We have had the most beautiful weekend. Friday night we stopped off at our Dawesville house, did the washing, drank some bubbles and tried to sleep through a very wild and stormy night. The azaleas are blooming beautifully and the almond blossoms are floating gracefully onto the lawn, creating petal “snow”.
On Saturday we continued our journey to a little town in “Australia’s South West”, Balingup. My sister first introduced me to Balingup about 15 years ago. Every time I visit I love it more and now my husband is hooked too. Balingup, as a desirable South West destination, has been progressing nicely. There are several choices available for accommodation and dining and we were so very happy with our choices this weekend.
We stayed at a beautiful Bed & Breakfast on top of the hill by the name of Oakfield. Hosts, Ruth and Barry made us feel so welcome. The room was huge, with French doors opening onto a verandah with spectacular views of the surrounding hills. It couldn’t have been more perfect, complete with sheep dog, Ben, ready to play fetch out in the wild, windy afternoon. Burning off some calories was a good idea considering our dinner reservation at the local French restaurant.
Fre Jac is authentic, quaint and cosy. It was a really wintery night, to say the least. Walking through the door took us into a world of welcoming wood-fired warmth filled with the most amazing aromas. We are talking about a very small town here and the place was almost full. Where did all these people come from? Some were locals (rival accommodation providers) and others were visitors just like us. The atmosphere was friendly, the waitress chatty and helpful and the food homely and satisfying.
What I will rave about is the creme brulee!
Jean Marie is famous for it! It was superb. I have tasted fabulous creme brulee a couple of times and many an average offering. I will always order the creme brulee. This one was unique and I believe truly authentic. The burnt sugar was not just any old sugar. It was all the way from France and the cremey, eggy part was like finely textured scrambled eggs with a velvety, smooth vanilla signature (Peter said to say that). I say, go to Balingup just to indulge yourself with Jean Marie’s creme brulee.
There are a couple of unique shops to visit, my all time favourite being The Tinderbox. Everyone seems to love this shop. I always buy something! Basically the products are all natural and good and healthy and the shop itself is a little work of art. We found a beautiful garden out the back, which I think is someone’s private back yard, so I hope they don’t mind; we went crazy with our cameras and now we’re going to share some of the winter wonderland that is Balingup with you.