Pleasantly lazy and flowy, delicious, inspiring, exhilarating and full of laughter, and with a good amount of friendship bonding. I touched leaves and trees, smelled flowers, gazed at the stars and felt the ocean on my body for the first time this year. This is how I would describe my recent holiday and it was exactly what I needed to feel somewhat recharged and balanced and to regain a little bit of perspective on life.
I have not had a decent holiday in about… oh, roughly 3 or 4 years. I choose to deliberately not remember the exact time because, hey, it’s a little bit sad and shows a severe lack of priorities and how I’ve allowed circumstances (aka work) to determine my level of life enjoyment. Can you relate?
But the travel bug has now caught deep roots. I have fallen in love with the world again and very much looking forward to some adventures this year! All balanced with a wee bit of work and adult responsibilities, because something’s gotta pay for the said adventures.
Among the good things that happened during this holiday were lots of photos and note taking. I took notes on the places we stayed at, the places we visited, the food we ate and the food we made, and I will write about them in a series of posts. Like a WA mini travel food guide that’s vegan friendly
Our holiday began in Jalbarragup, in the forest, in Nannup area. We stayed at a beautiful, old farm, where we watched the sunset over the lake and were completely floored by the stillness of it all. Nature has such a different pace to our daily lives and we can get so disconnected from the natural cycles of being. Watching that first sunset, on that pier in the forest, I instantly felt colossally small, I heard the thoughts in my mind beginning to slow down and I was able to start paying attention to the little things. And I was also able to take about 10,927 photos.
[I am not sure why (someone? anyone?) but there were A LOT of dead crickets on that pier.]
[The farm was full of gorgeous little treasures.]
[We also fed chickens and geese on the daily. They were such gorgeous and friendly little creatures.]
And cooked a lot. It’s quite easy to be a vegan traveler in regional WA if you have access to a little fridge. Stock up on a couple of avocados, a vegan feta, a good sourdough and some fresh tomatoes, and you’re set to have gorgeous breakfasts and feel spoiled.
If you have access to an electric pan as well, grab a bunch of greens – the easiest thing to cook. Simply sautéed them, on their own, or with a pinch of olive oil and black pepper. Stack them up on sourdough and you’ll be go to do.
Truth be told, I would highly recommend you book yourself accommodation with basic cooking facilities to avoid food disappointment depression. It’s a thing, trust me. Everyone should enjoy great food while on holidays and some little towns might not have options. This way, even if you’re vegan, you get to stuff your face too.
When you’re out and about, it can be easy to adjust menu dishes, if vegan dishes are not readily available. Roasted veggies are always a good option! I enjoyed this plate at Nannup Bridge Cafe where they have vegan options and vegan milks for coffee and they are quite happy to cater for us veggie lovers. I happily recommend this café – they have beautiful surroundings and simple, tasty fair. The mushrooms and grilled tomato were so flavorsome and the locally produced hemp soap in the bathroom was a nice touch.
If you’re planning to visit Manjimup, brace yourself with ….food. The vegan offering is not great. We landed at Truffle Winery (Truffle & Wine Co) but were not able to dine at their restaurant. Nothing was vegan or could be made vegan, nor were their wines vegan. In my opinion, it’s not worth a visit if you’re vegan, unless you’re going during truffle season to buy fresh truffles.
If you’re planning to visit Pemberton for the Gloucester Tree or other outdoorsy activities, again, brace yourself with food to avoid disappointment. We stopped by Holy Smoke Gourmet Café, I chose a salad (sans the cheese) and Kat had a sandwich. My salad was not very exciting – leaves, carrots, cucumber, raw mushrooms, olives, a bit of avo, cherry tomatoes and apples. All things I would normally be happy with, except they really did not work together and it was not a very interesting lunch; there was no dressing on the salad (or not enough to taste it) and it was far from filling. I had to ask for bread on the side. Ooops! Kat’s sandwich was ok, but nothing notable.
On the other hand, Nannup is great for vegan offerings. Another place I would recommend is Pickle O. And the Tiny Tea Shop. We had a little tea degustation here, the owner is the loveliest host, and we ended up buying a lot of teas to take home. I recommend the Relaxing Flower blend, the Roasted Dandelion and Chicory blend, the Antiinflammatory house blend, and the Rooibos vanilla chai. Definitely a delicious, refreshing experience.