Following the resounding success of the inaugural “Ladies Weekend” to Halcyon House in October 2015, we agreed it should be an annual event (you can read about our Halcyon House trip HERE
For our next “Ladies Weekend” we all faced time constraints, and to maximise time together, we opted for a location that was easily accessible to all…The Mornington Peninsula. It was 15 years since I was down that way, and my memories of it were hazy at best; I remember it taking forever to get there, and once there we were at pubs or house parties. I never really got a good sense of the place. These days, with new roads it takes just over an hour from the city centre…and what a revelation; the combination of coast, bush and vineyards that I find so enchanting in South Australia, just a quick drive from Melbourne!
I enjoyed it SO much more than I expected.
Here’s how we spent our weekend…
There’s no shortage of excellent food options, for all budgets in Mornington…indeed lots of produce could not be more local with farms aplenty and lots of wineries having their own veg plots, so it’s all spanking fresh, and in season to boot. We arrived in time for brunch on the Friday morning, so headed to Foxeys Hangout, and got stuck into some tapas and a glass of Rose. It’s a very small restaurant, with views looking into a valley with perfect rows of vines…pretty special!
After driving around for an hour or so, taking it all in, we stopped off at Montalto, where we had a glass of perfect sparkling, whilst sitting in the sun in the gardens. The cafe menu looked delicious, but we were still full from Foxeys, and so have added it to the list for next time.
At Polperro the next day we had a sensational Mod Oz lunch, matched with their very special, very buttery Chardonnay. It’s really worth checking Polperro out, it’s such a beautiful spot, with views of vines and bush from every window.
My very favourite of the trip though, was Petit Tracteur, the French Bistro run by the folk at Ten by Tractor. The dining room is in a conservatory, with greenery everywhere, it feels like you could be in a French garden…a glass of Blanc de Blancs with oysters, steak tartare, the most perfect pommes frites…Heaven!
We grabbed some breakfast foods and a quiche and salad from The Red Hill General Store…be warned though; don’t enter the premises if you’re hungry! Everything is very enticing, and before you know it, you’ve bought way more than you can eat, and it’s not cheap! (but it is all DELICIOUS!)
795 White Hill Road
Red Hill, VIC, 3937
33 Shoreham Road
Red Hill South
150 Red Hill Rd,
Red Hill, VIC, 3937
1208 Mornington Flinders Rd
Main Ridge, VIC, 3928
RED HILL GENERAL STORE
141 Shoreham Rd,
Red Hill South, VIC, 3937
We thought it would be a bit of fun to hit up the Peninsula Hot springs, switching between pools, and relaxing in the warm water. To be honest, it was a bit weird. We had been allocated a time slot of 9am, and it was super busy when we got there. Several families (with children of all ages), what seemed to be a hens group, big groups of tourists with selfie sticks and little regard for personal space! Perhaps it’s a cultural thing, feeling self conscious when in a bath (in swimmers!) with strangers? I felt like I was eavesdropping on other peoples conversations, and likewise, they were listening in on mine. STRANGE! I did however, really like the Turkish Hamam, and plunging into the adjacent ice bath, but overall it was not as we anticipated. We later found out that there is a seperate, private bathing area, which you can enter at an additional cost. Maybe next time!
PENINSULA HOT SPRINGS
Springs Lane, Fingal, VIC, 3939
But not very far! We had hoped to do the Bushranger Bay walk from Cape Schanck Lighthouse (a 2hr return walk), but running low on time we did the very easy Cape Walk down from the lighthouse, to a pebbly beach below.
Next time, Bushranger!
We stayed at a friends house, but there are plenty of accomodation options at