We live half an hours drive from the Swan Valley. Popping up for lunch is something we could easily do, yet rarely get around to.
For this year's annibirthary ( a word we have coined to cover the convergence of our anniversary and Craig's birthday) we booked the cottage at Upper Reach Winery for Friday and Saturday night.
The Cottage sits at the front of the property, fenced off from the road for privacy. It is the only accommodation on the vineyard and despite the fact you have a clear view of the next door property it feels very private. It is all high ceilings and creaky floor boards that gives a lovely character feel. The kitchen is well equipped and there is everything there you could need, except a cheese knife. A small and forgivable oversight in our view.
It is filled with a range of Upper Reach Wines to purchase, saving you a trip down to the cellar door if you arrive late. Tea, coffee, milk etc are all provided, and there is a selection of books, games and dvd's, none of which we bothered with.
The bathroom is spacious, clean and the corner spa works just fine. The water pressure in the shower was great which gets thumbs up from me.Providing a larger bed in the second bedroom would be a grand idea as our Saturday night guests were a little squeezed in.
We sat out on the porch/patio/verandah to enjoy nibbles and a glass or two of wine in the evening and breakfast in the morning. The breeze that came through was delightful. The Mulberry and Ficus trees block the direct view of the sunset, but keep the cottage cool so I consider it a far trade off.
We were there in February, which is usually the hottest time of year in Perth. The vines were all lush and green, and there was picking going on in the valley.
There was a fair range of bird life with ring necked parrots, correllas, wattle-birds, galahs and even a few Carnaby's Black Cockatoos paying an all too brief visit.
We arranged a breakfast 'hamper' for the Sunday morning which we picked up from the restaurant on Saturday. It was tasty and the muesli, fruit and yoghurt was the best I've had in some time.
I had the Barramudi which was the best cooked bit of fish I've had in a long time. K & C had the lamb curry which was rich and tasty. Brian had the chicken so we covered all the bases and everyone was happy. A bottle of the Semillion and a bottle of the Tempranillo set everything off beautifully.
The music was great, as was the whole atmosphere. Upper Reach and Broads are to be commended on a really lovely event. Perhaps the final highlight of the evening was wandering back up to the cottage knowing we didn't have to drive anywhere.
I'd recommend Upper Reach as a great place to visit or stay.