I truly believe that Australia’s best-kept secret is Western Australia’s Margaret River. A place of such raw beauty that goes hand-in-hand with the amazing food & wine scene.
A recent visit to catch up with my good friend Elissa Coleman who manages her family property, Empire Retreat, was the ultimate adventure of checking out the amazing beaches & seascapes from Canal Rocks, Yallingup Beach, Injidup and Eagle Bay; this is most definitely where the Mer people hang out.
We stayed at the property between the family’s private converted sheep shearing shed & Villa 9.
The rooms have recently had an update by the talented Elissa and are layered with her significant style of comfort meets fabulous; lots of lamp lighting, sheepskin over wooden seats, fancy beanbags, deep linen lounges, cane chairs & great artwork.
If you like what you see, many of her textiles & furniture pieces are available at Empire Homewares in Dunsborough.
A gaggle of 40 geese promenade about the estate that is spotted with flowering gum, calla lilies & kangaroos at dusk! A lovely greeting on the way to breakfast that is laid out in the main house of a morning. Once you have this delicious meal out of the way it’s tough choices between hanging out by the fire, a spa treatment at the retreat, heading off to the wineries for tastings & lunch or just roadtrippping & stopping and taking photos of the beautiful landscape.
We tried the cellar door at Vasse Felix & bought 2 bottles each (they were restricted!) of the unbranded SYRAH 1, which is only available at the door. The new recent is gorgeous with parred back woods & metal work and I have heard the restaurant is amazing but you must book. Another stop to Pierro for some award winning chardonnays. Empire has its own labelled wines; we got hooked on the 2008 Cabernet Merlot red whilst hanging around the fire of an evening.
For handmade pastas, sauces & local fare try Barnyard 1978 owned by Raminta Rusilas.
A drive down to Injidup and a walk to the rock pools is a must. But in saying that, any beach along this coast is never disappointing.
We are looking forward to our summer adventures with a hike from cape to cape to search for seaweed specimens to press.
Elissa’s hit list:
Yallingup Woodfired Bread on Biddle Rd
Leeuwin Winery & Restaurant
Boranup Karri Forest
Ngilgi Caves, Yallingup
Sugar Loaf Rock in Leeuwin National Park
Renovating a house is like breathing new life into a familiar space. It's an exciting journey that allows you to transform your living space according to your tastes, needs, and lifestyle. Whether you're looking to update a single room or give your entire house a makeover, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the key steps of a successful house renovation.
We whizzed down the back streets of Seminyak and the smaller the streets became the deeper we time travel into a Bali of a time gone-by...
This year, my dear friend and photographer; William Meppem and I captured the essence of this perfect boathouse, located in Newport, Sydney. The ideal spot to drop your anchor this holiday season.
I have dreamt of a boathouse escape for many years and all of my dreams have come true in a recent visit to a space that captures it all, The Salty Dog. This miniature house provides all of the nuances of boat building within its own minute space. Situated amongst the quintessential Sydney landscape of emerald green water and unique sandstone structures - surrounded by angophora gums.
With the extension of the dinghy & direct entrance to the water, this house evolves into an explorative landscape that extends beyond its petite footprint. If I were to create the ideal boathouse... This would be it.
An Interview with Judi:
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