It is a real pleasure to explore your own back yard, especially in the quieter months when the staff have time to chat, and the pace is more genteel. On a bright winter's day in August, my dear friend Jane and her dog Gypsy took me on an outing to Petra Olive Oil Estate.
Located on a rural back road near Yallingup, the new tasting room and cafe was flooded with winter sun, and we delighted in the warmth while overlooking a small lake, stands of peppermint and marri trees, lavender hedges and of course, olives. The estate grove has 1200 trees of six different Italian, Spanish and Greek varieties, chosen for their suitability to the region's climate and soil, and for the quality of the oils they produce. I can promise you, they chose well.
We tasted the full range of farm-pressed virgin oils, dips, spreads and condiments as an entree before ordering a lunch spread fit for an Italian king. As the name would suggest, a bruschetteria specialises in bruschetta, and not your average soggy white bread with a salsa of tasteless tomatoes and white onion, but dense, chewy Yallingup sourdough, toasted and drizzled in olive oil and served with your choice of spreads from the deli. On our platter was kalamata olive tapenade, basil pesto and roast capsicum dip. Unctuous dollops of fresh punchy flavour. It is the kind of food that encourages sharing and snacking, accompanied by smooth coffee and dreams of Tuscany.
In addition to bruschetta, the lunch menu includes a selection of smart, simple Mediterranean food that celebrates the culinary uses of olive oil. Also on sale are a range of natural olive oil skin care products. I bought a pot of Gardeners Cream for my busy hands. Busy eating bruschetta.
Trading Hours : Wednesday to Friday 10am to 5pm; Saturday & Sunday breakfast from 9am