There’s a buzz in the air on Mornington Peninsula, and it comes in the form of a contemporary cutting edge designer hotel, formal restaurant, smart bar, casual dining experience and cellar door. The name is Jackalope – and it’s the new home of Willow Creek Vineyard Wines.
Tim Jupp is full of surprises, experienced and focused beyond his years. Young and talented, this fine dining chef has moved away from the 80 hour working weeks his chosen profession demands to chef at Commonfolk in Mornington, where the hours are much more conducive to family life. Given that he and his wife Michelle have four children under the age of 11, you can understand his life choices.
It’s a sunny, chilly autumn afternoon and Jenny McAuley of Red Hill Truffles is preparing for the busiest season of the truffle calendar. ”The truffle season starts at the beginning of June and runs for 12 weeks,” explains Jenny. “The truffle starts growing in the ground in the first week of December and it takes until the first of June to grow and ripen. The fungus grows on the root of tree, and the tree likes the fungus because the fungus kills the grass around the tree that competes with it for the sugar, water and elements it needs to thrive.
“Wow!” The three letter word that Jo and Cosi Melone hear every time a guest steps out of their car and breathes in the view. It is indeed unexpected, a delightful surprise, and breathtaking. Set on a hidden hill that rises over the back of Rosebud and is sheltered by Waterfall Gully, the Blue Range Estate’s view is expansive. Stretching from Western Port Bay and Bass Strait across the Portsea Peninsula and into Port Phillip Bay, the view is unique, and extraordinary.
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Brad and Roong Holtz of Finesse Catering Group are a formidable team. Passionate, creative and classically trained, their worlds collided when Brad attended one of Roong’s cooking classes in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, where Roong taught tourists and professional chefs the art of traditional Thai cooking. At the time Brad was working as a chef on small private yachts in Alaska and Mexico but they found a way to be together, moving to the Mornington Peninsula in 2007.
Adhoc offers a quality restaurant experience in a relaxed dining environment. The family friendly atmosphere is evident upon arrival. Carefully designed to allow privacy for intimate dinners and with communal tables for larger gatherings, couples sit alongside parents with children in a harmonious and relaxed space. It’s light, bright and welcoming, yet stylish and sophisticated, so you can enjoy a casual coffee and cake, or celebrate a special occasion. The staff are excellent, offering table service with an efficient but warm attention to detail.
In 1985, owner and winemaker Lindsay McCall established Paringa Estate winery on 10 ‘home’ acres of derelict orchard in Paringa Road, Red Hill South, which he planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Gris.
A long-term love affair with Santorini, and a passion for Greek food, has brought a new culinary vibe to the Mornington Peninsula. Across the road from the McCrae lighthouse (at what was The Pavilion), Alatonero is giving diners the opportunity to enjoy well known and much loved Greek delicacies.
For Little Rebel, it’s all about the coffee. Husband and wife team Peter and Trish started in the café business in 2010 and soon discovered that the coffee available for them to offer their customers simply wasn’t good enough. If you’re going to serve coffee, why not serve the best right?
When chef husband and wife team Jim and Melanie Houston got married at the Portsea Hotel, little did they know that 10 years later they would buy a business across the road from the Portsea Hotel and live in it with their three children for the best part of a year. That business is now known as Essence Food for the Soul. As chefs, life for Jim and Melanie was busy, particularly with three young children. The long hours took a strain, and they were ready to make a lifestyle change within the food industry. Sometimes everything falls into place and you find the ideal scenario, and this wholesale food business was perfect for the chef team. Essence Food for the Soul is all about the best quality produce made into delicious, heat and serve meals that help the time poor to eat well.
With fruit coming from six unique vineyards located across the Peninsula, Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove creates interesting and complex wines reflecting the fantastic diversity of the vineyards, according to winemaker Simon Black. There’s more than the multiple award winning wines and the restaurants 11 chef’s hats since 2002 that make a visit to Montalto such a rewarding place to visit.
There’s nothing we love more than getting off the beaten track. Yabby Lake, is one of these destinations - frequented by many, yet passed by even more as they approach the Balnarring exit (off the Peninsula Link).