Margaret River: where to stay, eat and drink
We chose to call Margaret’s Forest Apartments our home for our stay in Margaret River. Located right in the heart of Margaret River within walking distance to many of the restaurants Margaret’s Forest Apartments offers 27 studio, one and two bedroom apartments complete with fully equipped kitchens and laundry facilities. The apartments were clean and comfortable with the bedrooms on the lower level and the kitchen, dining and living areas upstairs in our two-bedroom apartment. A BBQ on the balcony and outdoor table and chairs was also a welcome addition. The apartment was conveniently located- only a ten-minute walk from Fearn Ave where we caught our bus transfers to each of the Gourmet Escape events. While it may not have been the most modern and contemporary option in Margaret River, it more than made up for it with its location and friendly service. I would definitely look to stay here again next time I visit Margaret River.
We were impressed with the restaurant options in Margaret River town and enjoyed some fantastic meals at Swings Taphouse and Kitchen, Morries Anytime and Muster Bar and Grill. The Settlers Tavern has an extensive range of local beers on tap and a crisp apple cider called George The Fox.
Seasonal produce is very much celebrated in Margaret River and both Swings and Morries Anytime offer sharing style menus.
Swings Taphouse and Kitchen had a lovely atmosphere with lights threaded onto hills hoists that had been suspended from the ceiling. It felt like a little piece of Italy and the tables were decked out with French toile plates and old jars refashioned as tea light holders. We enjoyed fresh Albany Rock oysters with a champagne and red shallot vinegar, a textured beetroot salad with goats curd, hazelnuts, red gum honey and frisee. The thinner slices of pickled beetroot with the thicker wedges of roasted beets made for a flavoursome combination. For main we shared a 12 hour slow roasted lamb shoulder with celeriac puree, pickled lemon and shaved fennel which simply fell away and melted in your mouth. The pan flamed baby squid seasoned with chermoula, pickled cucumber, a dollop of fresh labne, coriander and lime was another faultless dish. Our dessert consisted on a molten chocolate pudding with banana and rum and raisin ice-cream.
Morries Anytime was another great find in the main town and as the name suggests they offer breakfast and lunch, as well as tapas and sharing plates for dinner. Mismatched cosy furniture and great service that strikes that balance between being friendly without being overbearing makes dining at Morries Anytime a pleasure. We tried the wild mushroom and tallegio arancini with hazelnut aioli and the grilled haloumi with pickled zucchini, basil oil and charred ciabatta, which was the standout dish of the evening. We finished with a trio of Morries burgers; wagyu beef with bacon, swiss cheese, tomato, relish and aioli; pork belly, pickled wombok, salted cucumber and a spicy coriander tomato sauce; and our favourite of the three a Japanese style crumbed chicken with tomato, mixed leaves and a Japanese style mayo.
We headed to Muster Bar and Grill for brunch on our last morning in Margaret River and I was suitably impressed with my selection of mushroom bruschetta, fresh goats curd and thyme on sourdough. The coffee was also hot and strong.
I would also recommend trying classic pub fare at Settlers Tavern, a freshly baked country pie and vanilla slice at the Margaret River Bakery, which is filled with vintage furniture and knick-knacks and if you can get a reservation I have heard fantastic things about Miki’s Open Kitchen which serves authentic Japanese fare.
I was both surprised and impressed with the quality of the food on offer in Margaret River. For such a small town, there are some excellent establishments working hard to put this town on the foodie map.