We started early at a Sunday market which was virtually next to our campsite in a small shady park by the Blackwood River and very nice it was too. There was bric-a-brac, local veg, olive oil, all the usual things. The thing that struck us most was the fact that someone was selling puppies which apparently is quite common in Australia. We topped up with a few things before leaving – it’s a good job we’ve got a plane to catch to get home or we’d now be the proud owners of a mongrel puppy!

Our plan today was to do some sightseeing locally and find a winery to do a winetasting as we hadn’t done one since the Swan Valley when we first arrived. There are literally hundreds of vineyards in the south west region of WA especially in the Margaret River area but we wanted to find one that was a bit more family run and personal rather than some of the huge estates that we pass.

After a very pleasant 10 minute drive up a small country lane we came across the Chudacud Estate. The name intrigued us and it was in just our sort of place up a long track. The house and gardens looked lovely with lots of bric-a-brac and collectables both outside and inside some sheds. Again, a good job we had a plane to catch. We made our way round to the winery which was nicely set out for a tasting. We were met by Ian and Jennifer, the owners of the winery. We started tasting some wines that Ian recommended and Jennifer supplied us with a tasty cheeseboard. We started chatting and stayed for a good hour or so. As well as the winetasting area they have a lovely dining area suitable for just a few people or small weddings and functions. The thing that they do that is different to most wineries is that they have a few bbq’s and for a small cost supply you with meat, fish or vegetarian food which you cook yourself. Jennifer then supplies lovely salads, fresh crusty bread, potatoes and of course wine from their own vineyard. We thought this was a great idea and decided to come back later for our Sunday lunch.

We went for a drive round the area and returned around 3pm as they close at 5pm. When we got back Jennifer asked us if we’d like to wait until later and join her and Ian for something to eat and park our van on their land for the night. We had some great steaks a delicious pumpkin salad and lentil salad washed down with a selection of their wonderful wine. We made an instant connection with them and had a brilliant evening. We’ll remember their hospitality for a long time to come.

Ian and Jennifer told us the story of how after Ian retired from his job they looked for a long time to find the right place to fulfil their dream of owning their own vineyard. They planted the vines themselves and went on training courses about winemaking, had a long battle with the planning authorities and now nine years later what they have achieved is a real tribute to both of them.

Isn’t it amazing how you can fly half way round the world and walk into a small country vineyard and four people can have such an instant rapport We feel sure we’ll see Ian and Jennifer again but if for some reason we don’t we wish them all the best in the future. If by any chance you happen to be in the Bridgetown area look them and you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re wondering where the name Chudacud came from it was when they went to have a look at the farm (as it was then) there were cows grazing in the field by the driveway and Jennifer said to Ian ‘Look at those cows chewing the cud’. Obvious really!

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The Campsite

The campsite is based near Beccles in the Waveney Valley in Suffolk.

Dove Cottage,
Waterheath Road,
NR34 0DQ

Telephone: +44 (0)1502 677266
Mobile: 07884 264468

Sales and Rentals

Sales and Rentals are at Norwich Camping and Leisure

Norwich Camping and Leisure,
58 Yarmouth Road,
NR13 4LQ

Telephone: +44 (0)1502 677266
Mobile: 07714 466997

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