One of my favourite day trips in the south-west is to leave behind the flat coastal plain and take the back roads over hill and down dale to the charming town of Balingup. For a small place, there is ample to satisfy all of my culinary and consumption needs, with nature only a short stroll away. It is resplendent in spring and autumn, with roadside planter boxes bursting with tulips and crepe myrtle or gold, red and yellow leaves crunching underfoot. A typical visit might go something like this:
Browse the antique and bric-a-brac shops, trying to resist filling the boot with tins, tea cups, baskets, boxes and miniature Vespas. Do I need a pressure cooker?
Buy some local organic produce from a gourmet deli, or join a cooking workshop at Taste of Balingup.
Sit down for a leisurely lunch at one of many cafes, or grab a loaf of warm, crusty loaf from Fre-Jac French Bakery and head to the Golden Valley Tree Park for a picnic.
Then fuel the trip home with a soy latte or chai at Balingup Bronze, a gluten free cafe serving organic coffee and possibly the regions best selection of T2 leaf teas.