Gourmet Safaris was set up 12 years ago by Maeve O'Meara. The award-winning food and cooking author, journalist, broadcaster and television presenter designs food safaris tailored to a particular cuisine and culture. She has spent 20 years delving into the world of food. Expert guides and knowledgeable locals all play a part in her professional gourmet adventures across Australia and other parts of the world.
Kelly joined a Margaret River Safari in Western Australia, a small town producing an amazing amount of top quality food and wines.
Many good cooks believe that good olive oil is the all important ingredient of many good dishes. Olio Bello is run by the Gashin family and they are dedicated to the art of producing exquisite olive oils. They began the process of arriving where they are today twenty years ago when the trees were planted. It takes six years for the trees to start producing and then it just gets better.
Harvest time at Olio Bello is usually between April and June when you see the whole process raking and crushing the fruit and the wonderful, pure oil which is the end result. Or you might see the delicious olive tapenade in the making.
A tasting room was opened nine years ago and from 10am visitors can sample 14 extra virgin olive oils, some with delicate infusions of citrus and other delicate flavours.
Stop and enjoy an organic meal in the cafe and before you leave, stock up on jams, chutneys, marinated olives and organic body products.
La Foret Enchantee
visited this charming place in 2000 and it's wonderful to know it is still enjoying the success it deserves. La Foret Enchantee is a private and luxurious sanctuary, hidden behind huge wrought iron gates in 4½ hectares of forest. Guests are greeted with a glass of champagne.
Fee Menzies Stirton and Michael Whyte really have created something enchanted where guests have the option to self-cater, or have a chef pop in to whip up a feast. Kelly was treated to a superb dish of marron with truffle mayonnaise, accompanied by a Vasse Felix chardonnay chosen by Michael who is something of a wine guru.
Gardens live up to the name of the property. There's an enchanting array of statuary, fairy lights and an enormous chandelier hanging from a tall tree by the river over a stone table where guests enjoy wonderful meals.
One of the first wineries in the Margaret River, Diana and Kevin Cullen planted trial vines in 1966 when it was discovered the area's climate was similar to that of Bordeaux. Encouraging results led to the planting of 7 hectares of vines on the sheep and cattle farm.
Emma Cullen is a 3rd generation Cullen is proud of the family's all-natural vineyard. It's very much a family affair and they follow lunar and planetary cycles to produce their flagship wines Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Kevin John Chardonnay, Mangan and Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot.
The granite and timber restaurant overlooks the vineyard and is a delightful place to enjoy lunch, wine and coffee.
The original homestead is a charming place to stay. It has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, large living area with stone fireplace and kitchen with two preparation areas. There are sweeping views across the Margaret River area and you can enjoy a game of tennis and a barbecue.
Margaret River, four hours south of Perth.
Gourmet Safaris Margaret River six day tours start at $3057 per person twin share or $3551 a single. They include three nights luxury beachfront accommodation, one night in the Margaret River township and one night in Perth. Most meals, wine tasting, transport and tour guide. The next safari will be in late March, 2011.Visit the website for other Safaris.
Olio Bello is open every day between 10am and 4:30pm.
Cullen Wines Homestead stays are $400 a night and $450 during school and on public holidays. It sleeps up to 12. Cellar door is open every day between 10am and 4:30pm.
Virgin Blue has one-way flights to Perth from:
- Adelaide $179
- Sydney and Melbourne $239
- Canberra and Darwin $249
- Brisbane $279
- Hobart $289
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at August 5, 2010 and are subject to change.
Prices correct at August 5, 2010.
For further information
Ph: 13 6789
Box 326, Post Office
Ph: (02) 8969 6555
Fax: (02) 8969 6222
1 Armstrong Road
Ph: 1800 982 170
La Foret Enchantee
Margaret River 6285
Ph: (08) 9757 9889
Ph: (08) 9755 5277
Fax: (08) 9755 5550