Many of Victoria’s greatest food and wine experiences can be found outside of Melbourne’s city limits. From world-famous Brae in Birregurra to the award-winning Argus Dining Room in Hepburn Springs and trailblazing Igni in Geelong, regional Victoria’s dining scene is an ongoing celebration of the state’s lauded food producers and inventive chefs.
A trio of new and refreshed properties in regional Victoria are giving local and international visitors a good reason to plan a gastronomic getaway.
An outdoor art gallery, cellar door with water views and restaurant run by a culinary director with a serious pedigree combine to create one of the most exciting new openings to hit the Mornington Peninsula. Opened in October 2017, this multimillion-dollar sculpture park, cellar door and restaurant is easily accessible from Melbourne making it one of Victoria’s hottest new getaway destinations.
Under the guidance of culinary director Phil Wood (ex Rockpool and Tetsuya’s) the restaurant offers a dining experience rich with the flavours of regional Victoria. Cape Schanck olive oil, Yarra Valley trout roe, Flinders mussels and local honey and cheese all feature on the menu served in a classy dining room designed to showcase views of the surrounding vineyard.
Open daily from 11am - 6pm, the open-air sculpture park allows visitors to take in local and international works of art amid a scenic backdrop of grapevines, grazing cattle and native flowers. Short and longer walks ensure visitors of all ages can wander the sculpture park, taking in the oversized works made from ceramic tile, wood and metal.
The great Mornington Peninsula drops (chardonnay, pinot gris and pinot noir) are all available to sample and purchase at Point Leo Estate’s cellar door. Guests can choose to sip wine on the terrace while enjoying the views or visit the cellar door to purchase a few bottles to take home – either way Point Leo Estate is the type of place visitors can choose to drop into for an hour or settle in for an afternoon of art and gastronomy.
3649 Frankston - Flinders Rd, Merricks. Tel: +61 3 5989 9011
Opened to the public in December 2017, the $16 million Mitchelton Hotel and Spa represents a significant boost for the Goulburn Valley region which is only 90 minutes from Melbourne. Located on the banks of the Goulburn River, the new hotel from the team behind Mitchelton Wines provides visitors with a luxe spot to bed down in between wine tasting at the on-site cellar door, exploring the town of Nagambie or venturing out to the wetlands for a bird spotting session.
Featuring 58 rooms and suites, the new hotel’s warm linen, leather and timber furnishings create a welcoming space for visitors to retreat to. Commissioned works by Melbourne-based artists Trevor Mein and David Band feature throughout the property, with mod cons such as Bose sound systems and a 20m infinity pool enabling guests to relax in style.
470 Mitchellstown Road, Nagambie. Tel: +61 3 5736 2222
While a well-established giant on the Australian dining scene, the Royal Mail Hotel has recently been refreshed with extensive renovations breathing new life into this much-loved property that has put the small town of Dunkeld back on the map.
Featuring unobstructed views of Mt Sturgeon and Mt Abrupt, the new restaurant named Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel broadens the scope of what has traditionally been offered at the Royal Mail Hotel. The tasting menus feature produce that is harvested by the chefs daily from the kitchen’s garden - the largest working restaurant kitchen garden in Australia. Dairy, fruit, beef and lamb sourced from local farmers can also be found on the menu.
The revamp also includes updates to the menu and interiors of casual eatery, Parker Street Project, the development of a new wine bar showcasing some of the region’s finest drops, and renovations to the reception area where a guest lounge and retail space enables guests to linger a little longer or purchase a slice of the Royal Mail Hotel to take home.
98 Parker Street, Dunkeld. Tel: +61 3 5577 2241
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