Victoria – Mornington Peninsula – a weekend away

By Sara Schwarz
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Modern French cuisine is found at La Petanque restaurant on the Mornington Peninsula

Modern French cuisine is found at La Petanque restaurant on the Mornington Peninsula [©La Petanque]

Italy? No it's the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Cape Schanck Lighthouse, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Heronswood, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
La Petanque boutique has a range of furniture, homewares, gifts, jewellery and skincare products


The wonderful thing about Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is that it is so diverse and at the same time all so accessible.

A 15 minute drive will take you from the calm beaches of Port Phillip Bay up to the cool microclimates of Red Hill and Main Ridge. In another 15 minutes you can find yourself on the dusty flats of Moorooduc and then at one of the wild ocean beaches on the western coastline. Along the way sample the finest of Pinot Noirs, explore award winning gardens, taste the freshest of local produce and the most delicious of olive oils. This weekend itinerary celebrates a little of the diversity the Mornington Peninsula has on offer.

Check below for current member offers from our Mornington Peninsula partners.


Friday night

Accommodation at Arthurs Superb Views Luxury Retreat
What better way to begin a weekend than at Arthurs Superb Views Luxury Retreat at Arthurs Seat. Newly renovated and as the name suggests, the views over Port Phillip Bay up to the distant city are indeed superb. After a quick tour of the well appointed facilities with your hosts, sit back with a glass of your favourite tipple in hand and watch as the sun sinks over the water and the lights from homes and businesses glitter around the bay. Your host, Luke Sheales can also arrange an in room massage – a tempting way to begin a weekend away ... read more.

View Arthurs Superb Views' Members offer here

10 Nestle Crt
Arthurs Seat, 3936
Tel: 03 5981 8400


Dinner at The Long Table
You may not want to leave the view behind but we suggest you make the effort and book dinner at The Long Table, a short drive away at Red Hill. The Long Table is a bit of a hidden gem, tucked away in a local shopping centre and is a favourite of Red Hill locals. Owners Andrew and Samantha Fitzgerald have created quite a special spot here – the atmosphere is stylish and relaxed, the wine list short and succinct and the food is of an excellent quality, utilizing the finest of local ingredients and doing much of the food treatments (eg venison cures, pickling cherries) themselves ... read more.

View The Long Table's Members offer here

Open for dinner from 6pm Wednesdays to Sundays, the Wine bar and lounge are open from 4pm.
159 Shoreham Road
Red Hill 3937
Tel: 03 5989 2326


Saturday – tasting

Olive Oil Tasting at Red Hill Cool Stores
After a leisurely start on Saturday and a generous breakfast provided by your hosts, begin your day browsing the local produce, art and giftware at the nearby Red Hill Coolstores. Gillian Haig, owner of the Cool Stores and a talented local artist, will take you through the range of local olive oils she stocks and if it’s past 11am, ask to sample the range of local wines on offer. Ask Gillian about her chocolate and wine matchings too - a decandent way to begin your day! more.

View Red Hill Cool Stores Members offer here

Open 10am to 5pm daily
1012 Mornington-Flinders Rd
Red Hill 3937
Tel: 03 5931 0364


Lunch at Morning Sun Vineyard
10 minutes drive from the Red Hill Cool Stores on Main Creek Road will find you at the Morning Sun Vineyard. Owner Mario Toniolo was a concreter in Melbourne in a former life who purchased the land some years ago and upon retirement, planted a number of vines and a built a beautiful cellar door and winery. The day to day operations are now managed by dynamic young winemaker Owen Goodwin and his lovely Canadian fiancée Rhiannon who has a background in fine dining who together have created quite a special atmosphere.

Time your arrival for just before the lunchtime rush and grab one of the outdoor tables with the fabulous vineyard and valley views. Order an antipasto platter and one the rustic pizzas and enjoy a very civilized wine tasting as the cellar door staff bring the wines out to you one by one to try with your meal ... read more. 

View Morning Sun's Members' offer here

Open 10am to 5pm Thursday to Sunday
337 Main Creek Road
Main Ridge 3928
Tel: 03 5989 6571


The Gardens at Heronswood
A pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon is exploring Heronswood, home to the internationally renowned Diggers Club. A gardener’s delight, the grounds surrounding the gothic 1866 Heronswood House are a living catalogue of all the evergreen fruits and vegetables available through the Diggers Club catalogues as well as a range of flowering plants, herbs and fruits. Take your time exploring and enjoy more exquisite bay views.

At this point a refreshing cuppa and afternoon treat is probably in order and at Heronswood you will find the delightful re-enforced earth and thatched roof Heronswood Café where much of the delicious foods grown in the garden are to be found on the simple, seasonal menu. On your way out don’t forget to pick up a packet of seeds or two to take home as a living reminder of your Mornington Peninsula weekend ... read more.

View Heronswood's Members offers here

Open 10am to 4pm daily
105 Latrobe Parade
Dromana 3936
Tel: 03 5984 7321


Dinner at La Petanque
For a cosy dinner on Saturday evening, La Petanque is an excellent option. A relative newcomer to the Mornington Peninsula region, dedicated owners Phillipe and Judy have created a magical environment. Specialising in South of France cuisine, the atmosphere is professional and attentive and the wine list superb. Ensure you book in advance, La Petanque is fast gaining a reputation for excellence and is very popular with the local and weekend crowd.

Ensure you arrive a touch early and take the time to browse the beautiful La Petanque boutique Judy has set up on site and filled with exquisite jewellery, homewares and other tempting treats ... read more.

View La Petanque's Members offer here

Open daily for lunch and Thursdays to Saturdays for dinner.
1208 Mornington-Finders Road
Red Hill 3937
Tel: 03 5931 0155


Sunday – more tasting

Walking at Cape Schanck
After another excellent breakfast from your hosts at Arthurs, begin Sunday with a drive down the western side of the Peninsula and take a walk along any of the untamed beaches. The 3km path from Cape Schanck lighthouse to Bushrangers Bay is enjoyable for those up for a little more strenuous activity, details of which can be found in the excellent Walks of the Mornington Peninsula by Ken Martin. This gem of a book can be purchased at many locations throughout the region and will assist you to discover the many coastal trails and bush rambles on offer.


Lunch at Willow Creek and Salix Restaurant
To finish the weekend in style, book a late lunch at Salix restaurant in Merricks North. Located in amongst the vines at the picturesque Willow Creek winery, owners Bernard and Rachel MacCarthy, belying their youthful looks, are true hospitality professionals who have set up and run restaurants across Melbourne and in China. The focus here is on the best of local produce and letting the natural flavour of the food speak for itself.

Upon arrival take your time at the Willow Creek cellar door tasting your way through the excellent range of wines before moving upstairs to Salix. Sink into the most comfortable of restaurant chairs and soak up the atmosphere. Take your time, there is no need to rush here.

View Salix's Member offer here

View Willow Creek's Member offer here

Open daily for lunch and Fridays and Saturdays for dinner.
166 Balnarring Road
Merricks North 3926
Tel: 03 5989 7448


  • Melbourne Surrounds (VIC)
  • Mornington Peninsula (VIC)

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December 11th, 2009
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