Margaret River Gourmet Escape – Gourmet Village

The central event of this year’s Gourmet Escape long weekend in Margaret River – i.e. the one most accessible to the masses – was the Gourmet Village held at Leeuwin Estate Winery on the Saturday and Sunday. On offer was a considerable number of food & wine exhibits as well as opportunities to meet / greet / observe from a distance / buy cookbooks from the numerous celebrity chefs in attendance. If you’ve been living under a rock and aren’t aware of what you missed, you can download the programme here.

I was expecting to see the same vendors that grace almost every event in Perth, although it was a nice surprise to see quite a few that I’d never seen before. As you’d expect there were a lot of wine producers exhibiting, but it didn’t feel like the food was in too much of a minority. The currency on site for wine & food tastings was the “Gem”, cardboard tokens that cost $7 each. Thankfully we had pre-purchased ours with our tickets (four each which was just the right amount) – the queue to buy more Gems was seriously lengthy by the time we left. Purchases for some other items (eg soft drinks) and goods to be taken home could be paid for by cash and / or card, depending on the vendor.

It was clear that this was going to be a very busy event, so we arrived 30 minutes before doors opened at 11am and there was already a substantial crowd waiting. Parking onsite wasn’t a problem despite the organisers having tried to make it appear otherwise – some better signage for both cars and people might be in order next year, though. After a couple of hours it was as busy as I’d expected to get, at the point where you can’t actually get near anything without fighting through a crowd – for me that’s the time to complete your purchases and leave (our rather small selection included some items from Always Fresh, a Morish Nuts showbag (can never resist) and a seriously tasty jar of curried onion “relish” from Habaneros 4 Gringos).

The Village alone wouldn’t have been worth the six hour round trip from Perth – there are plenty of other similar occasions closer to home – combined with the satellite events, however, it made for a truly delightful long weekend and we’ll be back next year.

About the author


Martin was born in England but now lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has a passion for breakfast, coffee, hot curries & fast food, and is a cat & Dalek person.

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