If you are looking for a unique and special Mornington Peninsula experience, I highly recommend a picnic at one of my favourite wineries – Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove.
Montalto Picnics run from 1st of October to the 30th April and are $90 per head. The picnic includes a complete lunch with a selection of savoury and sweet items served platter style. Tea and coffee are included and are served in the Piazza Café until 4pm. All wine is additional. Recently Montalto opened a few extra picnic sites that can be used in all weather.
When I recently visited with some friends and our kids, we all met in the sun drenched Piazza courtyard. From there we moved to the cellar door to try some wines before selecting a bottle of Montalto Estate Chardonnay and Pennon Hill Pinot Noir for our picnic.
To get to our picnic site my daughter Lottie was given a map to guide us. We walked past amazing sculptures and vines to get to our beautiful private location set in a picture perfect Australian bush landscape. Our picnic table was layed out beautifully with white linen and crockery. Inside a storage box, we found our amazing menu items, which included:
- Spelt and fennel seed ciabatta, olive oil,estate olives
- Lamb ham, Terrine/rillettes/pate, pickles
- Carrot hummus, ricotta
- Hot smoked salmon, quinoa, lemon and herb
- Drunken chicken, carrot, radish, cabbage and chickpea salad
- Buffalo mozzarella, marinated tomatoes
- Potato, watercress, caper and onion salad
- Cheese plate and accompaniments
- To finish, the most decadent Chocolate cake.
It was absolutely delicious and a wonderful experience to share with friends. This would also make for a very romantic day out for two and I plan on taking my husband in the near future.
For more information – Montalto Picnics.
Note- I was a guest of Montalto
If you are looking for somewhere that is welcoming, delicious and family friendly, I highly recommend Yabby Lake Vineyard here in my home region of the Mornington Peninsula. Yabby Lake has been a favourite of mine for a few years now. Firstly I love how close it is to home and for those coming from Melbourne it’s one of the first wineries off the Peninsula Link. Recently I dined at Yabby Lake Restaurant with some friends and our children. We were made to feel so welcome by restaurant manager Lindy and her team, who were all so approachable, friendly and knowledgeable about the winery.We shared a salumi platter and arancini balls for entrée, which were delish. Followed by steak, fish pie and gnocchi. Our children enjoyed homemade sausage rolls.
From all of the tables in the restaurant you have a light filled view of the outside area, including the vineyard.We were able to relax and chat while the children happily played outside. I think it’s a big ask for kids to sit still at the table for longer than the duration of a meal. So having the option of the swings outside really made the difference to our experience. There are also coloring books and pencils available to keep little hands and minds busy.
For those into their wine there is tasting available. The selection is amazing at Yabby Lake, with the Red Claw Pinot Noir being my pick of the bunch or the highly regarded Yabby Lake single vineyard pinot noir. Before leaving, we moved over to the couches by the open fire to have our tea or coffee, while the kids were treated to choc top ice creams. We really couldn’t ask for more in terms of a day out. Good Friends, great food, stunning location and happy kids. Perfect!
To experience Yabby Lake for yourself, head over to my Mum With Wings Instagram page where I am giving away a family lunch (two adults and two kids). This includes, three courses with matching wines for parents and ice cream for the kids.
Competition closes Monday 18th July 2016. Winner Announced Tuesday 19th July.
For more information on Yabby Lake please visit their website.
note. I was a guest of Yabby Lake.
Montalto is a favourite winery of mine. I’ve spent many days in the Piazza courtyard with friends laughing and enjoying the wine, delicious food and breathtaking view, while the kids run around and play on the grass amongst the sculptures and sunflowers. Recently my husband and I had dinner at Montalto restaurant with friends where we experienced for the first time Montalto’s degustation menu and matching wines. The entire meal was absolutely amazing, with every course being a faultless taste sensation.
If you are looking to do something special for a date night or special occasion, I highly recommend this degustation option. The restaurant staff were truly fantastic and really went above and beyond our expectations, making us feel right at home. They are all passionate about the winery, so attentive, knowledgable and friendly. Everything was timed perfectly and they really anticipated our needs.
Our menu included the following;
- Raw cobia, chevre, persimmon, sake vinaigrette
- Slow cooked pumpkin, egg yolk, grains, miso
- Smoked mackerel omelette, fermented chilli
- Grilled pork neck, globe artichoke, mushrooms, currants
- Aged duck breast, chocolate morcilla, quince
- Mandarin leaf ice cream, mandarin granita, macadamia
- Whipped passionfruit & fennel curd, daintree chocolate, burnt meringue
There are two options for Montalto Degustation. Five Courses for $105 Matching Wines $50 or seven courses $130 Matching wines $75 for more information and booking enquiries visit https://montalto.com.au
Note. I was a guest at Montalto.
I love Autumn on the Peninsula, The summer crowds have eased and mother nature starts to get a bit moody. I want to share with you 5 things I love to do during Autumn here in my home region, The Mornington Peninsula, and hopefully give you some ideas to get out with your family and enjoy the season.
- Seawinds- Arthurs Seat State Park – I love Seawinds in all seasons but Autumn has to be my favourite time to visit. The deciduous trees provide hours of fun! Playing in autumn leaves, throwing and crunching them. It’s an amazing sensory experience and the bay views from Seawinds are breathtaking. Always a great free Autumn day out. More information can be found here.
- Red Hill Show – The 88th Redhill Show is on Easter Saturday, March 26th. A fun family day at the show will cost $50 for a family ticket (2 x adults and 3 x children), which includes all the traditional agricultural show things like animals, wood-chopping, music, demonstrations, baking, arts and crafts. For the kids there is a huge range of options like the Kids Adventure zone that has includes free activities such as a kite workshop, catch-a-duck, circus workshop and fire rescue challenge. Plus, free face painting, jumping castle and pony rides. More details here.
- Red Hill Epicurean- With the change of season our weekend lunches generally start to move indoors, seeking somewhere warm and cosy to shelter from the potentially windy and rainy Autumn weather. Red Hill Epicuran is the pick of the bunch as it utilises delicious local produce and is a huge space. Once the Red Hill cool store, it dates back to the 1920’S. There is an extensive local wine list and the kids yummy fish and chips were delivered in individual boxes, which was a cute touch. More info here.
- Flinders Blowhole- Another free Autumn idea, the Blowhole is located on Blowhole Track off Boneo Road (opposite Razorback Road). There are amazing views of the scenic rocky coast line and Bass Straight. The walk down to the water is via a wooden boardwalk, with the Blowhole itself situated at the end of Elephant Rock. Autumn is a great time to visit as its just so moody and theatrical down there. Its breathtaking and my kids love watching the water squirt up through the blow hole. Visitors are advised to take extreme care in this area as the rocks can get slippery and large waves have been known to wash over. I’ve always felt safe there and just kept to the designated tracks. More info here.
- Frankston Arts Centre- You don’t have to be in Melbourne to experience a live performance. Just on our doorstep, the Frankston Arts Centre which is hosting a kids show as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Sean Murphy presents Kids Party Confidential. It’s a wild ride through the highs and humiliations of the best birthday ever. Equal parts stand-up, storytelling and riotous celebration, this is a show that educates and entertains kids and (their parents). You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you’ll learn how to tie an incredible balloon sword! Suitable for adults and kids ages 5 to 12. Date: Monday 4 April, 11am. Tickets: $15. Also coming to Frankston Arts Centre is The 52-Storey Treehouse, 19 & 20 April 2016. Book online here.
September school holidays are here! Spring is a great time to enjoy the Peninsula with your family. Here are my September school holiday ideas for families living on or visiting Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and surrounds.
- Beach: The best things in life are free when you’re a “Peninsula Family”. There are pristine beaches down south when the sun shines or if it isn’t isn’t shining, rug the kids up and collect treasures, play games and build sandcastles on any beach. For locals and regulars, with so many beaches to choose from, try exploring a new one for a change of scenery.
- Park: The Peninsula has a number of high quality parks. We love the playgrounds at Flinders, Sorrento and Mornington. For nature’s best try Seawinds on Arthur’s Seat for amazing views and we often see kangaroos at dusk.
- Briars: We visit Angus and Rose at the Briars every school holidays for the delicious cake, fenced in play space and brilliant children’s activities. http://www.angusandroseatthebriars.com
- Pier Walk: Go for a walk down the local pier, I recently did this with my son and he loved it. It also brought memories flooding back of jumping off Mornington Pier as a teenager.
- Gravity Zone: Recently we discovered Gravity Zone in Seaford. My kids loved it and next time we go I will be joining in on the action too. This is an energy burning activity. you may even get kids who fall asleep in the car on the way home. http://www.gravity-zone.com.au
- Nature Hunt: Spring is a beautiful time to go for a walk on the many trails the Peninsula has to offer like the foreshore paths. Often we take baskets and my children collect little interesting leaves and treasures along the way to bring home for use in art and craft.
- The Enchanted Maze: Look no further for a magical and fun day out. Book ahead if you plan on doing the ropes course.http://www.enchantedmaze.com.au
- PARC: Penisula aquatic and recreation centre will be a fun place to be these holidays. They have Water Inflatables, Monday to Thursday 12-4, Fridays 12-6, Disco Night on Friday 25th September and a Movie Night, Lego Movie on Thursday 1st October.
- Peninsula Hot Springs: Relax and unwind with your children in the tranquil setting. This is a quiet activity you know if your child would be suited to this or not. http://www.peninsulahotsprings.com
- Moonlit Sanctuary: Animal lovers this is for you. There is over 60 Australian Species and a new wombat enclosure.http://www.moonlitsanctuary.com.au
- City: We are just one hour away from the city. Go to the gallery or museum, sit at a café and people watch or spend the day at the children’s garden at the botanic gardens. The immigration museum is also great. I think its important to leave your local area every now and then and and expand childrens perception of the world.
- Melbourne Zoo: With the East link freeway Melbourne Zoo is just over an hour away. The zoo is always a fun family day out. Become a Zoo member for free unlimited entry. I recently joined and I wish I had sooner. http://www.zoo.org.au/melbourne
- Melbourne Show: Is running from 19-29 September. Although not on the Peninsula the show is definitely worth the drive. We go every year and its a real highlight for the whole family. So much fun. i just had to include in this list as September holidays means Show time! http://royalshow.com.au
- Rest: I have a preppie and she is tired after three terms at school, we will be going on a few adventures but importantly we will be having some down time at home to get some rest during the holidays. My kids love making cubbies using dining table chairs and sheets and snuggling up to watch some of their favourite shows. Its great to get out and explore but I think rest and quiet time is really important too.
I hope this list of September school holiday ideas for Mornington Peninsula families gives you some inspiration. You don’t have to spend money every day to have fun, I’ve included 5 ideas that are completely free! Please tell me if you try out any of my suggestions, I would love to hear about your holidays. My suggestion for parents is to sleep when you can and have wine racks stocked. I hope you survive and enjoy the September school holidays.
Mum With Wings