiting for his laundry to dry, chatted with a guy who collects 1957 cars ~ not a specific kind, mind you, but just 1957 cars. Australians are friendly; it's amazing who will walk up and start a conversation with you and about what.

What we ate…
Four and one-half Carrots

Andrew Fish, who checked us into our hotel, is also the chef and he's really ‘good at food’.
L to R: Ice cream with chocolate and raspberry
Steak with mixed vegetables
The steaks at
The 1885 Restaurant (18 Farrelly Street, Margaret River 62825, +61 8 9757 3177) were reasonably priced, well-marbled and flavorful with mixed, fresh vegetables that had been gently steamed and real mashed potatoes. Our chef chatted with us about what we wanted, the prepared a wonderful meal. We ate ourselves silly then had dessert ~ basically vanilla ice cream set on a bed of dark chocolate pieces with a raspberry sauce sort of drizzled around the plate. The setting and the food were very nice and a great way to begin our visit in Margaret River.

Four Carrots

After a day of playing on beaches, following dirt roads and climbing trees, we had an early dinner at the Settlers Tavern (114 Bussell Highway, Margaret River 6285, +61 8 9757
L to R: Hot dog, Burger with chips
2398). Andrew Fish, chef at our hotel, previously worked here and recommended the food. I had one of the best hot dogs I'd ever had ~ pork sausage on a fresh made bun that was a lot like a small French loaf with ‘American mustard’ and barbecue sauce. Dave had a burger that he said was pretty good. Although we ordered and paid at the bar, servers came around to bring condiments and to check on our enjoyment of the food.

Three and one-half Carrots
Lunch on this cold, windy day had to be hot so we stopped in Augusta at the Augusta Bakery and Café (121 Blackwood Avenue, Augusta 6290, +61 8 9758 1664). I got sweet
Top: Soup
Bottom: Chicken sandwich
potato and pumpkin soup that had some spicy chili in it. Dave had a chicken sandwich filled with spinach and sauteed onions. My soup came in a washtub and although I tried really hard, I couldn't eat it all; I even sopped it up with the half a loaf of crusty bread that they gave me. Service was rather slow and not attentive.

The Cape Lavender Tea House (2 Canal Rocks Road, Yallingup 6282, +61 8 9756 6609) serves high tea in a casual setting. There are a wide variety of teas available and two sorts
Tea and scones
of scones: savory or lavender. Presentation was on china decorated with paintings of lavender plants and bees. The scones were well cooked, but lacked any distinctive flavor.

At Lake Cave we ate lunch at their Lake Cave Tearooms (Caves Road, and Forest Grove,
Burger filled with a variety of vegetables
+61 8 9757 7411) and it was one of the best burgers we've had. The man who runs it was very funny, singing or whistling and asking us about the US; his wife had one of those amused, long-suffering looks that told us who really was running the restaurant.

What we did…

For complete descriptions, please see Rolling on the River.
Four and one-half Carrots
Caves Road: State Highway 10 and 250 between Busselton and just north of Augusta

Calgardup Cave: Caves Road, Boranup 6286, +61 8 9757 7422
Four Carrots

Canal Rocks: Canal Rocks Road, Yallingup 6282

Lake Cave: Caves Road, and Forest Grove, +61 8 9757 7411
Three and one-half Carrots

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse: Leeuwin Road, Augusta 6290, +61 8 9758 1920

Margaret River Chocolate Company: 5123 West Swan Road, West Swan 6055, +61 8 9250 1588

South Pole Marker
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