A Day at the Mornington PeninsulaFeed all your senses this spring exploring the Mornington Peninsula. Just over an hour's drive south-east of Melbourne, spend at least a day serving your gastronomic indulgences and soaking up the scenic hills laced with vineyards, gourmet restaurants and fresh produce.
Plan a day to remember by visiting the following places:
Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens
15 Shoreham Road, Shoreham (Mel Ref 256 E4)
(03) 5989 8387
Home to Australia's largest and oldest hedge maze and stunning lavender labyrinth. The maze is lined with over 1,200 fragrant rose bushes within 25 acres of magnificent woodland style gardens. Get lost or follow the old trick of running your hand across one wall until you reach the end.
Open 7 days, 10am to 5pm
Red Hill Baker
Shop 5, Corner Point Leo & Shoreham Road, Red Hill South (Mel Ref 191 A2)
(03) 5989 2733 or (03) 5989 0067
Traditional baking methods using a stone oven floor are used for all breads including Sourdough, Ciabatta and their unique wine bread! All pastries are trans-fat free and the gourmet pie fillings are slow-braised then oven roasted. Enjoy a wood-fired pizza on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday lunch, as well as live jazz on Sundays from 1pm-4pm.
Open Sunday-Thursday 8am to 6pm; Friday & Saturday 8am to 10pm
1385 Mornington Flinders Road, Main Ridge (Mel Ref 190 E12)
(03) 5989 6565
Surprise your tastebuds with cutting edge styles of wine that winemaker Kevin McCarthy is renowned; an ambient shed filled with exclusive cellar door purchases and limited releases.
Favourite pick: Beechworth Sangiovese 2005 ($42) - an exclusive cellar door release that is reserved for that special indulgence.
La Baracca Trattoria captures the rustic Italian feel and the essence of Italy with its surrounding fig trees and evergreen gardens. The menu is Italian farmhouse cuisine using seasonal Victorian produce.
The Spuntino Bar allows visitors to unwind to music that is played on weekends by a live band while also enjoying the Italian-inspired food of crisp pizza served on wooden boards and a sumptuous variety of gourmet tapas that changes seasonally.
Cellar door open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm; La Baracca Trattoria open everyday for lunch; Spuntino bar open weekends, 12pm-5pm
Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
Corner Mornington Flinders Road and Shands Road, Main Ridge (Mel Ref 190 E12)
(03) 5989 4500
Open November to April 7 days, 9am-5:30pm (strawberry season) and May to October, weekends 11am-4pm
Home of Australia's largest strawberry producer, Sunny Ridge is nestled in the beautiful Mornington peninsula Hinterland and is famous for producing some of the finest strawberries in the world by a third generation family since 1964. You can pick your own strawberries, raspberries and cherries fresh from the fields as well as unwinding with scones and Devonshire tea at the Strawberry Cafe.
109 McIlroys Road, Red Hill (Mel Ref 191 E1)
(03) 5989 2008
Ellisfield Farm operates as a pick-your-own fruit farm. Enjoy your authentic fruit farm experience as you pick your own Morello (sour) cherries in January, quinces in autumn and sweet cherries from late November to early January. On the property is a rose covered, self-contained guest cottage for two.
Open December to January, 9am-4pm and February to November by appointment
Red Hill Cheese
81 William Road, Red Hill (Mel Ref 190 C4)
(03) 5989 2035
Situated in a secluded bushland location, Red Hill Cheese produces award-winning artisan cheese from cow's and goat's milk. View maturing cheeses in the cellars and purchase a cheese platter, picnic pack or treats to compliment local food and wine. Home cheese-making workshops are regularly held by appointment on the premises.
Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays, 12pm-5pm; open daily from 27th December to end of January; caters for groups up to 8 people; private tastings by appointment.
Mornington Peninsula Chocolates
3494 Frankson-Flinders Road, Merricks (Mel Ref 192 E10)
(03) 5989 8490
Using the finest Belgium, French and Swiss Couverture and made with the freshest local and imported produce, Mornington Peninsula Chocolates offer a truly unique experience for the most discerning connoisseur. Watch the artisans of chocolate-making at work through the viewing window where chocolate delicacies are made from 100% natural ingredients.
Open Thursday, Sunday & Public Holidays, 12pm-5pm; Bookings necessary for groups of more than 6 people; No bus access
Review by Monica
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