Stay local

If anyone calls from Perth to come down to Denmark for a few days, I ask them a few simple questions; “Did you take a look at our website? Which villa would you like to stay in? What dates do you have in mind? How many people in your party?” Once they book, they will often ask about places to visit, where to eat, and which winery is a must.

In the many years of running Aiyana Retreat, I have learned that I need to be patient and attentive with my future customers. I ask them some ‘high-mileage questions’, stirring them towards their experience of their choice. You can’t seduce a golfer to surf, neither a vegan to dine at Castelli’s Cucina restaurant, which specialized in meat. Once you live down here for over 20 years, you know the immense difference between one of Silas’s Pepper and Salt curry to Curry King.

If you crave a pizza, should you get it at Boston Brewery, a large venue offering an extensive menu, homemade beer, 5-stars wine and a pizza made in a wood-burning oven, or at Massimo’s Place which is a small joint on Strickland st? Both locations will appeal to most people on different occasions. I love Massimo website’s declaration,” REAL Pizza. Slow proofed. Hand-rolled and topped with only the best ingredients and made by Massimo. He’s Italian, right? I like the fact that he is using Bio-dynamic flour. I watched him mix the dough, shapes it by hand, then chills it for 24 to 72 hours. He explains that this maturation process is vital to develop the fragrant flavor and delicate texture. “Complex proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are broken down into simpler molecules making the pizza easier to digest”, He concludes. Only a few of us care to know all this when we order a large family Funghi pizza?

People sitting outside the pizza shop in Denmark
Massimo, Real Italian Pizza in Denmark

Boston Brewery is in another league. It’s part of the Willoughby Park winery, which grows their grapes on the eastern edge of the Porongurup Range National Park, a real hidden gem of the Great Southern wine region. James Halliday awarded it a 5-star winery. The brewery which produces an extensive range of beers is quite visible as you come in for a meal.

The same guidance one needs for physical activities. Some people love biking but unfamiliar with riding proper mountain bikes. We hire them for cheap ($10/day-helmet and chain is included). Some love to try E-bike, so we refer them to the Monkey Rock Bike shop in town. Nathan, the owner, is an expert biker with a Kiwi accent and a lot of knowledge about fixing bikes and riding them. He also runs cool tours.
Surfing, windsurfing, and kiting are another exciting field visitors love exploring. Which beach is best for what sport? Where is it safe for beginners and where to lunch from if you are an expert. Which beach is best for a specific wind direction?

The most common activity seems to be walking and hiking. We are lucky to be touching the Bibbulmun track. The Munda Biddi Trail, we usually start. The most common activity seems to be walking and hiking. We are lucky to be touching the Bibbulmun track. The Munda Biddi Trail, we usually start riding at Lights Beach, which is about 8.5 km from Aiyana. The Heritage – Nornalup Rail Trail is reachable is crossing Ocean Beach barley 2 km from our property. So we are blessed with options, and most customers love using it while here.

Next week I’ll be sharing my insights in regards to wineries, restaurants, and coffee shops.