Sunday 4th October 2009
We had decided that because we had an early night, we would go out for breakfast this morning instead and as there would be no hangover to deal with, we could really lap up the ambience and enjoy the occasion.
Ian woke up at 7.45am, put the puppies out, fed them, had a shower, got dressed and waited in the kitchen for Carolyn to arise from her slumber.
Ian felt that if Carolyn hadn’t woke up while he was clattering around getting dressed, then she probably needed a sleep, so he left her to it thinking that it wouldn’t be long before she woke up.
At 10.30am she walked into the kitchen bleary eyed and announced that we might like to go out for lunch instead of breakfast, she is so lucky to have such a kind, thoughtful, loving husband, who waits patiently, starving to death, while she gets her full quota of sleep, there must be millions of women all over the world who would love to have a thoughtful man like him.
So after an hour waiting for Carolyn to get ready to go out, we fuelled up the car and went for a drive, we thought it might be a good idea to check out some of the wineries in the area, after all that’s what the area is famous for.
It didn’t take long for us to work out that we aren’t really posh enough to get the full benefit of these very nice, we spent a fortune doing the place up, so you can spend a fortune while you’re here type wineries, all we wanted was the aussie equivalent of a Ploughmans Lunch, just not wrapped up in pastry and covered in tomato sauce.
Don’t get us wrong, the buildings and decor were great, the wines were not bad although we didn’t try too many and the menus and the feel about the restaurants was great, but they are the sort of place and the sort of food that we might treat ourselves to in the evening when relaxing with friends or on a special occasion, it was definitely not what we would do for fun in the middle of the day, we just weren’t born posh enough.
While we were driving around we did manage to get lost once, probably something to do with not having a map and relying on our sense of direction in the southern hemisphere, but we worked out roughly where we were and while heading towards some more wineries that we had seen before and which attract the masses, we came across an Olive Oil Soap Factory and popped in to have a look round.
It didn’t take long for us to work out that we weren’t really interested in Olive Oil Soap, so we headed to the back of the showroom where they had loads of Olives and Oils to try along with bread and Dukkah which we duly sampled.
In fact we sampled so much that we were feeling a bit full and guilty at the end of it, so we bought a bottle of Blueberry Vinaigrette to take home with us.
From there we drove to the Laurance Winery, this is one of the ones that attracts the masses, and hardly surprising really, the art in the entrance hall and the toilets is amazing, the thought that has gone into the marketing, and everything about the business is just so much more user friendly than the other wineries that we had looked at.
The wines were not particularly cheap and we didn’t try any as we were driving and had only gone there to be nosey, but they were being presented in a hundred different ways and every one of them oozed quality and style.
The food was not cheap, but very reasonably priced compared to the other wineries we had seen and had things on the menu that the average Joe Bloggs might like to eat for lunch, Pannini, Platters, Antipasti, all easy to pick at and relax over without it costing the earth.
Ian had a Continental Roll, which consisted of a toasted roll with assorted meats, salad and homemade chutney, while Carolyn had the Antipasti which was more than she could finish, so Ian had to help, we felt we had got good value and would recommend it.
When we left the Laurance Winery we crossed the Caves Road to look at another winery, Saracen Winery and Duckstein Brewery which also attracts the masses and today had a lot more visitors than the Laurance.
The Saracen/Duckstein building and décor is quite impressive, but is nothing compared to their neighbours over the road and when it came to presentation and marketing, were just not in the game, we did like the idea of going to their Octoberfest, but the logistics and transport costs would make it prohibitive for us even if we could lose the kids for another weekend.
From there we drove to Dunsborough to get a coffee and cake at Artezen before heading home to let the puppies out for a run and chilling out for the rest of the day.