Looking to get out of the city and the busy lifestyle that comes with it? If you’re looking to head up to the charming hills but not too sure where to dine, I have just the list for you, with my top 5 local favourites. With amazing bush scenery, lookouts and National Parks in the vicinity, there’s room for you to explore and finish the day with a lovely meal and some welcoming locals at venues unique to the area.
HEMINGWAY & CO.
The first port of call I’ll mention is the new bar Hemingway & Co., that has just opened in Mundaring, a village central to the Hills lifestyle. Bars are hard to come by in the area with pubs, taverns and restaurants being the common sighting, so this new opening is very exciting giving you a taste of inner city living in a regional place. It has a stylised vintage touch and their ‘Jazz Tuesdays’ give it a classy blues essence. I recommend trying the exclusive Pink Gin Fizzer. The venue is an excellent way to end a day of checking out the Mundaring Arts Centre or heading back from a trip to the iconic Mundaring Weir on the weekend, with $12 Sangria Sundays what’s not to love?
THE PARKERVILLE TAVERN & HERITAGE VENUE
If you ask the locals, many will say their favourite is The Parkerville Tavern and I would have to agree as it really embodies the heart of the hills. Parkerville is right next to Mundaring, less than a 10-minute drive away and the venue is located amongst numerous bike and walk trails. It was opened in 1902 and originally named the Railway Hotel, but has undergone many updates to keep it modern and enjoyable for guests whilst maintaining it’s heritage story. The playground, wide open space, live music and great local service guarantee a great night or Sunday Sesh. There are even some animals that come join you to say hello at the fence line, like emus or alpacas to keep you occupied.
Chapel Farm in the Swan Valley is a popular destination amongst the younger generation, especially during the warmer seasons when wine tours are abundant. It is also widely famous for weddings and with such amazing décor it’s not hard to see why. There is a great atmosphere and is one of my personal favourite places to go as it is a short 15-minute drive from Parkerville. There is a spacious seated restaurant area out the back with a lovely green landscape, and more of a standing area out the front for people looking to just grab a drink and some finger food. They have woodfired pizza and a great menu for vegetarians with multiple options listed like the “Vegan and Steve” and the “Flaming Pumpkin”.
Staying in the Parky region, Malmalling Vineyard is a local family-owned winery. They do everything independently, from growing to labelling their own wines, so you get a really authentic taste of Parkerville wine here. Adjacent to John Forrest National Park, this small and enchanting boutique is worth stopping by and you may even see the kangaroos hop by in the beautiful natural bush land. They offer free wine tastings and musical entertainment as well as some great platters for food. It is more of an intimate setting than some of the nearby taverns, so good for a relaxing night out.
Mundaring Hotel, much like the ‘Parky Tav’, is perfect for families, equipped with a playground and wide-open roaming space, as well as being situated right next to the locally popular and updated Sculpture Park. The hotel has been around since 1899 so is bursting with Hills history. The menu is inspired by the rural area, celebrating local meat and produce sourced in the hills. There are some awesome burgers available and a homemade zucchini and corn fritters. Animals are even allowed in the beer garden!
So there you have it, they are my top 5 hills recommendations for you to go and experience the local charisma and be sure to comment below to let us know if you tried them out or have some more favourites to share!