Foodies will love Perth’s Valley of Taste, with its picturesque fertile plains and Mediterranean climate bringing forth an abundance of epicurean delights.
Fancy a spot of fine dining at an award-winning restaurant? What about a light lunch with hand-crafted wines or ales? Or perhaps you’re looking for somewhere to entertain the kids while indulging in a late breakfast and a glass of Swan Valley sparkling wine? This region of Perth is also famous for its feel-good food and wine festivals, long-table lunches and year-round live entertainment.
Did someone say wine?
With its reliably warm and dry climate, the valley produces some of the country’s best, most consistent chenin blanc, verdelho, shiraz and petit verdot varieties, as well as liqueur verdelho and shiraz – both found locally. Among the big international players are many smaller, charming boutique wineries – places where the people who make the wine also greet and serve you at the cellar door. In recent years, an influx of young, innovative and sophisticated winemakers to Swan Valley wineries has brought a fresh new style and finesse to table wine. More than half of the varieties produced in the region are available for purchase only at the cellar door, so don’t miss out.
Meet the locals
Take the Swan Valley Wine Trail and encounter the warm, inviting spirit of local characters at cellar doors, lively breweries, cafes and distilleries, as well as art galleries and markets.
As well as grapes for wine making, the Swan Valley has produced 20 varieties of crisp and juicy table grapes, fresh and ripe for tasting over summer.
Midland Farmers Market
Browse stalls of fresh local produce while listening to live music, every Sunday behind the Town Hall Clock.
Cheese goes hand-in-hand with wine, so why not nibble on some award-winning varieties such as mozzarella, bocconcini, ricotta, fetta and crescenza? Cheesemaking workshops are also held throughout the year at the Cheese Barrel, where you can learn to make Camembert, mascarpone, haloumi, and even labneh. Lessons conclude with a cheese platter and glass of wine.
Olives, pickles and preserves
Enjoy free tastings of extra virgin olive oils, marinated olives, tapenades, dried fruits, pickles and preserves made from local produce.
Traditional high tea
Loose-leaf teas, crustless sandwiches, scones and cream make for a timeless treat at a range of venues in the Swan Valley throughout the day.
A visit to the valley wouldn’t be complete without sampling the delectable local chocolate, fudge, handmade truffles, ice-cream and soft and crunchy nougat.
On a budget: Alfred’s Kitchen
Open till late, seven nights a week, Alfred’s has been a local institution since 1946. Sitting by the railway, this little kitchen makes for a convenient pre or post-journey meal. Order chips and the signature pea and ham soup, plus a massive burger from the blackboard menu, and join the dozens of buzzing, friendly folk chowing down before the cosy wood fire. Mixing with the friendly crowd is all part of the fun.
Swan Valley produce is bursting with flavour, and it’s a bargain to boot. En route to the valley, be sure to pack your own picnic hamper with fresh local produce from the many roadside stalls that line the streets from Guildford. Straight from the garden and direct from the grower, you can purchase figs, sweet melons, juicy strawberries, crisp asparagus and vine-ripened tomatoes, depending on the season.