Let’s be honest, we’re all foodies in one way or another. Who can resist a chocolate fondue, or a cheese plate, or those nuts that you just can’t stop popping in your mouth?
Plan your Swan Valley food trail to include all these and more, within a delightful day out driving or cycling through pretty countryside. This is one of the best things to do in the Perth region on a lazy autumn weekend.
Here are some of the specialist Swan Valley food outlets you have to visit at least once, most of them family owned and operated with dedication and a warm welcome.
Cheese & Nuts
The Cheese Barrel
For an extraordinary selection of local and international cheeses, The Cheese Barrel is a must. Claiming the accolade of Perth’s first licensed fromagerie, this family friendly venue serves up a selection of cheeses complemented by wines produced at the adjoining Olive Farm Wines.
Families are encouraged to bring everyone, including the dog! Cosy up indoors, sit out on the deck overlooking the delightful Susannah Brook, or picnic on the lawn while the kids play. As well as cheese and wine, The Cheese Barrel serves up locally roasted coffee and sweet treats, making this a great option for your Swan Valley lunch.
You’re also welcome to buy cheese to take away and enjoy later or at another picnic spot in the beautiful Swan Valley or nearby Perth Hills.
Where: 920 Great Northern Hwy, Millendon
When: Open 7 days 10.00am - 5.00pm
The Cheese Maker
When you’re deciding what to do in the Swan Valley that’s a little different, why not book onto a cheese-making class?
Learn how to make your favourite cheese, from haloumi or feta to Camembert or cream cheese. The Cheese Maker courses show you how to do it, and give you hands-on practice, with a take-home guide and cheese making products that you can use to make your own cheese at home.
Where: Shop 5, Swan Valley Central, 660 Great Northern Hwy, Herne Hill
When: Visit the website for times and bookings
Definitely more-ish, the nuts known as Morish were actually named for the original recipe developed by the Moors in the Byzantine era. A traditional family recipe based on these origins led to Swan Valley food artisans evolving the Australian brand we now all know and love.
As well as their crunchy tastiness, Morish Nuts have the added benefit of being free of gluten, lactose, additives, preservatives and colourants.
Visitors can watch the artisans at work and taste freshly prepared nuts, sourced mostly from Australian producers. The nuts are roasted and lightly caramel-coated to give that irresistible flavour, and some are spiced up with chilli, lime and spices for added zing!
Where: 640 Great Northern Hwy, Herne Hill
When: Every day 9.30am - 5.00pm
Honey & Other Bee Products
Did you know that unprocessed, unheated natural honey has healing qualities? So there’s more to it than its lip-smacking gooey sweetness.
Windarra Honey has an impressive range of unheated liquid and creamed honeys, all sourced from Western Australia’s bushland and forests. Drop in for a free tasting and watch the bees at work from a sting-free observation hide.
Where: 5 George St, West Swan
When: Every day 9.00am - 5.30pm
Another great outlet for raw, unadulterated honeys, The House of Honey stocks all kinds of bee products, including royal jelly, handmade beeswax candles, beauty products and mead.
The bee pollen is sourced from the eucalyptus forests of Western Australia, which are considered to be one of the best sources in the country. No chemicals or antibiotics are used by the beekeepers, so you can be sure these products are natural and pure.
Add this to your list of Swan Valley places to eat, especially around morning or afternoon tea time for honey cake and a cuppa in the Sticky Spoon Cafe.
Where: 867 Great Northern Highway (Corner of River Road), Herne Hill
When: Every day and public holidays 10.00am - 5.00pm
Olives & Olive Oil
The Swan Valley food growing region is ideal for vines and olives, so if you plan to stock up on local produce on your Swan Valley food and wine trail, be sure to add olive oil and grape syrup to the list.
Roadside stalls selling local produce are almost always included on lists of what to do in the Swan Valley, and one that you mustn’t miss is the family-run Sorgiovanni’s Produce. Here you’ll find local virgin olive oil, vinocotto (grape syrup) and delicious fresh seasonal produce, such as figs and tomatoes early in the year and mandarins, peas and broad beans in winter and spring.
Where: 508 Campersic Rd, Millendon
When: Every day 10.00am - 4.00pm; as this is a seasonal stall, opening times may vary
The Olive Estate
Did you know that extra virgin olive oil (often shortened to EVOO) is a natural, unrefined oil that has been pressed at under 30 degrees?
As the name suggests, The Olive Estate produces table olives and fine Linoriceton Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Linoriceton olives are grown, handpicked and processed on the estate, using a natural fermentation process.
Here you can select from a range of green, black and cocktail olives, with complementary herbs, spices and marinades - an olive-lovers mecca! Plan to stop here for your Swan Valley lunch or afternoon tea in the Olive Tea Rooms, a refurbished cosy cottage built in the 1920s.
Where: 11111 West Swan Road, Henley Brook
When: Tuesday-Sunday until 4.00pm
Chocolate, Fudge & Nougat
This family owned business has been producing heavenly hand-made chocolates for more than 40 years from recipes handed down through the generations. Today their products include modern favourites too, like chocolate pretzels, chocolate caramel popcorn and chocolate freckles.
But Whistler’s doesn’t stop at chocolate. Look for their hand-made honey comb and fudge, brittles, macarons and ice cream.
Visitors can try free chocolate samples and purchase yummy gifts in the showroom, enjoy a light lunch and chocolate fondue in the cafe, relax in the cocoa lounge with a warming hot chocolate, or watch the kids let off steam in the garden, complete with sand pits and playground.
Where: 506 Great Northern Hwy, Middle Swan
When: Every day 9.00am - 5.00pm
Margaret River Chocolate Company
The Margaret River Chocolate Company has more than 200 chocolate products to choose from, including its famous hand-made truffles, chocolate bars, chocolate sauces, cocoa powder and body products. Indulge in a free tasting before filling your shopping basket.
Adding value to your visit, right next door is sister company Margaret River Providore, which stocks a wide range of preserves, chutneys, olive oils, wines, and most importantly, their famous chocolate liqueur.
This is another great spot for your Swan Valley lunch or breakfast plans, with light food available in the Chocolate Cafe, plus a mouth-watering selection of chocolate fondues and delicious hot chocolate.
Where: 5123 West Swan Road, West Swan
When: Every day 9.00am - 5.00pm
Swan Valley Fudge
If fudge is more to your sweet-toothed taste, you’ll be heading straight to The Abbey at Chesters where you can try and buy Swan Valley Fudge.
The creamy hand-made fudge is additive-free and comes in a range of flavours. You can even make up your own flavour and have it made to order and presented in a gift box.
If you’re looking for Swan Valley places to eat, The Abbey offers delicious menu options and serves up Belgian beer and Heafod Glen wines.
Where: 8691 West Swan Road, Henley Brook
When: Wednesday-Friday 10.30 - 3.00pm for tastings and sales; The Abbey at Chesters is open Wednesday-Sunday for meals (breakfast on weekends only)
Run by the Romeo family from Calabria in Italy, Mondo Nougat grew out of their annual Christmas production of nougat. The delicious hone-based sweets gradually became famous and demand grew, so the family decided to produce nougat all year round in a dedicated business.
As a new generation of the family became involved, the business expanded to include a cafe serving many of the family’s original home-made cakes, biscotti and gelati.
Visit the factory, enjoy a free tasting, and then indulge further with a coffee and Mondo Nougat cheesecake or rum baba made with Western Australian Canefire rum.
Where: 640 Great Northern Hwy, Herne Hill
When: Tuesday-Sunday until 5.00pm
OK, wine isn’t a food group, but a trip to the Swan Valley isn’t complete without sampling a couple of award-winning wines and brews. By following the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail, you can be sure to take in a range of fresh produce, specialty food products, cellar doors and breweries.
The self-drive trail also highlights arts and crafts outlets, and some of the best Swan Valley restaurants.