One of the most well-known locations in the Swan Valley, Sandalford Winery is the oldest and largest privately-owned winery in Western Australia. It’s also a lovely spot for a special weekend lunch. We visited recently to check out their recent restaurant refit.
History of Sandalford Winery
Established in 1840 at Caversham, Sandalford Winery has an interesting history. The story begins with Queen Victoria granting John Septimus Roe, Western Australia’s first Surveyor-General, 4,000 acres of land on the riverbanks at West Swan. This was gifted in honour of his 57 years of service to the Commonwealth. J S Roe named the property Sandalford after a priory in Berkshire, England – his original home.
With impressive grounds adjoining the Swan River and a lovely cellar door, Sandalford is a great place to stop when exploring the Swan Valley Wine Trail.
Wine Tasting at Sandalford
The Cellar Door with a gift shop area is huge! We love how you can sample a long list of their multi-award-winning wines for only a small cost. And this fee is credited on any wine purchase. You also get can try four wines for free if you are dining in the restaurant.
We’ve always loved Sandalford’s alfresco area, and the luxury of dining under a leafy canopy of century-old vines. Since a recent refit, the inside is also super sleek and stylish and a beautiful dining option. And now it features comfortable seating, a beautiful bar, an open kitchen and a fireplace perfect for winter.
Taking Kids to Sandalford Winery?
The kids aren’t forgotten in this recent revamp! There is now a fun nature playground installed right near the restaurant signalling that Sandalfords is keen to attract more families. We also noticed their new menu includes casual dining options of pizza and a kids menu.
Food at Sandalford Winery
When dining in a beautiful setting you always hope that the service will be good. We’ve always found the service to be impeccable at Sandalford, and this time was no different. We found our waiter to be professional, warm and super attentive.
We started off with house-made sourdough focaccia and marinated barrel-aged feta. The feta was plentiful and to die for! However, whilst delicious, we felt this was a little overpriced. We really would have liked another two slices of focaccia.
To follow for our mains we chose the Mt Barker free-range chicken breast, stracciatella, pickled nectarines and candied hazelnuts. This dish was a winner – every mouthful was full of flavour and had great balance.
The other main was Gin Gin paprika cotolette, baby kale, cucumber, soft herbs and coal-roasted chilli tomato aioli. Somehow we missed on the menu that this was a vegetarian dish. We thought cotolette was a schnitzel… which it was. But this one was made with capsicum instead of meat. It was a good size and tasty, but probably not what we would have ordered had we understood the menu better. ☺️
Our mains were accompanied by fried royal blue potatoes, truffle oil, porcini and parmesan and the wood-fired brussel sprouts, creamy tonnato dressing. Both were super scrumptious! Most main meals were between $30-$40, we felt they were worth the expensive price tag.
Dessert at Sandalford Winery
Of course, no meal is complete without dessert, and enjoy them we did! We sampled the Valrhona chocolate, passionfruit, cocoa nib, chocolate hazelnut ice cream and candied hazelnuts. Plus the Whipped lemon cheesecake, caramelised peanut gelato, chocolate brittle. Both were amazing! Each mouthful was greeted by mmms and aaahs as we very slowly devoured our selections.
All in all, we very much enjoyed visiting Sandalford. Everything we ate was delicious, the setting was beautiful and it was a very relaxed lunch. It’s a great spot if you feel like something a little bit fancy!