We just spent a blissful few days down south to celebrate my husband’s birthday. I love travelling down south in the winter – it’s quieter, more relaxed and there is nothing better than finding somewhere warm and enjoying a glass of red wine.
We stayed at Windmills Break which is one of our favourite places to stay. There are only 13 rooms and the resort is set on 10 acres of beautiful bushland. You can hire the whole place out for weddings and other private functions and it is such a gorgeous property, we seriously considered this at the time we were planning our wedding and part of me always wishes we had done it whenever I go back there.
We’ve been lucky to stay in stay at some really nice places down south over the years, but Windmills Break has always stood out for me because of the little touches – the greeting when you arrive which is always friendly and includes them escorting you to your room, the complimentary newspaper slipped underneath your door every morning together with a print out of the weather forecast, the breakfast which is made to order and so much nicer than the usual hotel buffet, the complimentary port and chocolates which you can enjoy in front of the roaring fire, and the way they always offer you a late check out if it’s not too busy without you having to ask for one.
With a pool, heated spa, tennis courts, bar, restaurant, DVD library and walking/jogging trails there really is so much to do that you could quite happily spend your days at the resort. But it is also in a great location so you can easily explore the surrounding restaurants, wineries, galleries and of course the amazing scenery along the coast.
During our time away we visited many of our old favourites, including the Studio Bistro, The Berry Farm, Providore, Vasse Virgin and Yallingup Galleries, but we also discovered a couple of new places including Dunsborough restaurant Piari & Co which was really lovely. It’s in a bit of a strange location, surrounded by health practitioners, but it was cosy, warm and the food was so good! Beef carpaccio is one of my favourite dishes and they did an amazing version. I followed this with confit duck, another old favourite of mine. The hubby had a steak which was cooked to perfection and accompanied by the crunchiest onion rings and a salad with the yummiest dressing. Dessert was a creamy rich crème brulee. They also scored extra points for making the best Aperol Spritz I’ve had in WA. [On our first night in Venice during our trip last year we wandered down to a local restaurant and were waiting in the bar area for a table to become available when we noticed everyone (including men) drinking this fluorescent looking drink in a wine glass. Wanting to have the authentic local experience we asked for "what they're having" which turned out to be an aperitif made of Aperol, prosecco, soda and orange. It became our regular pre-dinner drink and anytime I see it on a menu now I am compelled to order it, notwithstanding that it costs four times the amount it did in Venice!]
So most of our weekend was spent eating and drinking, as is normally the case when we are down south. But we also did a bit of exploring and the hubby took some great photos. Here are just a few – the first is on the beautiful walking trail at Windmills Break and the others are at a beach near Eagle Bay where we had our engagement session a few years ago. Now I’m just trying to figure out when we can find a weekend when we are both free to sneak away again…
Images by Daniel Berk