Imagine sitting by a lake surrounded by vineyards snacking on a good brie in the afternoon sun. It sounds perfect and it is why Millbrook Winery south of Perth should be high up on your to-do list for a sunny day.
Millbrook Winery is in Jarrahdale, about a 45 minute drive south-east of the Perth CBD down the South Western Highway. Jarrahdale is a peaceful, historic timber town nestled in the forest with a nice little brook meandering its way through the length of the main settlement.
Millbrook Winery is just out of the main settlement. The winery is a picturesque combination of vine-covered rolling hills and a big lake, over which the Tuscan-style main building sits. Within the building is a cellar door and restaurant, both offering views over the lake. Does it feel like a slice of Italian countryside in WA? Yes, yes it does.
The food philosophy here is just fantastic. Most of what you find on your plate will have been grown on the property. As stated on their website, the winery does not buy vegetables, instead relying on seeds from the previous' year's bounty to come to life and fill the plates with fresh, homegrown produce.
Jarrahdale is an historic timber town south of Perth
That, of course, means the menu is seasonal, it depends on what is in season in the orchard. In a further commitment to reducing the environmental footprint, Millbrook also hosts a no-waste Monday where leftover food from the weekend is cooked up for anyone seeking a good quality, good value meal.
While the restaurant is great, one thing which really makes Millbrook stand out is the picnic baskets. For $70 pre-ordered you can get a basket for two filled with cheese, bread, antipasto, pate and homegrown veggies. It comes with cutlery, glasses and a blanket as well. You pick it up and can sit anywhere on the property to enjoy a lazy afternoon in the sun.
Forest tracks around Millbrook if you are after adventure while you're there
The $70 does not include wine and the choice of big brand crackers over something a bit more fitting is an odd one. I get Jatz are a comfortable option for most, but at the price point, you'd expect a good quality cracker.
Don't let this dissuade you though, after sitting on the lakes' edge slowly snacking away on WA cheeses and pickled veggies from the garden you will feel it is absolutely worth the money. Oh, and you get to keep the cooler bag too.
It is a feelgood thing to be supporting a place so honestly committed to reducing waste and highlighting the real potential of seasonal, local produce. Millbrook is a hark back to a time where we couldn't just get what we want, when we wanted. It is a beautiful fusion between the simpleness of a good old home cooked meal with that modern attitude driving chefs to push the limits of what you can do with food.