Meelup Farmhouse opened in WA’s Margaret River Region just over a month ago, filling a gap in the local dining scene by heroing brunch and all-day grazing, offering a decadent cocktail list, and a variety of seating areas to kick back and relax.
A chance meeting with a wine rep in Perth set husband and wife team Liz and Mark Ahearn on course to realise their dream of opening a restaurant experience in their signature style ‘down south’. Meelup Farmhouse is located at the northern end of the Margaret River region, a short bushwalk from popular Meelup Beach.
“Mark and I talked about how fantastic it would be to open a venue down here when we were holidaying from Perth, to give us an excuse to live here,” Liz said.
“We happened to tell our wine rep about this and, a week later, she told us she knew of a possible spot on Wise Winery’s beautiful property.” The restaurant on the site (Lot 80) had recently closed and was in between leaseholders.
“We got creative and worked through how and what would be the best thing to go into that venue, what didn’t work before, what did work, and how we can make it better. And it just pretty much stemmed from there,” she said.
A distinct theme runs through the décor of Liz and Mark’s ventures – popular Perth cafes Little h and The Little Bay, and now Meelup Farmhouse. Timber and other natural materials are a feature, providing a relaxed vibe.
There’s a bush track for diners to arrive straight from the beach to enjoy an ice cream, beer or morning coffee, or guests can book in for a long lunch and celebrate special occasions.
Chef Dean Williams is Liz’s brother-in-law and has brought to Meelup Farmhouse a relaxed homestyle dining experience. Liz’s sister Anneliese is managing the restaurant’s events and marketing.
With Wise Winery on the back doorstep, there’s a range of their wine on the menu, complimented by a great selection of wine, beer and spirits from the Margaret River region.
A brood of fluffy hens has made themselves at home amongst guests, and children are invited to help the Farmhouse team collect eggs from the designer hen house built by Mark. A friendly highland cow strolls along the property fence enjoying nose scratches from guests.
Opening hours are Monday and Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday and Saturday 9am to 10pm and Sunday 9am to 8pm.
Find out more at meelupfarmhouse.com.au or drop into 54 Sheens Road – just opposite the turn off to Castle Rock Beach.
Images : supplied