The Rose & Crown Hotel, Guildford

I have ate at the Rose & Crown in Guildford more times than I can remember. At one stage it came to a point where I would only order the pork belly, I was obsessed! It wasn’t until recently after yet another excellent meal there that I realised I hadn’t blogged about it.

To start with I love this hotel. Built in 1814 it is full of history.  Today you have the cosy bar with a wood fire burning and gorgeous oak barrel furniture, the fine dining living rooms (perfect date night material) “Posh Convict Restaurant” and “1841 Restaurant”, the underground cellar/bar area (be careful of the ghosts) and the trendy outside beer garden.

I have ate from both the bar menu and the fine dining menu. And naturally I have given the drinks menu a good going over. The weekend breakfast menu is not bad however I wasn’t completely wowed.

The bar and beer garden menu are your pretty standard breads & dips and tapas style small eats which are perfect to snack on over a few drinks. Every time I go to the R&C to either the bar or restaurant I always get the “local bread freshly baked, evoo, balsamic glaze and hazelnut dukkah” for $11. The bread is always so fresh and the dukkah is so scrumptious that the plate is completely clean within minutes!

I also really enjoy the pizza they do Friday-Sunday evenings – a small amount of toppings yet the flavours of those few ingredients work so well together that your taste buds are completely aroused. The Devil Woman pizza is a favourite! Plus the jugs of Pimms and Mojito go down a treat!

The only thing I wish they had more of were wines by the glass, I feel I’m on my 10th round of trying them all and particularly when I eat in the fine dining restaurant I do like to try and match my glass of wine with the different courses.

Typically I’ll order a sparkling wine while I mull over the menu and nibble on starters then I’ll end up going for fish, Mr. Spittoon for steak and then we’ll want something sweet with dessert so for us we tend to always order by the glass than by the bottle (and yes we live in walking distance hence why we tend to have a mini-degustation every visit!).

The fine dining menu is small and concise; it is a one pager with just enough to keep everyone happy and makes the decision easy enough that you don’t spend hours trying to decide. Plus there are always the daily specials as well (keep an eye on these as I have had some amazing dishes from this menu).

Like I said earlier I am a HUGE fan of the “pork belly twice cooked, potato galette, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, apple relish, pedro ximenez glaze” – it is just melt in your mouth goodness. The steaks are also a favourite, always cooked to perfection upon your preferred request and the steak chips are AWESOME.

I have tried the lamb ragu and salmon off the standard menu, which are also very tasty. Click here to view the full menu.

Last but not least is the dessert menu. Wait one second while I mop up my drool….

It is totally and undoubtedly divine. From the taste to the presentation to the dessert wines on offer. I cannot go to the R&C now without getting dessert, no matter how full I am. It would be sacrilege if I didn’t indulge. And 9 times out of 10 I just have to wash it down with either a nip of Talijancich 1961 solero or Noble One or the John Kosovich autumn harvest – yum!

I do find a night out at the R&C rather pricey. Obviously if you’re eating from the bar menu it is not so hard on the wallet but if you’re going for the full deal at the restaurant be prepared to spend a couple of hundred for two. Recently we took my parents there on their visit to WA and for 4 of us we would have spent $500-600 including a couple of pre-dinner drinks in the underground cellar.

Rose & Crown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato The price tag may be high, but I always know that I won’t be disappointed at the end of it. I have to admit when we first started going there we use to play ‘spot the smile’ on the customer service team however over the past 6 months the team have brightened up and not only come with a smile but they’ll help with wine suggestions for dishes and give explanations on what some of those weird foodie terms mean without making you feel like an idiot for asking.

For more information please visit the Rose & Crown website.

Breakfast in the Swan Valley at Broads Restaurant, Upper Reach Winery

Is wine at 9am acceptable? Hell yeah it is! Banish those fears of looking like a complete alco by drinking with breakfast, a Champagne breakfast or sparkling wine breakfast is a true sign of luxury and indulgence, trust me – google it.

There are actually not that many places in the Swan Valley that do a bubbly breakfast. Having tried a bubbly breakfast at Edgecombe Brothers Winery and Jezebelle, the next on my list was Sunday breakfast at Broads Restaurant at Upper Reach Winery.

Broads Restaurant only do breakfast on Sundays from 9am till 10:30am with the latest seating at 10am. It was a bit of a struggle to get up and out there for 10am, but I was happy that we did!

The restaurant overlooks the vineyard, it really is a beautiful spot. The floor to ceiling windows allow you to really soak it all up, and having lunch on the balcony is truly a lovely experience (read my post here).

The menu is compact, just a one pager with a handful of food and drink options. My kind of menu since I am one of the most indecisive people around!

A glass of the sparkling Chardonnay is $10 a glass or $38 a bottle which I find a little cheeky since at the cellar door it’s $28 a bottle. I presume this is to do with the restaurant being a separate entity from the winery. It just meant that I had to pop in to the cellar door to get a couple of bottles to take home!

You can also opt for a glass of ‘Bucks Fizz’ for $7 which is a mix of the sparkling and orange juice plus there is a selection of plain juices, teas, coffees and hot chocolates.

In terms of the food, 3 out of 4 of us went for ‘The Lot’ which includes poached eggs, grilled bacon and tomato, a sausage and a delicious potato hash cake (finally potato hash that lives up to my mighty high potato expectations!). All topped with freshly cracked pepper for a reasonable $17. Mr. Spittoon is not a fan of poached eggs and asked for scrambled eggs which was absolutely no problem.

Our other friend went for the Moroccan breakfast and as soon as it came out we were all ‘oooooing’ as it came presented in a traditional Moroccan tagine dish. What a lovely touch! Inside the tagine were two baked eggs with chorizo sausage, spinach and tomato. This was also $17 and our friend seemed suitably happy with his choice. We were also brought over a basket full of toasted fresh bread and butter.
Broads Restaurant & Functions at Upper Reach Winery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Overall I think the meals were well priced with lovely presentation and most importantly were very tasty. The Sparking Chardonnay went down an absolute treat. I may have been grumpy at getting up so early on a Sunday but it was definitely worth it. I’ll go back again for sure.

Unfortunately I lost most of my photos from my visit. It looks like i’ll definitely have to go back soon 😉

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Dinner in the Swan Valley at Stewart’s at Brookleigh

Stewarts at Brookleigh - swan Valley Restaurant

It was a spur of the moment decision to visit Stewart’s at Brookleigh in Upper Swan, however I could not think of a more lovelier way to spend my Wednesday night. The property straddles the Swan River and it’s made up of accommodation, a health & day spa, an equestrian centre and of course Stuart’s restaurant.

The restaurant is in an old homestead style building with a modern twist. From the thick pieces of wood framing to the hanging lanterns. It has a sense of elegance yet a very cosy homely feel. We weren’t dressed to the nines and despite this we felt very comfortable, I guess you could say that it had a laid back glamour to it. The perfect spot to chill out after a game of polo perhaps!

I had made a booking earlier on in the day, just in case. The restaurant was bustling but not overly busy which made for a nice chilled out romantic evening. As I had perused the menu earlier on in the afternoon I thought I had made my decision… Until I heard the special of the day!

So here is what Mr. Spittoon and I ordered:

Entree:

Shared plate of shaved “San Danielle” prosciutto & “El Conquistador” Serrano jamon, marinated feta & grilled toast AU$18

Main:

Atlantic Salmon served with fondant potatoes, an avocado guacamole, steamed asparagus, dressed with a Chardonnay butter sauce and served with a wedge of lemon AU$36

Pork loin saltimbocca with sweet potato & pumpkin confit, green beans & Spanish ham AU$38

Dessert:

Flourless chocolate cake served with thick cream, chocolate crunchies and berry sauce AU$12.50

Vanilla cheesecake, lemon curd, caramel almonds berries and meringue AU$12.50

Entree at Stewarts at BrookleighSalmon at Stewarts at BrookleighPork 2 Ways at Stewarts at BrookleighChips at Stewarts at BrookleighDessert at Stewarts at BrookleighChocolate at Stewarts at Brookleigh

First up, I think all the prices above were great value and they are pretty decent for the Swan Valley as prices are seeming to soar at the moment. The entrée was divine, I love how they took the simple idea of meat, cheese and bread and made it amazing. It was a great start to our meal and teamed up well with glasses of Upper Reach Reserve Shiraz (read my tasting note here) and the Latour Charlemagne Médoc Cabernet Sauvignon (read my tasting note here). The Latour had us both gushing with delight, heavenly!

Next up, wow the mains were awesome! Mr.Spittoon loved his ‘pork 2-ways’ and my salmon… was absolutely divine! The bright yellow Chardonnay sauce round the bottom of the plate was to die for! The worst part of the meal was that they didn’t give me enough of that sauce, I was basically licking my plate to get every last drop of it! It also was a superb match to the Upper Reach Chardonnay (read my tasting note here).

No meal is complete without dessert right? We loved the sound of all 4 desserts on the menu so we figured instead of sharing one like we normally do that we would just get two and share those… Very logical! The cheesecake is actually a new addition to the menu at Stewart’s and kudos to the chef. Such a pretty and very tasty dessert. The mini meringues were gorgeous and that sorbet had us both reminiscing of jellytip ice creams (I’m not sure if these are only a New Zealand thing – think, chocolate, vanilla ice-cream and red jelly all mixed into one). However the super moist and absolutely delectable chocolate cake was literally a match made in heaven for our dessert wine the, Talijancich Julian James Reserve Muscat 1961 Solera (read my tasting note here and find out what a Solera is).

Stewart's at Brookleigh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato I am literally in a food and wine haze just from the memories of eating at Stewart’s. The perfect spot for a date night (Mr. Spittoon earned LOTS of brownie points for this one) or just a really delicious meal, laid black glamour style. I would definitely go back. Check out Stewarts at Brookleigh menu’s here.

Dessert Wine at Stewarts at Brookleigh

Lunch in the Swan Valley at Black Swan Winery

There is a classy cool elegance about Black Swan Winery. Two of my favourite things about this Swan Valley property came about before I even stepped foot inside! First there was the ‘Black Swan shuttle service bus’ parked out front which shows this spot likes to have a bit of fun, yet in a responsible way! The next thing was that as you walk up to the tall entry door you can see directly through to the vineyard. I was truly mesmerized and yes Mr. Spittoon was getting a bit annoyed at me taking 10 photos too many! As per usual I just couldn’t capture that surreal view through my camera lens.

When we finally got inside we were shown to a lovely table on the covered in veranda type area which had floor to ceiling windows overlooking the vineyard so that we could really soak up our surroundings. Our waiter for the day was simply superb. Throughout our whole dining experience he seemed just so happy with life and his job. Nothing beats terrific customer service and his happy vibe rubbed off on us… although that could of been the wine!

I am probably the biggest potato fan out there (see my fries & wine matching post for proof), so as a teaser to our meal we ordered the beer battered fries with aioli (AU$10) – they are actually a side however we asked for it as a sneaky entree and that was no problem. The chips were awesome, so crisp on the outside and light and fluffy in the inside with minimal greasiness. The Black Swan Sparkling washed them down very well, read my tasting note here.

Check out the Black Swan menu here. For the mains we ordered:

  • Lamb shank Wellington, mushroom duxelle, Paris mash, Shiraz jus, $36
  • Slow roasted cider braised pork, colcannon potato cake, braised red cabbage and apple jus, $40

Both meals were awesome. Mr. Spittoon thought I won the ordering challenge, however his lamb shank was just so succulent. I have to admit the crackling on mine was absolutely to die for. Both our meals were very generous with the amount of meat on the plate. I couldn’t actually finish all mine, but don’t worry Mr. Spittoon wouldn’t dare let it go to waste.

Once done we ordered a glass of the Autumn Harvest each (read my tasting note here) to enjoy with a dessert. I know.. I know.. I said I couldn’t even finish my main meal, but there is a completely different stomach for dessert right? We decided to share a slice of the whisky chocolate cake with cream, it was super moist, with a pleasant touch of whisky that wasn’t overpowering but perfectly complimenting to the chocolate. We ended the meal with coffees and decided to purchase a couple of bottles from the cellar door to end a very lovely afternoon out.
Black Swan Winery and Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
By this time we were both truly rammed, so we decided to have a walk down by the vineyard which was simply stunning. The winery dog was roaming about the place, the most gorgeous, rather shy border collie – I really did want to coerce it home with me!

Black Swan is a lovely spot in the Swan Valley, with a very intimate feel, generous size meals and the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely divine (read my tasting note here). For more information, please check out the Black Swan Winery website here.

Wine tasting at MyattsField Vineyards in the Perth Hills


“If you love what you do you will never work a day in your life”, Josh Davenport told me on a recent wine tasting trip to his winery in the Perth Hills. It is so clear that the MyattsField Vineyards are Joshua & his wife Rachel’s pride and joy (alongside their kids and gorgeous dog of course!).

This young husband and wife team are both qualified winemakers who have worked around the globe and Western Australia making wine. They are a breathe of fresh air in the wine industry – they do what they do because they love it and most importantly they have fun with it. I believe it’s this passion that comes through in their wines.

I was recently invited by Belinda from Seeds & Harvest Marketing Communications to attended the MyattsField ‘Old & New’ tasting with their Left Field club members to celebrate 10 years of winemaking at MyattsField. There were 18 wines to taste, which included some pre-releases and their very first wine (a 2003 Merlot) matched with delicious nibbles by Chef Llyod Powell from Grape Provisions.

The property is simply beautiful, with the romantic rolling hills full of vines and the rustic homestead that houses the cellar door and winery. I was already picturing lovely Spring evenings out on the verandah with a bottle or two of wine as the sun sets. Plus I hear there is an awesome B&B across the road, hint hint Mr. Spittoon 😉

This celebratory tasting was exclusively for Left Field Club members. It is “a club for those who enjoy good wines and occasionally something a little different”. To me the club had a community feel, here we all were in the back of the winery surrounded by winery equipment with the common element of loving wine. And after tasting the 18 special wines I can definitely see why everyone was there, MyattsField definitely know how to get those tongues wagging.

From a “sunshine in a glass” Verdelho to the “sexy grape” of Durif and to fortifieds made from the traditional Touriga Nacional. MyattsField are jumping out of the glass at you, they are experimenting in the vineyard and winery and these ‘playful tests’ are bloody well working.

My visit to MyattsField reminded me why I love wine so much – simply put, wine is fun and you’ve got to have fun with it. The Bickley Valley, where MyattsField is situated is a mere 30 minute drive from the Perth CBD, well worth the trip for some much needed R&R.

For more information on MyattsField please click on the links below:

MyattsField Website

MyattsField Facebook

MyattsField Twitter

What we tasted: 2011 Methode Champenoise, 2007 Verdelho, 2011 Verdelho, 2006 Semillon, 2012 Semillon, 2007 Mourvèdre, 2008 Shiraz Mourvèdre Vioginer, 2006 Tempranillo, 2009 Durif, 2003 Merlot, 2006 Cab Sauv, 2005 Cab Merlot, 2010 Cab Merlot Petit Verdot, 2004 Reserve Merlot Cab, 2007 Reserve Cab Merlot, 2008 Reserve Cab Shiraz, 2009 Cab Petit Verdot Merlot, 2007 Touriga Nacional fortified, 2012 Touriga Nacional fortified. 

Tasting notes to come soon! And for more photos please check out my MyattsField album here.
This is a sponsored post but opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy for more details.