Meelup Farmhouse is a destination venue. It’s set on a hobby farm in leafy Meelup Regional Park in Western Australia’s Margaret River, and has one main restaurants, two bars, a takeaway Dairy Bar and lawn areas – all surrounded by bushland.
“The Farmhouse is located on Wadandi land,” says Elizabeth Ahearn who together with her partner Mark opened Meelup in 2020. “It was and continues to be a place of plenty where the Wadandi people, the salt water people, are closely linked to the ocean. Its outlook is abundantly green and calming, which encourages our mantra to ‘Grow Good Vibes’.”
The venue serves brunch, lunch with a grazing menu and mains and drinks. For brunch, think fun twists on classics, like orange and poppy seed pancakes, scrambled eggs with chilli and pork belly, and flat bread made from sweet potato and served with roasted beets and baby carrots. On the grazing menu is plenty of fresh seafood options, and for mains, pastas and more seafood.
After a meal or drink, wander the property, greeting its resident animals, including chocolate labrador Mila, highland cows Lizzie and Sir Raymond and other farm creatures like alpacas, goats and free-range silkie hens. Liz Ahearn says inspiration for the property came from the couple’s pure love of animals, as well as their shared backgrounds in design and hospitality.
“Having careers in both industries, and with a desire to incorporate one to the other, we were driven to create a venue that fulfilled a niche opportunity that existed in the area at the time of our inception,” says Ahearn. “We wanted to create more than just a restaurant offering food and beverage service. Instead, when guests leave after visiting us, they reflect on the overall experience that they’ve had at Farmhouse.”
That experience? Getting up close to the hens, swing in the breeze in hammock chairs and tucking into a diverse and seasonal menu. Ahearn says it’s her hope that guests walk away feeling not only well-taken care of, but also close to nature.
She says her favourite spaces in the property are those on the lawn, under leafy canopies, and that they’re best enjoyed with a Pina Colada in hand, watching the day go by.
“You hear the birds, sound of nature, and really feel the magic that exists here when you stop and breathe,” Ahearn says. “That’s something that’s wonderful about where we are. You cannot help but feel the ability to exhale deeply.”