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Rhys Badcock

Rhys Badcock wins MasterChef Australia

Rhys Badcock

We are all thrilled to see ex Cape Lodge Chef Rhys Badcock take  out the first Australian Professional MasterChef competition last night.

Rhys did his apprenticeship at Cape Lodge with Tony Howell and returned a couple of years later as Sous Chef  before heading North to work on the luxury cruising boat the Kimberley Quest.

A truly fantastic effort to be judged by the World’s best as number one from a group of Australia’s most talented young chefs.

The Restaurant

Cape Lodge Breakfast – The Sunday Times Magazine













GAIL Williams enjoyed the tempting delights of a boutique breakfast at the grand Cape Lodge, Yallingup.

For years now I have been hanging out for the Cape Lodge dining experience – even if just for the cachet of being able to say “I’ve eaten at the best boutique hotel in Australia”. Not to mention that it was the chosen place for Sting to lay his weary head after the Leeuwin concert.

But the phone has obviously been running hot since Cape Lodge was voted Luxury Travel Magazine’s Best Boutique Hotel in Australia and listed in the Condaacé Nast Traveler’s Gold List in 2011 and 2012. Try to get a Saturday night booking on a Grand Final long weekend and you’ve got (Nathan) Buckley’s chance.

Breakfast turned out to be the only way I was going to get to sample chef Tony Howell’s much-talked-about food based on local seasonal produce. But not before the charming Mediterranean accent demanded I hand over my credit card details first.

“Jez in case you don’ turn urp,” the booking voice said. Hmm.

We did turn up on a sunny Sunday morning and took our places at the velvet-covered, high-backed seats overlooking the lake.

My family don’t really do grand settings. We’re not all that comfortable with starchy white tablecloths and where you sit a football field away – Gilmore Girls’ style – from your loved ones. But they do it so well here, and so unobtrusively, that we settled in like pigs at a trough.

“Can you hear me down there? ” I yelled to my husband.

“Yes, unfortunately,” was his acerbic response.

All I wanted to establish was if he was going for the Jarrahdene pork sausage or the open omelet with buffalo chorizo, so I could snaffle the homemade brioche with truffled scrambled eggs.

All three were part of the a la carte menu which, for $39.50, includes the full continental breakfast ($29.50 a head) and a main cooked-to-order course. The whole shebang is the best value in and out of town. Take into account unlimited coffees (plunger, cappuccino or flat whites), fruit juices, cereals, yoghurt, croissants, muffins, fresh fruit, dried fruits and nuts, and toast.

It’s a great way of avoiding the rubbery egg and cold, greasy bacon syndrome you get from baine maries, which are thankfully absent here.

And here’s the bottom line – it just makes you feel so damn special.

After you’ve waded through the sweet brioche, filled with heavily truffled but light-as-a-feather scrambled eggs topped with crispy prosciutto, you can down another three or four coffees in a wingback chair in the adjoining lounge.

The other dishes ticked all the boxes – poached, free-range eggs wobbling like a starlet’s pert breasts on toasted sourdough; perfect ratio of piquant sauce to salmon and asparagus in eggs benedict; and fabulously light chocolate and banana muffins.

One regret. I didn’t try the sous vide Manjimup trout with coddled-egg dressing. I’ll just have to head back. But next time I’ll book a dinner table.

Conde Nast Traveller Gold List 2012

Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2012 – Best of Food

Conde Nast Traveller Gold List 2012Cape Lodge has once again made it on the Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2012 – Best of Food.

See below why they have selected Cape Lodge.

This charming boutique hotel is set in its own vineyard in Western Australia’s Margaret River wine region. It has 22 bedrooms and suites decorated in a contemporary style and showcasing original works by top Australian artists, as well as a two-bedroom cottage and five-bedroom villa in the grounds. There are tennis courts and a pool. Wine and gourmet tours, cookery classes, horse-riding, fishing and eco-tours into the bush are all available.

X-factor The gorgeous Cape Lodge Margaret River Restaurant, where chef Tony Howell cooks contemporary Australian cuisine with a Mediterranean twist, has a 14,000-bottle cellar. ‘There may be hipper places to eat among the vineyards,’ says Gold List contributor Mike Dolan. ‘But nowhere else showcases Australian cuisine with such finesse and flavour.

Read the Full Article: Conde Nast Traveller Gold List 2012 – Best for Food

Click to enlarge the snapshot below.

Gold List 2012 Best for Food

MasterChef in Margaret River

MasterChef in Margaret River

The third series of MasterChef starts on Sunday the 1st of May and looks like it is going to be bigger than ever. See our very own Tony Howell in the lime light showcasing some of the best of the best of the Margaret River region.

Watch the MasterChef Series Preview Trailer

Cape Lodge ranked World’s Top 20 Vineyard Hotels


Western Australia’s premier boutique hotel Cape Lodge has made a UK The Times list of the world’s top 20 winery hotels.

 The renowned Margaret River establishment found itself in rarefied company spanning the great wine regions of the world in a story that appeared in the respected UK daily newspaper in Britain this week.

 Cape Lodge was one of only two Australian winery hotels that made the list, the other being the celebrated Tower Lodge in the Hunter Valley, NSW, which was recognised as a “romantic escape”.

 Apart from its magnificent setting, ambience and impeccable service, Cape Lodge was particularly applauded and recommended for its outstanding restaurant.

 The hotel has an international reputation for its fine cuisine, prepared by award-winning chef Tony Howell.


Chef Tony Howell showed Natalie from Getaway a few culinary tricks in his Cooking School. Visit the Getaway website to view the segment.

Whale Watching At Augusta

courtesy of Margaret River Discovery Company

This week has seen exceptional and close-up whale sightings off Augusta in the south west.

Some very inquisitive Southern Right Whales have been ‘nose to nose’ with the boat and putting on an excellent display.

check out for bookings and more images

Cruising the Cape Galleries


On any day you will be impressed by the range of styles, mediums, and improvisation by artists in the south west region.


Gerry Reilly’s art glass, Atelier Susi jewellery with a special year round Christmas twist.  You will find hand crafted timber at Boranup Gallery, Jahroc Gallery for an exceptional selection of designers/furniture makers and also in the region a self confessed artist surrounded by collective mayhem.

You will find these and more at

Whale Watching in Australia’s South


Not only will you find Humpback Whales off Flinders Bay in Augusta you can also expect to see Southern Right Whales. Cavorting in the warm clean waters will be males and females looking for a mate from June to September.  Spot them from Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse or on a whale tour.

Endangered Blue Whales have been sighted in the calm waters of Geographe Bay in Dunsborough.  Witness mothers and calves exercise and play during the months September to December in preparation for the return journey to the cold southern oceans.  Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is a great vantage point to sight whales in the Indian Ocean and around the Cape.  

Visit or to book a whale tour.

The South West’s Cape to Cape Track


At a distance of 135k the track offers a spectacular landscape from clifftop to woodland as well as the tall karri trees of the Boranup Forest.

An exhilirating walk that can be enjoyed in easy half day treks or the full distance for the more adventuress. 

Expect to see exceptional ocean views, seasonal wildflowers of the south west as well as native fauna and some of the worlds best surf breaks.


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