Set down by a little brook amid beautiful gardens, Brookland Valley Winery not only makes delicious wines and serves excellent food at their restaurant overlooking the lake, it also has one of the prettiest shops for those feeling in need of a little retail therapy. Housed in a seperate building from the restaurant, the Gallery of Wine Art (forget about the silly name) stocks charming wine and food-related items and gifts sourced from all over the world as well as providing wine tasting and cellar door sales.
Before you leave the winery, be sure to take a walk by the lake where the antique bronze sculpture of Pan that features on the winery's labels plays his flute.
What to buy: Elegant homewares from all around the world, delicious preserves, the latest recipe books, gorgeous Florentine soaps, Reidel wine glasses, their own fine wines ....
What to pay: $5 -$500
Just north of Margaret River township is the small area of Cowaramup. The Margaret Riviera is a gourmet shop which sells all local produce from jam to chilli, olive oil, cheese and pickles to wine. The also cater for the tourists and non-cooks by stocking precooked meals. You will also find smoked trout, chicken, handmade pasta, sauces and olive oil.
It was a friend who strongly suggested that we stop in the little town of Cowaramup on our way to Margaret River and experience "Margaret Riviera" - glad we did and particularly me who really enjoys savoury treats.
The shop is full of great things to eat from local producers as well as tableware, cook books, gifts and others. They also have the largest selection of local and imported cheeses in the south west of WA and there was my mission - to try and then purchase genuine English Stilton Cheese as a gift for my English born father. I'm sad to report that the purchase did not make it back to Perth as, well, um, I confess I ate it and therefore had to return to the shop to buy more - this time safely under lock and key with Lady Gaw holding the key.
There are samples of local olives, pickles and other treats including bread to be dipped into olive oil, then balsamic vinegar and finally into an opened bowl of Dukkah - a great pre-dinner snack. The Dukkah was so good I just had to buy a jar of it to take home.
Although expensive, the shop is well-worth a visit while enjoying all that the Margaret River region has to offer.
Almost next door to Margaret Rivers famous bakery and the Melting Pot Glass Studio is the amazing Margaret River Gallery, where it is room after room of works of art from established and emerging artists from Western Australia.
As cheap skates we managed to "just browsing thanks" to the pretty sales person, who was more than happy to let us browse in peace, perhaps in the full knowledge that we might buy something.
We saw works of art, sculpture, jewellery and finely crafted wooden fine furniture and I'd suggest a visit in excess of an hour to really appreciate what is on offer - even if you are in the cheap skate category yourself and manage to keep your hands in your pocket and away from the wallet and credit card.
Like the next door Melting Pot Glass Studio, the MRG can assist for freight to your destination and the shop is open 7 days.
The gift shop at Cape Lavender has an amazing selection of lavender based products. You can get anything from body products, aromatherapy goods, hand embroidered linen, hand painted glassware, beautiful coffee table books on lavender as well as tempting fudges, biscuits and lavender blended tea. Their chef also produces their own range of lavender jams, chutneys, mustards and other produce. Anything you can think of is available and produced from the lavender grown on the property.
Next to Margaret Riviera Shop in Cowaramup is the Candy Cow. Another popular hangout in the area. They have freshly made honeycomb which is demonstrated 1.00am Monday to Friday and you can sample much of the locally made confectionary such as fudge and nougat. They also sell local wine and produce.
Open 10.00am - 5.00pm 7 days a week. (closed Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day).
It was a friend who strongly suggested that we stop in the little town of Cowaramup on our way to Margaret River and experience the Candy Cow - glad we did.
Brightly coloured and full of yummy, tempting sweet treats, The Candy Cow is a treat for the eyes as well as the mouth. Extensive range of chocolate, honeycrunch using West Australian honey, fudge, nougat and lots of types of candy. They even have a selection of gobstoppers in various mouth sizes - an ideal gift to keep a mouth from talking (photo included - I bought 9 for one person - LOL).
There are free samples of their made on the premises fudge (30 varieties) and Lady Gaw just had to have the chocolate jaffa fudge. It was so good that the ants at our accommodation were lined up for a try too. Each morning at 11am there is a "Honeycrunch Making Show" and you get to chose your own piece to take home, that's if it lasts that long.
Warning: This shop is NOT for those on a diet.
Almost next door to Margaret Rivers famous bakery and the Margaret River Gallery is an amazing shop and glass studio - Melting Pot.
There is an extensive and ever changing array of glass goodies for sale and, with gold coin donation, visitors can watch glass blowing demonstrations (it was too hot in there for us, so we stayed in under the shops aircon).
The array of glass items is amazing and ranges from the functional wine goblets to very expensive works of art that could be shown in a gallery. We very nearly blew our budget and thought very seriously about purchasing a hand blown glass ornament. We found the staff very knowledgeable and helpful and there is a postage and packing service available for purchases "back home" where ever that might be.
Well worth a browse in Melting Pot, which is open 7 days a week 9.30am - 5pm with glass blowing demonstrations Tues - Sat.
The perfect place for that sweet tooth. At the top end of the township is The Margaret River Fudge Factory. Their fudge is created in the same style as fudge factories in the USA and England. They also have a range of traditional chocolate and candy as well. You can view the confectionery as it is being made by hand. Aside from all these tempting treats they sell a range of teas, coffees and the good old-fashioned milkshakes.
You can also buy online from their site.
Open : 10am - 5pm 7 days a week
Then you go through the back of Floyds into the Old Shed (as its called) and you will be confronted with anything from windchimes, statues, an assortment of various Asian styled pieces and fabrics, crafts, furniture. It really is a treasure trove.
Lloyds is open weekdays 8.30am-5.30pm. Sat 8.30am-3pm and Sun 10am-1pm.
Just down a little lane on Bussell Hwy is the great old lolly shop. They specialise in all the old style lollies you remember growing up with as a kid. They also have a collection of cute collectables and Australian memorabilia.
I love going in this store when I am down in Margaret River, you will never know what you will find. Lloyds started as a hardware store but they are far from being in that category now. Inside the store you will find all kinds of things for the home - kitchenware, gifts, camping and fishing goods, whatever you can think of.
Can you imagine this... your neighbour (who grows lavender) is sharing a beer with you (which you happen to brew) after a long day of picking lavender flowers... and he is gloomy about being able to sell his crop due to falling prices... so after a few beers you both wonder if it is possible to make an ale using the lavender... then after some more beers you both decide to give it a whirl anyway... well... I made that part up but I was wondering what on earth could possess anyone to try making an ale using lavender flowers???
The end result which is made by Wicked Ale Brewery, is an ale that tastes a lot like lavender potpourri... not that my taste buds have ever experienced anything like this... but I imagine that is what lavender potpourri would taste like if you were silly enough to try it... Cape Lavender Pale Ale has a long bitter, floral lavender palate softened somewhat by a dash of honey.
You may have gathered (correctly) that this is not one of my favourites but like any new food you must try it for yourself. 2/5 (for originality)
Wills Pils is a very "hoppy" beer made by Bootleg Brewery at Margaret River. It has a floral bouquet and a dry bitter finish. Using rainwater also gives this beer a soft texture and is easy drinking at 4.9% alcohol. 4/5
Margaret River Beverages is a boutique operation that produces premium quality gourmet soft drinks.
Their drinks are aimed at adults who are looking for great tasting but non-alcoholic beverages.
Add chilli extract to cola with a splash of lime and you get a drink that bites the tongue and lingers warmly at the back of your throat.
Chilli Cola with Lime is a really "hot" drink!