Food and wine festivals are everywhere you look these days; it can become easy to get a little jaded with each event claiming to have more delicious fare than the last. But Western Australia’s Gourmet Escape doesn’t need to brag - all they have to do is publish the list of food and wine personalities featuring at the event.
It’s just been announced that British chef Marco Pierre White will be headlining Margaret River’s premium event. White is well known to Australian audiences as a judge on Masterchef, but he’s far more than just a celebrity chef. He was the youngest chef ever to be awarded three Michelin stars and has trained such legends as Curtis Stone and Gordon Ramsay.
He’s not the only big name slated for Gourmet Escape 2015 either, with appearances from Guillaume Brahimi, Rick Stein and Matt Moran scheduled for the November event. Acting Tourism Minister John Day said that the event would once again feature some of the world’s finest culinary personalities, and went on to comment, “Research has shown that the quality of a destination's food and wine offerings is the second most important factor when deciding where to go on holiday, after natural beauty. Western Australia definitely has a competitive advantage in both of these areas.”
Of course, Gourmet Escape is just one reason to visit the area. This beautiful corner of southwest WA is blessed with a stunning natural environment and enough exemplary food and wine to keep the most enthusiastic gourmand satisfied for a lifetime. Margaret River wineries are something of a local legend - there’s no shortage of them to choose from either: more than 95 cellar doors in the area offer both oenophiles and those seeking a relaxing afternoon a truly indulgent selection of first-class wines. The surrounding countryside is idyllic, ranging from farmland to coast to classic wine country. The climate has a balmy, Mediterranean feel, which is not only ideal for tourists enjoying the rural serenity but also lends itself to the production of stellar vintages and delicious produce.
If your stomach is already rumbling at the thought of mouthwatering dishes and lazy days tasting fine wines, I’d suggest starting to plan your trip now. Yes, Gourmet Escape is still a few months away, but with its spotless reputation and extraordinary lineup, this is an event that will attract hordes of keen foodies and you don’t want to miss out. As for Margaret River accommodation: the town is three hours drive south of Perth, and given that Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is just down the road, an Australia motorhome rental seems like the best option for flexibility, savings and comfort.
Speaking of Leeuwin Naturaliste, if all Margaret River’s wining and dining leaves you feeling a little overindulged this is the perfect spot to just get back to basics. Take a dip or cast a line at Bunker Bay and Shelley Cove, explore the park’s pristine bushwalks or delve beneath the earth into spectacular caves.
For an area so rich in wondrous and varied experiences, Margaret River is nowhere near as well known as it should be. Perhaps that’s for the best though; the place might struggle to maintain its Tuscan charm if flocks of tourists were constantly traipsing over its fields. The important thing is that if you didn’t know what this Western Australia gem had to offer before, you certainly do now - putting you one step ahead of the crowd.
Tickets for Gourmet Escape aren’t yet on sale, but it’s certainly not too early to start planning the rest of your odyssey into a gourmand’s paradise.
A Perth Campervan Hire is the obvious choice if you want to experience Margaret River, but there are a world of other options! Why not make a bigger trip of it and grab a Broome, Adelaide or Melbourne Motorhome Hire or even loop in Tassie and hire a campervan from Tasmania. Considered jumping over the ditch? Kiwi land has a wide selection of NZ Campervan Hire.