There are so many things to do in Margaret River with kids, but the main appeal of coming to Western Australia’s wine region, of course, is to visit the Margaret River wineries and taste the wine. There are so many fabulous wineries in Margaret River. In fact the 200+ Margaret River wineries are responsible for 20% of Australia’s premium wine, so you know you are in for a treat.
But it’s not just the wine that the Margaret River wineries excel at – they also dish up fabulous cuisine, boasting some of the best restaurants in the Margaret River region. We have spent a lot of time in the Margaret River over the last few years, and have checked out most of the best Margaret River wineries for lunch over this time.
Note that most cellar door restaurants in Margaret River are only open for lunch and so we usually indulge in a fabulous lunch, then barbecue at home in the evening. If you are looking for places to eat in Margaret River in the evening, you can check out restaurants in Margaret River town and Dunsborough.
So if you are trying to decide where to eat in the Margaret River, here we give you our pick of the best Margaret River wineries for lunch. And the best news for those visiting Margaret River with kids? They are all child-friendly too!
Located overlooking the Gunyulgup Valley, this family friendly Margaret River winery has it all: fabulous views over the vineyards, award-winning wine, delicious cuisine, and a playground to keep the kids busy while the grown ups enjoy a leisurely lunch. Renowned as being one of the best restaurants in Margaret River, Will’s Domain is setting the standards for Mod Oz cuisine in the region.
The a la carte menu is littered with interesting concoctions such as Grilled Marron with preserved onion congee and kombu, or Wagin Duck with kohlrabi, quince and Japanese mustard, or opt for the 5- or 7-course degustation menu, served with matching wines, of course.
One of the most famous wineries in Margaret River, Leeuwin Estate is renowned for its stunning Margaret River wines, most notably its Arts Series Chardonnay and Arts Series Cabernet Sauvignon. But Leeuwin Estate is also famous for having one of the best Margaret River restaurants.
Utilising a “paddock to plate” philosophy, the Leeuwin Estate restaurant focuses on regional produce, and working with local suppliers to create seasonal menus, creating inventive dishes such as South West yabbies, papaya salad and gochujang and ‘Big Red’ Pork rack with jamon, persimmon and hazelnuts.
The setting is stunning, with sweeping verandahs overlooking a large meadow (perfect for the kids to run freely) surrounded by a forest of karri trees.
A special tip for my Hong Kong and Singapore readers: Leeuwin Estate does an AMAZING deal on wines bought at their cellar door and shipped to your home address in Singapore or Hong Kong. Worth checking out.
This light, bright and airy Margaret River winery restaurant looks directly into the vineyards, and boasts a menu of contemporary Australian cuisine with Asian influences. Knee Deep focus on using local artisanal organic produce, that is ethically harvested and chemical free, so you can happily tuck into your lunch with a clear conscience.
Dishes such as Venus Bay king prawns & chorizo taco with garlic aioli and salsa, and Marion Bay King George whiting with crispy leek and tarragon hollandaise are presented so beautifully, you may not want to eat them. But trust me – one taste, and it won’t last long on your plate. If you can’t decide what to order, you can put yourself in the hands of the chef with the “Trust the Chef” option.
There’s a large lawn with outdoor games such as cricket and croquet where you can run off your lunch and entertain the kids afterwards.
Cullen Wines was the first winery in Margaret River to offer a cellar door restaurant and continues to enjoy a reputation as having one of the best restaurants in Margaret River. The focus is on local and organic at Cullen, with many of the ingredients coming from the winery’s own biodynamic gardens.
Executive Chef Colin Anderson has upped Cullen’s culinary offerings to new heights since he joined the Margaret River winery in December 2015. Experience various taste sensations through a range of exciting dishes demonstrating skills learned under famous chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Jason Atherton and Peter Gilmore. But my favourite dish is a nod to Anderson’s Scottish roots, with his very own version of Haggis, Neeps & Tatties: Haggis wrapped in crispy potato, pickled swede, Cullen “HP sauce”, whisky reduction and quail’s egg.
What I really love about Cullen is its large garden, surrounded by vineyards with beanbags to kick back on and enjoy the Australian sunshine. Be sure to taste the latest vintage of Diana Madeline, Cullen Wine’s most famous red wine, before you leave!
Xanadu is a beautiful and modern child friendly Margaret River winery, which has enjoyed a growing reputation for its wines over recent years, with the 2011 Xanadu Stevens Road Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon being named James Halliday’s Wine of the Year in 2015, with a staggering 99 points.
In addition to award-winning wines, Xanadu is also renowned for having one of the best restaurants in Margaret River. The restaurant with its high vaulted ceiling, and layers of wood and natural stone makes a stylish yet comfortable setting for a long lazy lunch, with the grassy lawn strewn with beanbags inviting you to laze around afterwards. There’s even a playground to keep the kids happy.
The menu encourages you to eat tapas-style with a selection of small sharing plates featuring king prawns, kangaroo, beef cheek, pork cheek, falafel and house smoked salmon, or choose to go large with lamb shank, pork belly and seasonal fish. All food is exquisitely prepared under the guidance of Head Chef Melissa Kokoti.
Executive Chef Ben Day and Sous Chef Tom Spencer, formerly of Knee Deep (see above) are responsible for recently stepping up the food a notch at this Margaret River winery, creating exciting and innovative seasonal menus.
With a focus on locally sourced organic and sustainable ingredients, the menu presents a range of light and healthy dishes, including Barramundi with Geographe Bay squid, butternut, seaweed butter and bottarga; and the sweet and savoury Crispy Lamb Pastilla with charred eggplant salad, date & rose puree and nettle yoghurt. And of course each dish has a suggested Aravina Estate wine to wash it down with.
Another reason this is one of the best wineries in Margaret River for lunch, particularly if you are visiting with kids – is the grounds. Beautiful gardens are ablaze with colourful hydrangeas, there are lawns to run around on, a gated playground – and even a showroom filled with vintage sports cars to admire.
Watershed boasts one of the best settings of all the Margaret River restaurants, with stunning views across the vineyard and dam from its beautiful wooden deck. Chef Dan Gadge, former Sous Chef to Rick Stein, oversees the kitchen of this kid friendly Margaret River winery, conjuring up delicious dishes such as Local Lamb Rump with brinjal pickle, fried chickpeas, hung yoghurt and vadouvan; and Charred Busselton Octopus with pickled spring vegetables, smoked potato puree and capers.
If you’re visiting with small kids, you might prefer the café to the restaurant, which features an enclosed playground and offers up colouring packs for the kids. The food is more relaxed – soups, steak sandwiches, fish and chips – but equally as delicious.
It’s hard not to be wowed by Laurance. This beautiful lakeside Margaret River winery is set in amongst beautifully landscaped gardens, including 1,000 rose bushes and many artworks and sculptures from around Australia. Lunch is a relaxed affair at Laurance. Take an outdoor table overlooking the manicured lawns, where the kids can run freely and play on the onsite playground.
Burgers, Lamb hotpot and Mushroom Orrechiette are all on the menu, but most popular are the tasting platters – a delectable selection of cheeses, cold cuts, seafood, olives and woodfired sourdough, perfect for sharing with friends over a glass of Margaret River wine.
Swings & Roundabouts
When you’ve overindulged in all that fine-dining in the fabulous Margaret River wineries, sometimes all you want is a pizza and a nice glass of rose. And that’s exactly what Swings & Roundabouts is for.
One of the best child friendly wineries in Margaret River for a lazy afternoon in the sunshine, Swings & Roundabouts boasts a vast lawn with oversized beanbags and picnic tables, garden games such as swingball and cricket, a traditional Italian wood-fired pizza oven and a serious coffee machine. Perfect!
Have you been to the Margaret River? What are your favourite cellar door restaurants in Margaret River?
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