Beer, Cider and a Playground?


While the Venison Sausage filled the gap – it just was not enough.  We had been on the road for almost 10 hours, and although we stopped about every 30 minutes, I was wearing down fast.  The only medicine for this occasion is – coffee!  But of course!

It was now past 6:30 pm, and we were still about 200 km away from Perth.  (Oh it is going to be a LOOOOOOOOng drive home – I thought)  We, of course, did not take the direct route back to Perth from Margaret River – what a surprise!  We were on the “Cave Road”  which added a lot more time because the speed limit was lowerand there were many more twists and turns in the road.  Yet, we thought, with the sun setting, we could witness a beautiful sunset over vineyards – which encase this road.  I now believe the man in Margaret River – there had to be at least 100 wineries along this road.

While I was surveying the horizon for glimpses of activity (cafe open – coffee available etc), a sign caught my attention.  It said the Bootleg Brewery – pub meals available.  Wahoo….completely in luck.  Pub means open late – right?  And where there is a pub there had to be coffee.  We took the detour – to find our way to this little place hidden far far away from the everyday world.  There was a huge playground which the girls made a beeline for.  Freedom – at last!

playground of fun
playground of fun

I saw a couple of guys sitting outside drinking a beer, and I thought – hopeful.  As I walked in, I saw a cafe type setting in the back drop, and thought – now we are talking.  After taking a quick pic of the playground I turned to the staff member behind the counter and asked for a coffee to take away.  “Sorry – we don’t offer coffee today.  It has been quite so we closed the kitchen shortly after lunch!”

beer but no food
beer but no food

I began to question the whole customer service system at this point.  The only place that we could get a coffee was the Cheese Shop – and while we were the only ones there for coffee – they did not shut up shop because there were no customers.

Okay I thought – play nice.  “I see you offer cider?”

“Yup” he replied “but you have to buy a glass if you want to taste it.”

Interesting I thought.  You are offering an alcoholic beverage to people that are obviously driving, and you don’t have any food to offer with that?  From my experience in this department this was completely against the alcohol service act.  But before I could say my next piece, he then suggested we could have a pie with that which was sitting all day in the pie warmer.  Yeah….I don’t think so.

Although I had spent the whole day dealing with people who obviously had no customers service experience, I was not going to make another one ruin this day.  I knew we have a lot of BBQ’s by the beach and thought – another product for that event.  As I like apple cider (keeping in mind my fist introduction to cider was in the good ol’ U.S. of A)  I was expecting the same sort of thing.  So I said to the staff member – “We will take 4 thanks”

He was a little shocked and asked “four what?” To which I pointed 4 ciders.  There was – of course a special.  Get 5 and the 6th one free.   Good up-sell method, but for a few dollars more I thought  – what the hell.  My focus was more on the BBQ by the beach than my current experience.

So now we have cheese, sausage, fudge and cider….and absolutely NO place to eat any of it!    We did have the cider a few days later (another tale another day) and I have to say – America still does it better!  I was expecting a fruity experience and unfortunately it was nothing like that. We were warned that the Bootleg Cider was made in the same manner as they made champagne – and it ended up tasting similar to drinking sparking Sauvignon Blanc!  However when you BBQ venison sausages, have that with a fresh salad and the Bootleg Cider – it was a good combination!

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