Reviews

Getting Under the Skin of the Peel Region

2 December, 2015
Mandurah

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.

Peel Region Map - Breakfast Perth

 

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.

The Seashells

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.

 

Dining

Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant

Upstairs 5/9 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah
http://redmanna.com.au

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.

Beef Carpaccio - Breakfast Perth

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.

NW Rankin Cod - Redmanna - Breakfast Perth

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.

Catch 22

1/4 Zephyr Mews, Mandurah (Dolphin Quay)
http://www.catch22restaurant.com.au

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.

 

Catch 22 Dessert - Breakfast Perth

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
http://www.thestagedoor.com.au

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 Stage Door - Pork Belly - Breakfast Perth

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

Wineries

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
http://www.peelwine.com.au

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!

Peel Estate Winery

Stakehill Estate

91 Stakehill Rd, Baldivis
http://stakehillestate.com.au

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!

 

Experiences

Mandurah Cruises

72 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah
http://mandurahcruises.com.au

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!

Mandurah Cruises- Breakfast Perth

Peel Zoo

Sanctuary Park Road, Pinjarra
http://www.peelzoo.com.au

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!

Peel Zoo - Breakfast Perth

 

We didn’t get to experience everything that Peel region has to offer, but these were some other activities recommended to us:

Mandurah Foreshore - Breakfast Perth

 

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.

Competition

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.

COMPETITION CLOSED

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62 Comments

  • Reply Shemma 3 December, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Man, we could so use this prize. I think my Husband and I really love to go for drives and hunt for the hidden gems. We always try to find the back roads and small family butchers or cafes. But I didn’t know they had cruises down there! So I would say that would be pretty high on the to do list.

    • Reply Liz 3 December, 2015 at 8:22 am

      That’s how we found the two wineries we visited! I love finding those hidden gems too :)

      • Reply Shemma 3 December, 2015 at 8:47 am

        Oh really? There you go :)

  • Reply Amanda Tan 3 December, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I’ll be visiting my boyfriend in Perth this December. We’ve been long distancing for 5 years now, so we’re always looking for road trip ideas when we get together. We’ve only ever passed through Mandurah on the way to Margs but we’d love to explore all the wonderful eateries and vineyards that we’ve overlooked before. Dolphins and the National Park sounds amazing too since we love getting outdoors. We’d be so grateful for this prize!

    • Reply Liz 3 December, 2015 at 10:22 am

      wow 5 years long distance! That must be hard going! It’s definitely a region worth visiting. I was someone who always went to Dunsborough and never stopped in the Peel Region – but now I am planning our next trip back to the area!

  • Reply Jenn Radford 3 December, 2015 at 9:51 am

    I’d love to do one of the Canal Christmas Lights cruises I’ve seen advertised. I’m a big kid at heart and love Christmas, so we do a drive to see Christmas lights, this would be next level exciting!

    • Reply Liz 3 December, 2015 at 10:22 am

      Oh they were talking about those on the cruise! I reckon it would be lovely! You can also buy beer and wine on board :)

  • Reply Casey 3 December, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    This will be absolutely no surprise to you, but of course what I would most like to do on a visit to the Peel region is the wineries! I haven’t yet made it to the Peel wineries but I’ve heard some good things. How does the saying go.. ‘you can never have too much wine’ 😉 Great post Liz!

    • Reply Liz 3 December, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks hun! I’d love to hear your professional thoughts on the wines in the region!

  • Reply Simon 3 December, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I have recently gotten into cycling so I would like to explore some of the great cafes in fhd region while on two wheels.

    Ps. Love the new redesign!

    • Reply Liz 3 December, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks Simon! :)

  • Reply Erica Butler 3 December, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    We love driving around through small roads and getting lost. I’m guilty of over researching everywhere I eat, so when we take a break we like to wing it a little and see where we end up. The Peel region sounds perfect for finding hidden beauties, and being so close to home we can easily fit a t rip into my boyfriends short stints home. Hopefully I can feed him to the point where he will tolerate my constant instagraming 😛

    • Reply Liz 3 December, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      I am the same with over researching! Maybe I should try winging it once in a while!

      • Reply Erica Butler 4 December, 2015 at 11:41 am

        We’re lucky to live in a place filled with so much great food and coffee and wine that your chances of finding wonder accidentally are so high!

    • Reply Liz 11 December, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      Hi Erica – Congratulations you have won second prize of 2 bottles of Drakesbrook wines! I will email you now to get your address. :)

  • Reply Benita 3 December, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Lunch at Millbrook Winery, Serpentine Dam visit, prawning under the Mandurah jetty, crabbing in Dawsville Estuary, beach time and a drive out to Quindanning pub! Plus discovering a few extra gems the region has to offer…

    • Reply Liz 3 December, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Lunch at Millbrook is beautiful!

  • Reply Melissa Conway 3 December, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    The opportunity to enjoy a kid free weekend to explore the Peel Region would be absolutely amazing! Riding our bikes in search of the perfect breakfast spot and then meandering through the wineries and ending the day with a perfect Indian Ocean Sunset sounds like my idea of heaven!

    • Reply Liz 4 December, 2015 at 6:33 am

      That sounds like my kind of heaven too!

  • Reply Amanda 4 December, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I’d pretty much like to try EVERYTHING – unsurprisingly the Pork Belly at Red Manna would be #1 on my list! I can’t belive ive never spent time in the lovely Peel region, its not that far away!

    • Reply Liz 4 December, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      I was surprised we were there so quickly! Mandurah seems so far away! lol

  • Reply Rebecca mcilroy 4 December, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Wow! Mandurah has really chaneed since by last visit. I remember going down with my parents as a kid and there was nothing like you describe in your article! I would love to take the kids to the peel zoo. They love getting dirty and watching animals… well be animals. It is amazing experiencing new places through their eyes.

    • Reply Liz 4 December, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      George was a bit too little to really appreciate the zoo but I agree – it’s so different doing things with kids!

  • Reply Jodie 5 December, 2015 at 6:17 am

    Ok, you had me at mars bar and banana spring roll. After that indulgence, I’d enjoy riding around the area and exploring all the little cafes and shops, topping it off with a swim at the beautiful pool with the palm trees while the sun sets. Heaven!

    • Reply Liz 5 December, 2015 at 7:13 am

      There were some great little shops we found near the Seashells hotel… nice little boutiques with one selling GREAT coffee. It was called Frisky Deer. Well wort checking out!

  • Reply Georgia banton 5 December, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Wow amazing review of an area so close to me that I seem to usually drive right through on the way to Margies!! Thanks for opening my eyes we will definitely be making Mandurah and surrounds our next weekend away destination! I am totally obsessed with dolphins and would definitely love to do the dolphin cruise, so that’s on my to do list, maybe also a Christmas lights cruise that I have heard is also an awesome experience when down in Mandurah. Thanks for the dinner and winery tips, we will be checking those places out too! So exciting!

    • Reply Liz 5 December, 2015 at 11:38 am

      I think the christmas lights cruise would be amazing!

  • Reply Lauren 5 December, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I haven’t explored this area enough but it’s so close – would be fantastic for a break to relax and find some new favourite wines and restaurants!

    • Reply Liz 5 December, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      It was great for me with a little baby being so close. There is no way we could have made it as far as dunsborough or margs!

  • Reply Marion 7 December, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    It has been many years since I spent any time in Mandurah. Normally I bypass it on the way to Margaret River, but I have to say I am impressed with your experiences and will have to make a point of visiting soon to enjoy the local wineries and fab looking restaurants!

    • Reply Liz 7 December, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      It was the same for me! I hadn’t been since I went on a girls weekend away about 10 years ago!

  • Reply Lauren pike 7 December, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I would love to enjoy a picnic lunch at millbrook winery.

    • Reply Liz 7 December, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      It’s so beautiful there!

  • Reply Bel Butler 8 December, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I would love to relax at the Sebel , wander around the Mandurah foreshore enjoying of the different restaurants you have written about especially Catch 22

    • Reply Liz 8 December, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      You’ll have to try the mars bar dessert!

  • Reply Rosemary Inman 8 December, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I have loved reading your reviews and would love to spend a weekend in Mandurah sampling all the food & wine mmmmm

    • Reply Liz 8 December, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      Thank you for reading! Good luck :)

  • Reply Carly 9 December, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Oh my gosh….I don’t think Ben and I have had a proper date night since Toby was born (over a year and a half ago :-/), if I were to win a night away, I would look at acquiring a babysitter and whisking Ben away for the night for a fancy dinner and a trip to some of the wineries you mentioned :)

    I would actually also really love to see the Dolphins….poms love that stuff 😂

    Pick me! Pick me! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      I loved seeing the dolphins so much! You can just be walking along the foreshore and they are swimming meters away!

  • Reply Lisa T 9 December, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I’d love to explore the beaches and maybe go on some kind of fishing charter. Definitely one that ends eating delicious seafood and drinking wine at sunset :)

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Wine at sunset is the best kind of wine!

  • Reply Danae 9 December, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I would love to watch the sun set while having a drink outside M on the Point and then enjoy a delicious meal there.

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      I didn’t get to see M on the Point… I will have to add it to my list of places to try!

  • Reply Rachel 9 December, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Mandurah is a place of so many amazing memories for me. Growing up we spent many weekends there with my grandparents but sadly I haven’t had the chance to visit in a long time. More than anything I would enjoy strolling along the foreshore and the old jetty so I can share those memories with my partner. And then top it off with some dolphin spotting, of course!

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      It’s so nice being able to reminisce with a partner and show them where you spent time there as a kid!

  • Reply Jessica Butson 9 December, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Apart from sampling all the delicious wine the Peel region has to offer, i would most like to eat that pork belly at The Stage Door followed by that coffee pot at Catch 22! A child free weekend to eat what i want all to myself with no dishes: bliss! :)

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      A child free weekend would be BLISS!

  • Reply Cassie Rafferty 9 December, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Having not had a holiday in 5 years a mini get away would definitely be amazing! Id love to take my mini me along the canals to see the Christmas lights (while enjoying a cheeky vino or two of course!)!

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      The Christmas lights cruises are meant to be amazing! 5 years…You definitely deserve a holiday!

  • Reply Melissa 9 December, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    All the years I have been in Perth and I have never visited Mandurah! I hear the canals and waterways are beautiful so would love to have a tipsy lunch by the water. We have always bi passed to head to Margaret River – its time to discover something a little closer :)

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      A tipsy lunch is always good hehehe

  • Reply brooke 9 December, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Working in the hospo Industry myself, it’s always nice (but rare) to have a treat like this and be looked after on the other side. Id just love to take my partner for a mini holiday and sample some of the beautiful food the area has to offer.

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      It IS nice to be on the other side and be the one getting the great customer service :) good Luck!

    • Reply Liz 11 December, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Brooke – You have won the night’s stay at The Sebel and 2 bottles of Millbrook wines! I will email you now to get your details!

  • Reply Evie Lavers 9 December, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I am Dolphin obsessed, so no doubt a trip down to Mandurau with my BFF would include a visit to the Diacovery Centre! Will be sharing this post with the family heading over to Perth over the Christmas period!

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      I am obsessed with dolphins too! Thanks for sharing with your family – hopefully they get a chance to visit the Peel Region.

  • Reply Meg 9 December, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    I was drawn in by your instagram pictures of the Peel Region and this is the first time I’ve stumbled across your blog… So glad that I did. I have only lived in Western Australia for a couple of years and honestly never considered Mandurah as a holiday destination but your post has completley changed this! Will definitely be heading down there this summer for the beach scenery and all that amazing looking food and wine.

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Thanks for coming to check out the post! Good luck in the comp!

  • Reply Laura Hughes 9 December, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    I would love to explore the Serpentine Dam and National Park for some nature adventuring and the Red Manna restaurant menu looks to die for!

    • Reply Liz 9 December, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Serpentine Falls is SOOOOO pretty :) I used to go there a lot as a kid.

  • Reply Brian 11 December, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Wow, never knew there was such diversity of food down that way! Our regular trips down south always involve making a bee-line for the rock climbing hot-spots, and roughing it out. Definitely have to plan a trip down to experience a whole different perspective of the area!

    • Reply Liz 11 December, 2015 at 6:42 am

      wow rock climbing! You’re brave! :)

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