Nigella Lawson is heading to Western Australia’s south-west in November for the Margaret River Gourmet Escape.
It's not her first time as festival headliner – The Domestic Goddess was here in 2016 as well. She's clearly a fan of this brilliant food and wine weekend, and has called it an ‘astonishing’ event in a ‘magical' destination.
She's just one of a host of culinary stars from around the world (not to mention the best from WA) who will be at the Gourmet Escape. Over the weekend some 45 diverse events will take place in more than 25 unforgettable locations – everything from barbecues on white sandy beaches and feasts in the forest.
The Margaret River Gourmet Escape takes places from Thursday November 15 to Sunday November 18 in 2018, but there are so many other food experiences that you can have in this beautiful part of Western Australia at any time of the year. Here's a tasty mix:
Held on a gorgeous beach, this is one of the signature events of the weekend. There's a lunch and dinner session each day, with top chefs lined up to prepare the food, including a Sunday seafood feast courtesy of Rick Stein and his son Jack. Hosted all weekend by Justine Schofield from Everyday Gourmet, a ticket to the Gourmet Beach BBQ will get you access to the secluded Castle Rock Beach, canapés, free-flow beer and wine, and, of course, a gourmet barbecue feast.
Tickets to Nigella’s Tea Party at Howard Park may have sold out, but the good news is that a new event has been added to the programme, so if you act quickly you might be able to snag tickets to this fab supper on Saturday night, November 17. Inspired by the beloved cook and author's famous late-night eats, expect a menu of decadent delights washed down with some Xanadu cab sav, a Q&A with Nigella, hosted by Kate Langbroek, and a pre-signed copy of Lawson’s book, At My Table to take home.
Here's The Domestic Goddess at the 2016 Gourmet Beach BBQ:
Celebrating the world-class produce of the region, this is a real farmers' market, where the stalls are manned by the people who actually grow or make the produce. It's been a weekend staple for more than 13 years, with up to 50 stalls setting up every Saturday morning. Make sure you have brekky here – every week a local charity, school or sporting organisation raises funds courtesy of a breakfast bar, so you can 'do good while you eat good'!
They have a stall at the Farmers' Market every week, but make sure you duck in to the actual premises of the Margaret River Bakery. Located on Bussell Highway, it's eclectic, quirky and beloved by locals and visitors alike. It's great for pies, Danishes, fresh bread and delish breakfasts.
Since it opened in 1999 the Margaret River Chocolate Company has become one of WA's most popular tourist attractions, and these days there's a factory and showroom not only in Margaret River but also the Swan Valley (plus there's a concept store in Perth). But while you're in Margaret River it's the original you'll be visiting, on a picturesque rural property around 20 minutes from Margaret River and Busselton. The website says the onsite Chocolate Cafe serves everything from burgers to "the best chocolate brownies in Australia" – but our tip is to take home 'Chokka the Quokka' – every chocolate quokka sold helps the population of these unique – and super-cute – marsupials that live on WA's Rottnest Island.