Down in Busselton recently we had the opportunity to frequent a couple of the historic pubs of the town – the Ship (with buildings dating to the 1830s) and the Esplanade (built in 1898) – as well as a more recent addition to the drinking places, the Fire Station Wine Bar (housed in the old fire station, built in 1936 and in use up to 1990). So, lots of history in each venue.
With pretty comfortable accommodation – we had a pleasant little apartment with a downstairs kitchen/lounge room and upstairs bed and bath – and an enticing beer garden, along with what was a very busy bistro, the Ship is definitely worth a visit. It even has a Dan Murphy alongside and a couple of Asian restaurants – one Chinese, one Thai just across the road.
The bistro turns out quality pub food – fish and chips, chicken parmi, burgers, steaks and the like – the parmi was top notch with tender chicken, oozy cheese and a delicious sauce.
Likewise, the cheeseburger – good bun, juicy patty – was well turned out.
Finally, a dish of fried squid tentacles also hit the spot – crisped coating, tender squid, all good.
The Esplanade has had a number of renovations over the years and is a very attractive destination – also offering good accommodation, although we didn’t get the chance to try that on this visit. A covered and sheltered al fresco area out front, with views across to the ocean, makes for a very pleasant place to while away a few hours, while the restaurant/bistro food is of very good quality.
A plate of Thai influenced fish cakes with a zesty sweet chilli sauce proved a good sized starter, and the grilled fish was succulent and well cooked.
The Fire Station
One of my favourite spots in Busselton, the Fire Station has a fabulous wine list promoting local wineries and many natural and minimal intervention drops. The food, too, is excellent. I particularly enjoyed the pizza with its crispy but fluffy crust and just the right amount of topping – some places go overboard.
A plate of bao also went down a treat.
The Fire Station is not to be missed if you are down that way.