Recently I was invited down to the Peel Region by The City of Mandurah and Visit Peel to experience what the area has to offer as a food and wine destination. As the Official Digital Media Influencer for the region in the Buy West Eat Best WA Signature Dish competition (for which they won the People’s Choice award!), I was keen to get to know the region that had so much to offer AND was only about an hour away from home!
Before this trip I had no idea how big the Peel region really was. I knew it included Mandurah but I was surprised to learn it also extends to areas like Boddington, Dwellingup, Serpentine, Jarrahdale, Pinjarra and Preston Point.
Our accommodation was booked in at the Seashells Mandurah. This hotel has been around for a while but there was no sign of it being old and tired. I had stayed here a number of years ago and I had been wowed back then, and I was wowed now! Our room faced the ocean but in a northerly direction over Comet Bay so we didn’t get the heat from the setting sun straight into our room. Of course we still got to see the beautiful gold and ochre colours over the ocean and pool as the sun went down. OH THE POOL! It’s like you’re in Miami with the palm trees and ocean view from your deck chair. There is a little separate shallow paddling area for the kids as well a bubbling spa for the grown ups.
There’s a shared BBQ area for guests, so if you’ve been crabbing or fishing it’s the perfect spot to cook up a seafood feast and watch the sunset with a glass of local wine in hand.
Seashells Mandurah is located at 16 Dolphin Drive, meaning it was only a short but picturesque walk to Dolphin Quay and all it’s eateries and the Mandurah Foreshore and boardwalk.
Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant
Upstairs 5/9 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah
Owned by chef and WA Signature Dish mentor Jason Hutchen, this restaurant is the cream of the crop in Mandurah. Their upstairs vantage point means there is a spectacular sweeping view of the water up to Mandjar Bay.
An entree of waygu beef carpaccio & Freo octopus was a great start. Wafer thin slices of marbled beef made a blushing pink stage for the tender Freo occy. Dried olive dust added a salty complexity, rounding out what was a stunning entree.
For mains, NW Rankin Cod was a generous serve with big silky flakes falling away at the touch of the knife. Unusually anointed with bacon jam, the subtle sweet smokey flavour was surprisingly a great accompaniment. A glass of Barking Owl SSB from local Peel region winery – Millbrook Winery was a perfect pairing for this well executed seafood dish.
Open for both lunch and dinner means that you can either enjoy the sun sparkling off the water during lunch or the lights off the foreshore for a romantic dinner at Mandurah’s top restaurant – Redmanna.
1/4 Zephyr Mews, Mandurah (Dolphin Quay)
Dolphin Quay has an abundance of eateries including an Oyster Bar, which is definitely on my list for next time! But on this visit we went to Catch 22 – a tapas style restaurant right on the water looking out to the marina.
There’s a lot on offer here besides the tapas, there are pizzas and a pretty solid menu of dishes for those who prefer not to share their food. Andy and I decided to share a few things, including the best curry puffs we’ve ever eaten but we really wanted to get to the dessert menu!
How good does this sound – “Life on Mars” – Mars Bars & Banana Spring Roll, chocolate ganache, praline, vanilla ice cream. Thin crispy pastry encasing sticky sweet melted Mars Bar – HEAVEN! We also indulged and got the Coffee pot – Chocolate, coffee, double cream, choc shard, hazelnut tuille. This was a little pot of smooth mouse that was a surprisingly light dessert.
And another string to their bow – they also do high tea here – how great would a weekend away plus a high tea be for a hens party!
The Stage Door
9 James Service Pl, The Boardwalk, Mandurah
Located on the Boardwalk next to the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, this restaurant mixes family friendliness with classic dining.
The menu is modern Australian with a big nod to Italy. The kids even have a decent menu to choose from with more than just nuggets and chips!
My pork belly main was impressive. A hefty slab of tender pork with a crunchy crackling topper was accompanied by red cabbage and a cider poached pear. To have pear instead of apple with pork was something a little bit different and the cider gave a slight twang.
The manager here could see we were dealing with an over tired baby so she organised our mains to come out quicker and even offered to rock George whilst we ate. We never expect special treatment because we have a baby but it was so nice to have someone offer!
They have happy hour – perfect if you like to have an early dinner and drink and as an added bonus, if you’re staying at The Seashells you get one main free when you show your room key.
If you’d like to read about where I went for breakfast on my visit, check out my previous post – Breakfast In Mandurah
I spent some time checking out the Peel Wine Region – yep… Peel has a wine region! It includes some beauties like Millbrook Winery in Jarrahdale and The Wine Tree – fruit wine and cidery in Dwellingup. We didn’t get as far as Dwellingup but here are two that I got to visit on this trip (yep I will be back to try more!)
Peel Estate Winery
290 Fletcher Rd, Karnup
What a great little winery this was! I love that at cellar door the wine maker and owner was taking us through our tastings. It made us feel like we were at a family friends house. We walked away with a few purchases and we wished we had brought a picnic with us to enjoy one of the bottles in the beautiful grounds. They often have music events here as well, with a Jazz event coming up in December. Check their website for more details!
91 Stakehill Rd, Baldivis
Now this is a winery really worth visiting if you are into trying different things! They still have the classic wines available, like a pretty amazing rose, but I was really there to try the award winning chilli wines. If you’re into the hot stuff, I bet you’ll find it hard to walk away without buying a bottle or three of some wine that packs a punch. If you prefer a sweeter drop, try their passionfruit wine; it’s one of their top sellers! Owner Lee Bunney was so welcoming and we were soon joking around like old friends. I am so glad we decided to stop in here, it felt like we had found a real hidden gem!
Here are some other wineries that are on my list to visit next time!
- Newbliss Winery – Dwellingup
- Tanglefoot Winery – Wandering
- Peel Ridge Winery – Karnup
- Cape Bouvard Winery & Brewery – Mandurah
72 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah
There’s around 100 bottlenose dolphins living in the waters of Mandurah and a great way to see them is on a 1 hour Dolphin and Scenic Canal cruise. With both downstairs enclosed seating and upstairs open air seating, there are plenty of spots to enjoy the cruise from. We brought along George in his pram and it easily came aboard and fitted in a spot downstairs. We opened a window and got a close up view of some beautiful dolphins! We even saw a mumma and her calf swimming in the wake of the boat! I just love seeing these animals, there is something about them that almost makes me cry. Not only do you get to see dolphins, you also get to cruise the canals, see all the luxury homes and enjoy the running commentary during the cruise explaining the history of the area and pointing out interesting landmarks. Oh.. and the boat also has beer and wine on board if you fancy a cool drink on the water!
Sanctuary Park Road, Pinjarra
On our way home via Pinjarra we decided to take George to his first zoo. The Peel Zoo is only about 15mins drive from Mandurah, so it is easily achievable as a side trip if you’re spending the weekend. Or it’s about an hour’s drive from Perth. This little zoo is great for kids as you can feed some of the animals and there’s even a chance to hold a snake or if you prefer something more cuddly – a koala. There’s also a massive bird aviary you can walk into with some fruit and the birds come down and land on you! It’s a great zoo for getting up close to the animals!
We didn’t get to experience everything that Peel region has to offer, but these were some other activities recommended to us:
One of the best things about the Peel Region is how close it is to Perth. It took us just under an hour to get down there and it really felt like we had “gone down south”. It truly is a destination for an “any time adventure”, whether it’s a day trip with the kids or a romantic weekend away with a loved one – the Peel Region has it all.
If you are interested in visiting the Peel Region – check out Visit Peel for some ideas!
*Accommodation and some meals were provided by City Of Mandurah and Visit Peel.
Thanks to Visit Peel and The City of Mandurah, I have a one night stay at the 4.5 star Sebel Hotel Mandurah in a Superior Water View Room to giveaway! You’ll also get two bottles of wine (reisling and shiraz viognier) from the picturesque Millbrook Winery to enjoy at home or to take down for your trip!
Thanks to Drakesbrook Wines, as a second prize I have a twin pack (chardonnay and shiraz) of their amazing wine to give away to another winner. Drakesbrook don’t have a cellar door as yet but you can purchase at Liquor Barons in Jolimont or enjoy it at many restaurants in the Peel region including The Stage Door.