Swan Valley




Mandoon Estate (3)

Mandoon Estate Margaret River Chocolate Factory

The Cheese Barrel

Everytime we go to The Swan Valley, we always ask ourselves the same question – why do we not go back more often? I s’pose life gets in the way and we are just too bloody tired to make the trip usually.

This time I just went ‘We’re going to Swan Valley’ (whether you like it or not, whether you had plans to nap or not!) and off we went. We stopped by Mandoon and were pleased at its proximity – only 15 mins from home! Decided to have lunch at the bar after checking out what they had available at the deli (mostly cold meats and cheese for picnic) and restaurant (tad expensive for a casual out of the blue outing). I ordered their mussels after making sure it was going to be served with bread and he got the sous vide roast beef (which by the way is the process of vacuum-packing meat and cooking it in a precise temperature-controlled water bath which makes the risk of over cooking the beef a thing of the past). I did not think the mussels were too great, flavours were tad bland and I devoured the the bits of salty pancetta – I would not re-order this dish unfortunately. On the other hand. he loved his sous vide beef that came with a generous amout of mash potato and beans. We finished our meals with the beer tasting which we thought were great value for only $14. Alas the small beer drinkers that we are and it being only 2pm then, didn’t help! We struggled to finish the fifth glass though we would definitely recommend the taster! The place is beautiful though and we will be back for a picnic and some wine!

Off to the Cheese Barrell we went next for a coffee. Though they do not make their own cheese, they had a large array of cheese in their cabinet and we took some beautiful french cheese called La Buche d’Affinois home. Their coffees were great! We then went on to get some produce from the growers parked next to the Mash Brewery, before stopping by the iconic Margaret Choc factory for some chocolate sorbet and one of their nougat dipped in dark chocolate and cranberry!

There is so much more to do at the Swan Valley – house of honey, fish and lily pond, reptile park, ice cream, food, drinks, golf, laser tags, coffee tasting at Yahava… and of course wine tasting! 🙂 Get onto it 🙂 xx

Banana Bread (GF)

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Hey there

Things have been a bit quiet on this blog however life has been busy – and yes cooking / baking has still been happening – it never ends 🙂  Two weeks ago, I had just finished our Lifestyle Challenge where I had been following a strictly paleo diet for 8 weeks! It has been interesting with lots and lots of cooking, awesome recipes that I cannot share and a result of 3.5% loss in body fat. More on that in a post sooner than later!

For today, a beautiful banana bread I made last night to have for breakfast/ snack during the week. Banana bread on its own is heavenly however I opted to also add some dark chocolate in there just because! Throw in some coconut milk dark chocolate and the bread is paleo! The result is some delicious chocolate gooey surprise as you indulge in the bread! The batter was soooo delicious and I just knew the bread was going to be awesome!  The original recipe is from Teresa Cutter – The Healthy Chef.

Banana Bread (GF)


  • 3 smashed ripe banana
  • 3 free range / organic eggs
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey (or organic maple syrup)
  •  1/4 cup grassfed butter / coconut oil (the original recipe asks for macadamia/olive oil)
  • Half teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda ( bicarb soda) + 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 200 g ( 2 cups/ 7 oz) ) almond meal
  • 25 g (1/4 cup / 3/4 oz) ground flaxseed (linseed) (or chia seed)
  • Handful of chopped dark chocolate


1. Preheat your oven to 160 C.

2. Combine smashed banana, honey, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarb and lemon juice, by hand in a large bowl.

3. Add the almond meal, flaxseed and chocolate pieces and mix well.

4. Lightly oil one loaf tin and then coat liberally with extra almond meal or desiccated coconut – this will prevent the cake from sticking. I used a silicon mould so needed none of the above!

5. Spoon batter into the tin and bake 1 hour ( a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).

6. Cover the top with foil if over-browning.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.

* Made from almond meal, expect the bread to be dense and moist. It is best had  the next day (if you can wait!) and toasted with some butter! YUM.

Recipe from: https://www.thehealthychef.com/2013/01/gluten-free-banana-bread/