Coming from Scotland, a day in sunny Australia that rains is always a bit of a disappointment. My time in the south west corner soon taught me that the weather here varies from the warmer northern coast and we woke to a dreary and coldish morning in Denmark with a day full of sight seeing to do. Luckily it wasn't long before some warm Ozzie pies had us in good spirits and on the road again. Driving out of town with a map from the tourist info centre we decided to stop off at what looked like an interesting side note in the form of Bartholomew’s Meadery in hopes that the rain might slack off before we headed to Greens Pool. We pulled off of the south coast highway onto a little dirt path amidst the tall karri trees the region is so well known for in the trickling morning rain.
I'd like to warn any visitors to this place, particularly if you arrive like we did, early before any one else and alone, not to be put off or startled by the first thing you will see. As you pull into park near a little wooden cabin in the woods, right across from the parking lot is a rather startling site. A circle of wooden poles with what appear to be human faces posted to them, with some rather frightening life sized scarecrow dolls in the woods. I can tell you not to be alarmed (I admit I was a bit...) there is a perfectly good, and unfrightening story to accompany this. I'd tell you but the girl at the counter told it best, I'll leave it for her to tell. But do ask... it's interesting. This place was fantastic. To be quite frank after all the wine sampling we'd done in Margaret River I didn't know if I could be bothered with more tasting, but my friend talked me into stopping and I'm so glad that he did. How often can you spend a rainy morning in a little wooden cabin in the middle of an Australian karri forest chatting with a very friendly and knowledgeable local about home brewed honey meads, while watching the bees at work in a special case right in the cabin? Not often is the answer, and it is so worth the stop that I venture to say you should be ashamed if you don't. Even if mead isn't your thing (and you should at least sample it... there is a beautiful selection and it's unlike anything I've ever had before, very smooth and subtle). They have a warm mead which is very like a mulled wine (great on cool and rainy days) and several kinds of honey ice cream to try. And it is beautiful. They also have a large selection of honey and other bee-made products from their own hives, and all of it is magnificent. It was very hard to limit what we bought down to what we could carry back.
by Red Mezz
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
December 4, 2006
From journal Walpole and beyond in Southwest Australia