I’ve just had a very special day out in the Margaret River wine region for our wedding anniversary.

First of all it was a magical mystery tour, well, sort of.

“Where would you like to go?” He Himself asked me as we set off in our usual un-deliberate fashion, although we had thought about things enough to book ahead for lunch, wanting to try Clairault which has been featured on Channel Ten’s, MasterChef Australia.

I’d like to go to Boranup Gallery first,” I said , because I had bought him a very amazing anniversary gift which I hadn’t been able to get delivered in time.

“That’s rather far to go,” he replied. “It’s nearly down to Augusta! Why don’t we instead go to Dunsborough for a glass of champagne to kick things off?”

Now I hadn’t envisaged this scenario, and the champagne sounded good. I thought he’d be more than happy to drive through the gorgeous Boranup Forest, peruse art and crafts at Boranup Gallery, and have a nice hot Cappuccino at the café prior to our lunch date.

Now,What to do? His present was waiting.

“But I WANT to go there,” I whined like a Desperate Housewife. If I could have stamped my newly pedicured foot on the car floor effectively, I would have. “It’s really important to me, I really want to go there, and it is our Anniversary. We could also buy some Christmas presents too, maybe?”

There was a little harrumphing, and mention that this wasn’t a day for Christmas present buying, then a time of silence, which worried me slightly. But we kept going while I twisted my fingers in agitation. Oh why hadn’t I thought further in advance, bitten the bullet, bought the bronze and had it delivered in good time? Why do I leave things to the last minute, so often?

In the end I had to come clean. “Um, the problem is, I’ve bought you something. Not socks, not a shirt, not something boringly obvious. You actually wanted it. Remember?” I didn’t have to say anymore, and of course he was delighted. Then we drove with all due haste to pick up his boxed and bowed, bronze bust. And now I’ll always know that when I’m in his bad books, he’s always got his Siren – who he picked because he thinks she looks like me! Go figure!

Now you’ve had a laugh I’ll carry on 🙂

Being a Monday, the Boranup Café next door was closed, which was a pity. So we drove on to Knee Deep Wines and sat at a table drinking coffee and eating bread and olives looking out across the vineyards. Magic. Such a pretty spot because you feel as if you’re almost sitting amongst the vines.

Then we were ready for a celebratory glass of champagne and drove on to Wills Domain  which has a glorious view out across the valley. Inside the contemporary building is an Alpaca shop, an interesting art gallery and a modern cellar door and restaurant. Again, we hadn’t done our homework, and there was no champagne to be had, but instead we had a chilled glass of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and admired the view.

Then it was on to Clairault for lunch, which is situated approximately 10 km south of Yallingup within the Wilyabrup locality of the Margaret River Wine Region. Established in 1976 it’s one of the pioneering vineyard-winery estates and has been described by food writer Rob Broadfield in The West Australian, August 2010, as “A poster boy for the Margaret River lifestyle…”

We went for the five course $80 Degustation menu,which was a big treat all things considered. It allows you to taste several of the chef’s best dishes in smaller portions. You can opt for the more expensive option which comes with a matched glass of wine with each course, but one of us had to drive and so we were abstemious on the alcohol front. Anyway, we had …

 abrolhos scallops, green mango + pink grapefruit song tam

fremantle herring katsu, japanese curry, apple + ginger salad

field + woodear mushroom strudel, hazelnut air, champignons, shallot jam

“spring lamb” – sous vide leg, sweetbreads, pate en croute

deep river blue by denmark farmhouse

chocolate japonaise, delice, fresh berries, double cream

Now I’m not a food writer, or a super chef, so all I’m going to say is, YES it was YUM and we sat there eating and chatting (mostly about the food :)) for  three hours, ending up with coffee and a little walk in the woods.

Pros: Beautiful woodland setting. Fine dining. Great food. Fabulous service.

Cons: None really. It felt quite casual as a fine dining experience, but that could be construed as good and bad.

For your info, the restaurant  is openThursday – Monday  12.00 noon – 3.30pm

Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Bookings Recommended – Phone 08 9755 6655. The Cellar Door is open 7 days a week, from 10am till 5pm



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