Little Orphan Annie sang “The sun will come out tomorrow” but after what has seemed like a long, cold and rainy winter here in Perth I was seriously beginning to doubt it. So imagine my immense joy upon waking to sunshine on Sunday morning. This called for a celebration, so the decision was made to go out and absorb some vitamin D. The Harley was unveiled and the cobwebs dusted off, and we joined the throngs heading to the Swan Valley in search of some summer vibes. Cars were bumper to bumper, sunroofs down catching the breeze; we were like POMs’ on their annual day trip to the seaside.
We headed off to one of our favourite Sunday venues, the Rose and Crown in Guildford. The Rose and Crown advertises that it is WA’s oldest operating hotel, dating back to 1841. The hotel is steeped in history, and has many original features remaining.
Over the past few years, it has undergone a transformation and is now a boutique venue and very popular hangout. If you fancy an overnight stay the hotel has a choice of beautifully restored bedrooms on the upper level, or motel style accommodation. There are a plenty of dining options; the Stables Kitchen which serves wood-fired pizzas and bar meals, the Posh Convict restaurant- which also has a bar and lounge area, the more formal 1841 restaurant with its open fireplaces, and The Garden, for alfresco dining.
In addition to the dining areas there is also a beer garden where usually they have a singer on Sunday afternoons, and The Cellar bar. The cellar has been restored and is a cosy place to get away from the noise and hustle and bustle of the other bars. Inside the cellar there is even the old well and the archway of the original tunnel entrance that was used for transporting the stores that were bought up from the Swan River. We’ve often told our grandchildren that it was a pirate tunnel.
This Sunday we decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and dine in the garden. We love going to the Rose and Crown for lunch; we’ve never had a bad meal, so we were looking forward to our meals. We were shown to our table and given the menu and wine list and also a copy of the day’s specials. I chose Cone Bay barramundi on crushed potatoes, with a carrot and herb salad ($38) and my husband went for a pasta dish- black and white linguini with seafood in a garlic and chilli tomato sauce ($33). My fish was beautifully cooked but my husband thought his meal was a little bland and the sauce quite heavy. We finished our meals with dessert; apple strudel ($11) and rhubarb and raspberry crumble ($12). Unfortunately neither of us were overly impressed with our desserts.
Given that we have never before been disappointed with the meals here before, and we frequent the hotel quite regularly throughout the year, I would still return; as it may have just been that because of the change in the weather they were busier than expected- every table was taken, and the beer garden was full. I think that just like us, most of Perth had decided to venture out into the Swan Valley to make the most of the sunshine.
Address: 105 Swan Street, Guildford
Open Daily: Breakfast-Lunch -Dinner
Friday-Sunday: Stables Kitchen & Woodfired Pizza 11am-late
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