Adventures in Australia’s South West (including the best place for handmade chocolate!) with the Volvo Blogger Drive.
You my recall that a few weeks back I was zipping around in the sporty Volvo V40 for the Volvo Blogger Drive (if you missed it, check it out back here). Well, I was then lucky enough to spend a few more weeks in the luxury of the Volvo XC60, thanks again to the team at Barbagallo Volvo in Cannington. I am excited to finally share my experience with the XC60 and the things we discovered as our #IWlocalpicks along our journeys.
It had been a while since we had headed down South, so Mario and I decided to make the most of the Volvo and head out on the road for a few days. We needed the getaway and settled on staying in quiet Bridgetown. I have a profile of Moyola House to share with you here, as it was such a gorgeous retreat and beautiful old house and garden we both soon filled our memory cards snapping the grounds in the morning light.
Heading out from Bridgetown (which is inland and a drive of about three and a half hours from Perth) toward Margaret River is a relaxed country drive, with plenty of farm animals to spot and rolling hills. We did happen to go down there during some heavy rainfall, so didn’t jump out and stretch our legs too often- although I did make Mario shoot the windmill in the rain (sorry!).
LOCAL PICK: VOYAGER ESTATE, MARGARET RIVER
I have visited a number of the wineries in the area before and remembered Voyager boasting beautiful gardens, pretty good wine and generously large scones. In deciding where to eat lunch on our trip, Mario and I landed up choosing Voyager as a bit of a treat. I must admit though that I may not go back for anything other than scones in future as I found the wait staff pushy, the food to be great looking but actually sort of average. Not every dish I would dismiss, but for the price of the menu, I’d say that it has fallen into being quite a tourist trap, which is understandable but ultimately a shame. The rose garden was pruned back given it were winter, so if you go, make sure you wait till Spring or Summer and head in for devonshire tea, but maybe skip the mains.
VOYAGER ESTATE: Lot 1 Stephens Road, Margaret River, WA
LOCAL PICK: TEMPER TEMPER, MARGARET RIVER
This is THE place to buy chocolate! Got your attention?
Temper Temper opened earlier this year in the space which used to be occupied by coffee roasters Yahava. With a huge opening season, Temper Temper has drawn a regular local and travel crowd, who come in to snap up their handmade chocolates and enjoy a nice coffee, sandwich or raw treat in the relaxed cafe while kids run around on the lawns outside. Located off of one of the main roads in the Margaret River area, Temper Temper is one unique, understated spot to add to your itinerary on any trip down South.
We were kindly allowed to head into the kitchen where owner Roz was making up some hazelnut milk chocolate blocks. Roz explained the meaning behind the Temper Temper name- which is based on the tempering process of heating the cocoa to ensure that the chocolate does not separate, maintains a shine and has that nice snap texture. Sourced from sustainable farms around the equator, Temper Temper uses the finest cacao to make up each of its chocolate treats. We loved the peppercorn, salted caramel, dipped figs and a lot more. Temper Temper are very creative with their choices- there is even a vegemite chocolate option. Do not miss the DIY hot chocolates and expect to be greeted by very down to earth, friendly locals.
TEMPER TEMPER: 2 Rosa Brook Road, Margaret River, WA
WE STAYED AT MOYOLA MANOR GUESTHOUSE
I have a hotel profile post here sharing the beautiful guest house we stayed in, Moyola Manor. This gorgeous 1930s building with stunning grounds was a treat to wake up to and unwind in. Newly opened, this felt like a secret spot but I just HAVE to share it with you!
LOCAL PICK: BUNBURY FARMERS MARKETS
On our last morning in Bridgetown, everyone at Mayola were telling us how great the Bunbury Farmers Markets were- with great prices and seriously fresh and beautiful produce. We made sure to make it our stop on the way home to grab our week of groceries and lunch, which we were spoilt for choice with. On the way out we grabbed a quick pie lunch and drove out to Ludlow Tuart Forrest to enjoy it- finding an unexpected spot along the beach. The perfect way to end a beautiful getaway.
The Bunbury Farmers Market: 2 Vittoria Road, Bunbury, WA
Once again, as with the V40, Volvo have created a car that is both logical and intelligent in design. A clean, minimal Scandinavian design, the XC60 accommodates for a larger interior and is designed with people in mind, be it for getting kids off to school or for taking weekend getaways as we decided to do. It was actually perfect timing for us to head down south amidst a lot of rain to test out the all-wheel drive, which allows for total control in wet weather conditions. For an SUV, it was very comfortable and easy to drive.
This model takes the things that I loved about the V40 which was great as I grew accustomed to the smart technology and things like heated seating. I loved being able to make calls while on my drives, listen to music or use the navigation to program my regularly visited locations. When you are as easily distracted as I am, these features are seriously handy. I do have a video of our Volvo Blogger Drive Adventures to come, but for now- you will just have to put up with this sneak peak!!