A weekend away: Mornington Peninsula

I’m an awesome trip planner. And I’m really good at choosing places to eat.

Hah – modest much? During our weekend away in the Mornington Peninsula, Alastair heard these two statements a lot. Perhaps I blew my own trumpet once too often when my normally patient husband replied, “Yes, and you have no trouble talking yourself up either.”

But the fact of the matter is: it was a great weekend. And I planned it. Surely that’s worth being proud of? Toot toot!

Last weekend we left drizzly Melbourne after work on Friday night. Our first stop was Mornington Peninsula Brewery (address details at the bottom of this post) for a quick drink before going to our accommodation.

It’s a cool place for a casual drink – I’ve read online that it’s built inside a building that used to manufacture exploding golf balls (!) – and it’s kind of like being in a big-arse industrial shed. We didn’t eat anything, but they also do wood fired pizzas. Instead we had our beer, picked up a six pack for later, and continued down to our accommodation.

We stayed at Peppers Moonah, and it was fine, though neither of us slept well – gaaah the problems of being in an unfamiliar bed. Still, on Saturday I made us get up and out so we could start our day. We drove to Red Hill and had a coffee and light breakfast at Red Hill Bakery. Breakfast ended up being a very cheesy bacon and egg frittata. Yes, we went to a bakery and didn’t buy any baked goods. (Paleo – 1. Gluttony – 0.)

Next we popped down the road to Cellar and Pantry, where I picked up some salad leaves and cold meat for dinner. Our next stop after that was Red Hill Cheese.

At Red Hill Cheese, I bought us a $5 tasting plate for later. The staff wrapped up a plate for us, marking on the cling wrap which cheese to start with, including a little arrow indicating the direction to eat them in. We received a little package of crackers, and tasting notes with the cheeses marked off so we knew what we were eating.

When we ate the cheese later that night, I wished I had bought the $10 plate – the cheese was fantastic. There were a few cheeses made from goats’ milk, which I normally don’t like, but I did like the ones from Red Hill Cheese. And the blue – omg the blue. It was so buttery and delicious.

After visiting Red Hill Cheese, we had a little bit of time to kill before lunch, so our next stop was Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm. They have a shop and a cafe, and since we were going to be eating soon, we just had a poke around the shop, where we purchased a big punnet of strawberries and some chocolate dip for dessert later that evening. The sun came out at that point, so we spent 15 mins sitting outside in the sun, breathing in the beautiful sweet scent that came from the strawberries and cafe. We watched a lot of people receive desserts – strawberry parfait, strawberry pancakes and strawberry fondue seemed to be the most popular choices. I loved the look of the strawberry parfait and told Alastair that we *had* to come back after lunch so I could get one.

Next step: lunch! I had booked us a table at La Petanque, a restaurant serving southern French food.

I’m going to post about La Petanque separately, because we had a gorgeous lunch. I was so impressed. My entrée of lamb sweetbreads was almost too pretty to eat (and how often can you say that about offal?!), while Alastair’s pork belly main was divine.

We were quite full from lunch, but I insisted we had to go back to Sunny Ridge. I was so full… but I wanted a strawberry sundae… oh first world problems! In the end, I compromised and ordered a kids sundae ($5). It satisfied my ice cream craving and somehow I found myself sharing it with Alastair, who had been insistent that he was too full for dessert. Huh. :)

We took a break from eating, and had a rest for a couple of hours. Later in the evening, we returned to Red Hill to visit Red Hill Brewery for a few beers.

After a drink, we then spent a couple of hours at the Peninsula Hot Springs. If you go after 7pm it’s cheaper – we paid $20 each for entry (don’t forget to bring a towel and bathers!). The best pool was the one in the adults only area at the very top of the hill. It was really hot (about 40°C), much much warmer than all the other pools, and it also had a 360° view of the surrounding area. Gorgeous! It would’ve been quite romantic… except it was also packed with people. Hah.

Sadly, the next day it was time to drive home. We got up in the morning and watched a bit of PopAsia while we got ready (cheesy but awesome!). Then we had a coffee and started the drive back to Melbourne. However, because I’m such a good planner, I selected a spot for lunch to break up the drive – True South Brewery in Black Rock. They had an interesting range of beer and you can try five of their beers for $15 in a tasting wheel.

The food at True South is Argentinean inspired – this pic is of their amazing lamb shoulder dish. I’ll post about True South separately – the food was great.

After lunch we continued home and were back in time for the rugby.

(Relationships are about compromise, aren’t they?) :)

Addresses:

Mornington Peninsula Brewery
72 Watt Road
Mornington VIC 3931
Phone: (03) 5976 3663
Web: mpbrew.com.au

Red Hill Bakery
Shop 5,
Corner Point Leo & Shoreham Road,
Red Hill South, 3937
Phone: (03) 5989 2733
Web: redhillbaker.com.au

Red Hill Cheese
81 William Road (off Arthurs Seat Rd),
Red Hill
Phone: (03) 5989 2035
Web: redhillcheese.com.au

Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
244 Shands Rd
Main Ridge 3928
Phone: (03) 5989 4500
Web: sunnyridge.com.au

La Petanque
1208 Mornington-Flinders Road
Main Ridge 3928
Phone: (03) 5931 0155
Web: lapetanque.com.au

Red Hill Brewery
88 Shoreham Road
Red Hill South 3937
Phone: (03) 5989 2959
Web: redhillbrewery.com.au

Peninsula Hot Springs
140 Devonport Drive
Fingal 3939
Phone: (03) 5950 8777
Web: peninsulahotsprings.com

True South Brewery
298 Beach Road
Black Rock VIC 3193
Phone: 1300 878 360
Web: truesouth.com.au