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Monday, October 18, 2010

A Day Out in Swan Valley with Good Company

Yesterday was Saturday, so it meant it was pretty much my only real day off this week as I have to work tonight. Two friends and I decided about a week or so ago that we would take a nice little drive trip down to Swan Valley which is surprisingly only about half an hour drive from my house. I thought it was a bit longer than that, or was I speeding as usual? The day was beautiful and it wasn’t hot at all, but with complete sunshine and a very clear blue sky. The perfect weather for a day out in the sun.

Anyway we started off the day around 11am so not too early and not too late and managed to get to Penny Garden for a lovely lunch just before noon. Looking at the photo the café is a shed and yes it really is a shed, like a typical farm shed. It may not look appealing to certain people but I thought it was cute and the inside was rather simple and clean. The waitress who greeted us was very friendly and the service was not bad. Beside I had already looked up some reviews on this place and all of them were pretty good.

Penny Garden in Swan Valley
Now down to the real goodness, the food we ordered.  I ordered Atlantic salmon that is medium rare served over a delicious potato salad.  The salmon was cooked beautifully and the size of that salmon fillet was even better.  I have not eaten a salmon dish anywhere else that gives a serving size this big!  Most places give you half the size of what I got at Penny Garden.  The price of this dish was $29 so I thought it was very reasonable since I didn’t even finish the whole thing.  The sauce they used for the salad was a yellow kind of sauce so I’m guessing it has mustard in it, but there was more to it than that. The dressing was so tasty that I kept trying to figure out what was in it and as usual I’m a failure at doing that.

Atlantic Salmon, was one of the Chef's recommendation on the white board by the bar

The biggest piece of salmon served on a plate I have seen so far!

I was the only one who ordered a drink and I have to say this place makes the best banana smoothie I’ve had in a long long time.  It actually has real fresh banana in it and not the artificial flavouring most places uses.  For the price of $4.50 I’m completely satisfied with the serving size and the real banana used in it.

Already drank half of it until I realised I didn't take a photo.  This smoothie has REAL Banana in it.

My two buddies on the other hand had egg plant rolls and garlic bread and the other ordered chilli mussels.  I’m not super sure how they went, but it seems everyone had enjoyed their meal that day and left quite happy after paying.

Egg Plant Rolls, Entree Size

Chilli Mussels

Happy  customer

Thumbs up from me :)

View is not a paradise view but a very relaxing one.  Away from the crowd and the noise.

Mandy and Mandy

Asian Much?

A couple of places didn’t really appeal so no photos taken and not really worth mentioning.  However we did end up at the water lily and fish farm, and though it was small it was still something nice to do.  I’ve never actually seen real water lilies before and there weren’t many since the weather was getting a bit hot.  I realised how dirty the water were but also thought how such dirty water can produce such beautiful flowers in the water.

White Water Lily

Beautiful pink water Lily

Light pink water lily

Three bright pink water lilies in very dirty water
 The place stocked a lot of goldfishes and Koi and it was funny watching the small Koi gather as the lady came around to feed the fish. They went absolutely crazy fighting for food the minute the lady cascading them into the pond.

Lots of little Koi munching on fish food

I had to stop by at the House of honey and grab my honey and ginger sparkling water. This drink is so refreshing and to think its sparkling water so definitely better than grabbing for a can of coke. I never get sick of this place and the people who own and work here are all very friendly. I also recommend their Lavender honey for those who are a bit of a honey fanatic. The weather did start to get really hot here and we got ice cream from the House of honey with a bit of honey over the top.

The House of Honey allows honey tasting before purchase

After happy purchases sitting outside to enjoy a bit of ice cream in the hot weather.

Cold smooth vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of honey on top!

Those weird moments caught on camera

Some sort of flower outside The House of Honey.

Beautiful summer colours

We did stop at Windy Creek Winery, but due to the fact we were too busy wine tasting and eating crackers and cheese, we forgot to take photos. I do remember it being a very homely kind of winery place.

Mondo Nougat was a place we stopped by right after the winery and it is Perth local nougat factory owned by a local Italian family. Loved the little car inside and the wall painting of the sakura tree is beautiful. The place was pretty busy with people enjoying coffee and their nice cake selection. However I saved myself for chocolate factory instead.

Inside Mond's Nougat Factory and that little red car

Love the painting on the wall!

Margaret River chocolate factory was last and stupid me I didn’t even take a photo of the actual factory and the inside of it.  I wonder if it was because I was actually beginning to get tired by the end of the day.  It was absolutely packed in there and so hard to get around that we even had to line up to pay.  I enjoyed my share of free chocolate tasting and a nice cup of coffee to finish the day was nice.  Just perfect before the drive home.

Finishing the day at the Margaret Chocolate Factory with coffee and some chocolate

Chek's Cranberry, Pistachio and nougat chocolate! Yum!

Thanks to my friend Mandy for some great photos and I would definitely head back to swan valley again.  I would even love to try breakfast at Penny Garden, since most review were about their breakfast in particular.


  1. Wow, seems like you had a great day ! The food looked so yummy :)

  2. @ CelyFrenchie: it was a great day, totally mademe relax and felt great to be able to go out in the sun and enjoy the waether


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