McLaren Vale is my husband's home town; and also happens to be one of the most renowned wine regions in the world. So, no big deal. I feel insanely lucky that his dad and step mum still call this area home, as it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world and visiting them gives us the perfect excuse to explore. I'm really excited to share my favourite places to eat and drink in Mclaren Vale with you.
Blessed Cheese is a great little spot to have breakfast. Not only does it do a lovely breakfast menu but it is also a general store, stocked to the brim with local artisan produce. Every time I set foot in there I want to buy everything.
Perfect for: Brunch + buying picnic supplies
Oscars is the perfect spot to have dinner in summer - most of the tables are partially or completely outside which on a warm evening is just perfect. They do a really decent selection of pizza, pasta and more conventional mains and always have a great selection of wines.
Perfect for: Friday date night dinner
Mclaren Vale Hotel is the classic Australian pub - lots of beers on tap, a bistro complete with a salad bar and great steak. A stay in Mclaren Vale is not complete without dinner at the pub.
Perfect for: Saturday night dinner with the family
Bracegirdles has a very special place in my heart - when my husband and I lived in Adelaide we would be frequent patrons of their Glenelg branch. We would buy a milkshake or hot chocolate (depending on the weather) and sit upstairs on the balcony to watch the world go by.
Their Mclaren Vale branch is just as wonderful. They do an incredible breakfast as well as lunch and occasionally dinner. They also have a fantastic range of hot and cold chocolates in milk, dark and white.
Perfect for: Breakfast or afternoon tea
There are endless wineries to visit, and all of them are a little different. You can find a full list on the Mclaren Vale Visitor's Centre website. Some favourites include:
This winery will always have a soft spot in my heart because they hosted our reception for our wedding. They do a great range of wines (their GSM and rose are two of my favourites) and they also brew their own beer!
P.S. Ekhidna Wines is in the process of moving right now - so keep an eye out for their new digs :)
What I love about Battle of Bosworth is the unique wines they produce - they were making pinot grigio long before it was in vogue. They also are brimming with enthusiasm for the whole process which is always fun.
If you're going to Lazy Ballerina I definitely recommend having one of their cheese platters in the garden. For a long time they were a contender for our wedding based entirely on how gorgeous the gardens are. It's the perfect place to bring the kids because they can play in the garden whilst you relax in the shade and try some wines.
Gemtree has a lot going for it. Firstly the view is incredible, you can see an example above of what I mean. Second they do incredible cheese platters (also pictured above). And lastly they are a biodynamic winery and they practice what they preach (and you can learn more about how on their website).
Another winery with fantastic views and food is Maxwell Winery, but what they are really known for is mead. Mead is made with honey and is thought to be the oldest form of alcohol made by humans. If you've never had mead before definitely visit Maxwell's and try one of their cocktails made with mead.
Mike and I went to Maximus as a birthday present from my friends (because yes I have amazing friends). It's in a really beautiful spot and they are incredibly passionate about what they do. They also have a micro brewery where they make gin.
If you're after some more inspiration I filmed a travel vlog on our recent trip home - check it out below!