Happy Monday, party people! I hope yall had great summer weekends (well, autumn in our case) – we went on a little adventure to the Swan Valley, just east of Perth. Here’s a map for a little perspective:
A quick day trip from Perth
A speedy 30 minutes outside of the city center one can find a beautiful little hamlet (actually it’s referred to as a shire) called the Swan Valley, full of gorgeous views and vineyards.
The shire of Swan
While not quite at the same magnitude as Western Australia’s wine country, Margaret River, the Swan Valley offers a number of small/intimate wineries, a smattering of microbreweries, and an abundance of local produce stalls.
So come Sunday, Barr and I decided to drive (in our electric blue Toyota Corolla, I might add) east for a bit of hiking and wine tasting (it’s not quite like Napa insofar that reservations for tastings arent really necessary – we stopped at the “most commercialized” winery, and it felt quite the opposite when you compare it to the Napa Valley). Anyway, I googled around and found a cute little hike called Bell’s Rapids trail – it was an easy 5.5k loop around the Swan River, offering some nice views of the river’s rapids along the way. It was 75 and sunny – doesnt get much better!
The Bell’s Rapids of the Swan River
Picture perfect day
A little fairyland
Fairyland take 2
We didnt see any sheep on the hike, but there were plenty of horses in the area!
And we werent the only folks making the most of the gorgeous weather and hike – there were a number of people picnicking and playing in the shallows of the river. Love this mild winter/autumn – hopefully it sticks around for a bit longer 🙂
My little adventurer
So after our little hike, we stopped at a winery with a large cafe attached – we didnt do much research ahead of time, but figured we couldnt go wrong with the place with the largest sign. Houghton Wines was tucked back from the main drag, but had a huge open space/park where another slew of people (with tons of kids, too!) were enjoying lunch/wine on the lawn, listening to a little 3 person band.
Houghton Wines & Cafe
The menu had a section for gluten free pizzas, so as soon as I saw that, I was sold 🙂 Wish I had snapped some more shots of the yummy food, but we had worked up an appetite:
The remnants of my prawn and bell pepper pizza
Houghton Cafe menu offered a great selection of high quality nibbles
And if you wanted to have some wine with your meal, you could walk up to the little cellar door bar, have some tastes, and order by the bottle or glass – cheers!
Great autumn day
It was a nice little day trip outside the city – I would definitely recommend the hike, and while I really enjoyed the ambience and food of Houghton, we have since heard that the wineries “off the beaten path” also have cafes and a more extensive selection of wines – a challenge for next time!
And finally, happy (belated) Father’s Day(s) to all you dads out there, and extra special wishes to my dad, father in law, and two wonderful grandfathers – I miss yall more than words in a blog can describe, and am forever blessed to have you in my life!!
Until next time…