THERE IS LIFE OUTSIDE BEAUFORT STREET! By Pam Herron and Jen Jones

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Thank goodness one of us had a birthday and we made the decision to get out of town for the day. After much phaffing about deciding where to go, we’d heard good things about Mandoon Estate in the Swan Valley so testing our tech skills we ordered an UberBlack driver to pick us up, more about Uber and UberBlack later. After a very pleasant and comfortable drive we arrived at Mandoon Estate and together with partners (one of which was also having a birthday) and we let out a collective WOW!

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The minute you drive up you actually wonder if you are still in Perth or whether you’d fallen asleep and woken in the Hunter Valley or perhaps the Yarra Valley.

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This ultra-contemporary building is more than just a winery, it’s a lifestyle choice. There’s a brewery, a delicatessen, a café serving breakfast on the weekend and tapas every day, a lawned area hugely popular with families and then of course the winery/cellar door and the fine dining restaurant.

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The restaurant décor had us from the minute we arrived, sleek, modern and luxurious. The service was exceptional and then there was the food…. The menu was so appealing we wanted one of everything, “oh, let’s do the 5 course degustation” (you could also do the 7 course but we aren’t greedy), lucky we did because there wasn’t one dish that we wouldn’t have wanted to have.

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It was imaginative, impeccably presented, creative and yet simple in a strange sort of way. From the delectable amuse -bouche to the perfectly cooked Patagonian tooth fish, veal tartare and the duck with quail egg we were transported to food heaven!

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We all had our favourites but when the soufflé came and one by one we broke into it, the chocolate in the middle poured out onto our plates – just enough – and then we squished it down with a slurp or two of Pedro Ximinez, we all knew we couldn’t wait to return. Next birthday…………

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