Bridgetown is always a must-visit destination for us, but when the temperature drops, it truly comes alive.
The unofficial winter capital of WA (it’s also known as Fridgetown!) is packed to the brim with history, as well as plenty of spots for eating, drinking and exploring.
EAT & DRINK
An visit to any winery is a pretty primo way to spent a Sunday, but when the surrounds are as pretty as at Sunnyhurst, it’s truly hard to resist. The 120-year-old building at the heart of Sunnyhurst overlooks the rolling valleys of Bridgetown and the Bordeaux-style vineyard below. Pop by the cellar door for a free tasting of their award-winning wines, explore the gardens and their 600 rare and heritage rose varieties, or even play a game of tennis on the turn of the century grass court. In fact, why not make a weekend of it and book in at the Sunnyhurst Chalets next door?
Lot 16, Doust Street
While we’re at it… a refreshing cider sounds pretty good right about now, too. Bridgetown and the region at large has a rich tradition of apple growing, so it only makes sense that there would be some amazing cider. Enter, The Cidery. Utilising the region’s iconic Pink Lady apples, the Cidery’s range is made without added sugar, water, concentrates or flavour enhancers – and ranges from the sweet, fruity and fresh to the “kick you into next week” scrumpy.
43 Gifford Road
Bridgetown Pottery Restaurant
Locals will tell you, if there’s one place you’ve got to get to in Bridgetown, it’s the Bridgetown Pottery Restaurant. The experience of dining here is less like a restaurant, and more like you’ve popped into someone’s home (which, I suppose, you have). After decades as a pottery and tearoom, the restaurant has shifted towards full meal service, but thankfully has retained all of its quirky character. Go with an open mind, and enjoy the warm welcome and delicious food.
81 Hampton Street, Bridgetown
Barking Cow Cafe
Just down the road from the Pottery Restaurant you’ll find Barking Cow: home to Bridgetown’s best coffee, and some pretty ace breakfasts, too. Wholesome food made with local produce, plus home made bread and cakes – most importantly of all, it’s all tasty. Coffees are made with local Yallingup beans and will fuel you up for the drive back to the big smoke.
88 Hampton Street
The Mulberry Tree
Another strong contender in the Bridgetown cafe game is The Mulberry Tree. This quaint cafe opened in 2016 and since then, has been serving up a cracking eggs benny and home made hash browns. Perch up on the outside seating to soak up the wintery vibes, or get cosy inside the cafe. (Did we mention the hash browns? Seriously, get the hash browns.)
122 Hampton Street
FATS has got to be one of our favourite, bear with us, bagel shop slash cafe slash art studio slash Christmas stores. Look, we know the combo sounds… interesting. But somehow, it works. Grab a bagel for lunch – they’ve got some epic flavours, from classic filled reuben style to black garlic cream cheese with chopped dates and black pepper – before checking out the attached gallery, featuring art by owner Nic Fabiszak. And of course, you won’t be able to resist getting into the Christmas spirit with their year-round toy and decoration shop. If you’re lucky, you might also be able to pick up a bunch of locally grown flowers from micro-grower Myrtle Vale Flower Farm while you’re there.
179 Hampton Street
SEE, DO, SHOP
Slow Grow Project
The cosy, rustic surrounds of Slow Grow Project’s store are exactly what you want to soak up during a winter weekend away. As the name would suggest, Slow Grow Project is all about slowing down, getting inspired and nourishing your soul. Treat yourself to the cosiest Italian alpaca-wool socks, hand-carved crochet hooks, locally-painted original artworks in restored vintage frames or vintage wool blankets – or join one of their intimate creative workshops or huddles in the studio next door.
87 Hampton Road
Paper Planes Co.
It’s hard to miss Paper Planes Co.‘s bubblegum pink exterior, but as with many things – it’s what’s inside that counts. A treasure trove of charming wares, from kitsch homewares, vintage clothes and children’s toys to vibrant cosmetics and haircare, there’s something for big and little kids alike – so long as you like fun! We haven’t even mentioned the roller skates…
101B Hampton Street
Barney and Fleur
Just because you’re out of the city doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish. Barney and Fleur is home to an enviable collection of Australian fashion, footwear and accessories – as well as skincare, homewares and gifts, of course. Pick up a chic new outfit by Elk or Arnhem clothing, or maybe a nail polish or two made in WA from plants, or finally replace those chipped bowls with some Bloomingville ceramics.
135 Hampton Street
After all this good eating in Bridgetown, you must be feeling inspired to get in the kitchen yourself? Thankfully Blackwood Kitchen stocks heaps of handy kitchenware to get you started, whether it’s Chasseur cast iron cookware, a Mason Cash mixing bowl, or some beautiful new table linen. Plus, they’ve got a selection of local and imported gourmet goods if you’re looking for some more immediate gratification…
141 Hampton Street
Bridgetown has more than its fair share of creatives and artisans, and nowhere is it more apparent than LOFT. Stocking only WA handmade goods, you’ll find homewares, gifts, fashion and plenty more. Standouts include delicate earthenware ceramic flowers handcrafted by Bron’s Ceramics, natural vegan skincare from Elia Balms and Blends, or sweet, vintage-inspired clothing from Ernest and Bumble.
117 Hampton Street
Wag Walters Emporium
Wag Walters Emporium is exactly the type of place you’d hope to stumble upon visiting one of WA’s charming regional towns. Adjoining the picturesque and historic Ford House B&B on the banks of the mighty Blackwood River, Wag Walters is absolutely chockas with sweet knick-knacks, including a treasure trove of festive ornaments, homewares and even boasts a life-size gingerbread house! If you’re lucky enough to be there for special events (including at the 2023 Fridgetown Fest), you may even get to enjoy a traditional high tea in the barn!
1-56 Eedle Terrace
Blackwood River Walk
You can’t visit Bridgetown without taking in a bit of the outdoors, no matter the time of year. During the cooler months, with the river flowing and the lush vegetation, it’s particularly worthwhile embarking on the Blackwood River Walk. Following the banks of the Blackwood River, you can enjoy spotting some Blue Fairy Wrens amongst the hovea. The walk takes one to three hours and is six kilometres return. If you want to get even more immersed, you can also check out the Bridgetown Jarrah Park. About twenty minutes out of town, you can marvel at the giant, majestic karri trees on the six kilometre, two to three hour loop.
Blues At Bridgetown
Blues At Bridgetown would have to be one of these most beloved events on WA’s live music calendar. An international celebration of blues’n’roots music, for three days it envelops the town of Bridgetown, showcasing a diverse range of artists in all kinds of venues and spaces. A truly special few days, it returns in 2021 from November 12-14 and you can get more info HERE.
Of course, as the unofficial winter capital of WA, it’s only right that Bridgetown celebrates winter in style! Fridgetown Fest showcases the best of the region over three months of events, activities, workshops and more – involving some of the town’s most creative locals! Think ghost walks, a weekend of Dungeons and Dragons Winterfest, long-table dinners and more.
Header image: Slow Grow Project