Just 30ish minutes from the city, there are various wineries dotted in the Perth hills region of Carmel, Pickering Brook and Bickley, a hidden gem of sorts, compared to the well known Swan Valley region. The drive here is like passing through the countryside, peaceful and tranquil. The walk to the cider house is picturesque, with a large grassed area to throw down a picnic blanket and sip on an alcoholic beverage or two while the kids run wild. There’s plenty of outdoor seating seating to enjoy your drinks from the bar, or you can venture upstairs to the semi open outdoor setting where there is lots to choose from on the menu which utilises the stone fruit grown on the premises or makes use of the ciders brewed on site.
I started off with the kangaroo carpaccio which was delicious. The dish is perfectly paired with sweet potato for a touch of sweetness, creaminess from the whipped feta, and crunch from the candied macadamias which also provide a different touch of sweetness. For mains I chose the seared duck breast which was perfectly cooked with just a tad amount of pink in the centre. The duck was enjoyed with some slightly sweet pickled red cabbage, but the sour apple reduction and grilled stone fruit helped balance each other out. For dessert, I thoroughly enjoyed the very generous slice of spiced apple pie. The spices employed lift the pie to a new level, particularly the addition of chilli for some bite. The ice cream is delicious and I did have a taste of the other desserts, a chilli chocolate marquis and a sour apple brûlée, which were both delicious.
The scenery is beautiful and relaxing, and the venue is just like that too. The weather was beautiful and the place was packed out (best to book). Despite that, the service was friendly and everyone was well looked after. Lots of people were enjoying the ciders brewed on site and also the food on offer. Core Cider House also runs a little farmers market on the weekend where fresh fruit, preserves, and ice cream are available. The venue also hosts tours, events (check out their New Years Eve offering), and is also the ideal venue for private functions or weddings.