Inspired by the unique charm of the Perth hills,
Brothers John and Chris Brereton have created HopsScotch.
A place where you and your family can
Gather, Relax and Explore
Escape from the daily routine
And come and experience all HopsScotch has to offer
I had heard great things about HopsScotch Café in Karragullen for some time, so Her Royal Highness (Cinderella on this particular day) and myself decided to check it out for morning tea. Which turned into a light lunch. Which then turned into plans to return with full family in tow!
Fortunately for us it was a gorgeous day with Mother Nature putting on an extravagant show for the senses. The clean hills air was enhanced by the amazing fragrances of the surrounding gardens and sweet Autumn aromas.
Hopscotch could easily be mistaken for a gorgeous little winery in Margaret River or Denmark. But instead of chewing away the hours travelling, it is a very convenient 15 minute trip from Armadale. The drive itself along Brookton Highway, through picturesque Roleystone, is breathtaking and at times can feel more like a scene from a movie with its maple tree lined roads and many orchards sprinkling the landscape.
The café itself is not too difficult to spot, just look for the vibrant purple flags and the HopsScotch sign at the front.
Parking is out the back with clear signs to direct you there. The car park is huge and has obviously been designed with large volumes of people in mind. As well as catering for the loyal locals it is also host to weddings and large functions including celebrations and corporate events. No doubt it is a popular circuit stop for tourists, bike riders as well as car and motorcycle clubs. If not, it soon will be.
The walk down to the café itself is a delight. Everywhere you turn there are winding pathways leading to hidden sculptures, exotic plants and secret spots. If you have time and children, I recommend saving the exploration until after the troops are fed and watered. It makes the trip back to the car all the more interesting and for me was a good opportunity to walk off the delicious temptations I had little willpower to resist! My daughter was thrilled by the many little treasures she found, particularly the windmill near the studio and an oversized multi-coloured glass flower sprouting amongst some Japanese Maple trees. But it was an “Alice- in-Wonderland-Looking-Glass” door, hidden in a nature nook, that made her face glow! And what three year old can resist their own reflection, especially in a very pretty garden mirror!
When we arrived the café was relatively empty save a few people scattered throughout the gorgeous grounds and a family parked up at one of the tables in the fenced off playground. But this apparently this is quite a rarity, particularly when the weather is good. The place is known to be very busy most days so booking for lunch and dinner is recommended.
There are two main eating areas of the actual building. A lovely spacious undercover area with ample seating, lighting and shelter and inside which has more of a lodge feel to it. It’s very cosy and welcoming with a fireplace which no doubt gets good use in the crisp Winter months.
But the options don’t end there. The selection of tables hidden within the grounds are as extraordinary as the grounds themselves. Patrons can dine amongst the many unique sculptures, enjoy a coffee by the fish pond or chat with the beautiful birds over brunch. Then visit the studio which houses some gorgeous and unique art which of course is all for sale and at quite reasonable prices. They also have a lot of fruit trees and plants for sale too!
So, down to the food. At the time of writing this we had only been for morning tea, which didn’t disappoint. We ordered a blueberry cheesecake which was fresh and delicious and came with some very welcome cream on the side. A flavoursome vanilla milkshake for madam was devoured in one quick satisfying slurp before she returned to important playground business. My iced coffee with an extra shot was perfect and not sickly sweet like many usually are. After a much longer stay than originally intended, Cinders requested some “chippy’s” which came out swiftly considering how busy the café had become at that time too. Fresh, hot and yum. Sauce on the side and a large bottle of water without even asking. Fabulous.
For us on this day the staff were very accommodating, efficient and friendly and the food fresh and tasty.
HopsScotch also lives up to its claim of being family friendly. High chairs, nappy change facilities, colouring-in books and crayon buckets, kids menu, grounds that encourage endless moments of exploration and discovery and of course the absolute highlight – the Hops Scotch playground. There is something for all age groups including awesome climbing equipment, swings, a rock climber and slides. There are a few table and bench sets scattered around the outskirts of the playground, which was perfect for me to keep an eye on little miss and continue mowing down the blueberry cheesecake we ordered to “share”! There is also a playground rules sign which is comforting to know there are actual boundaries and it’s not a free-for-all pass to crazy town on entry.
For me one of the most captivating things about HopsScotch was the sense that time seems to stop. I found it very difficult to find the motivation to leave as the sense of tranquillity and calm really does entrance you. I was also refreshingly reluctant to do the usual café/kids outing thing and get the old phone out to start tap-tap-tapping away. Firstly, there was too much to eat, drink, look at, walk to and distract. Secondly the space, whether intentionally designed that way, seems to have been created to temporarily pause the madness of reality and encourage us to recharge, regroup and regenerate. This really is no exaggeration. I was almost late for my sons school pick up as I looked at my watch and realised we’d been there nearly three hours! But it is in their creed: A place where you and your family can Gather, Relax and Explore and Escape from the daily routine. Worked on us just fine.
HopsScotch ticks many boxes for me as a Mum, wife, daughter, guest or visitor. The South West in our very own hills. A truly lovely place to take your children today.
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