The Mornington Peninsula

A few weeks back Hayden took me for a surprise weekend away to the Mornington Peninsula. For those of you who don’t know, the Mornington Peninsula is about an hour south of Melbourne. All I can say is this, if you live in Melbourne, or go to Melbourne often, and have not been down to the Mornington Peninsula, you are an idiot. The drive was quick and before we knew it we were surrounded by fields of vines, cows and open space.

We originally got the idea to check out Mornington from our friend Ollie. We met him while he was working at Bennelong, in Sydney. He’s one of those people that you meet and automatically feel like you’ve known them forever. We brought my parents to Bennelong when they were here visiting for Christmas. Of course, they met Ollie and as luck would have it, just as they were about to invite Ollie over for dinner the following week, he told us he was moving down to the Mornington Peninsula. I had to ask where the Mornington Peninsula was and soon found out, it’s far. We were sad but also excited, because now, we had an excuse to go somewhere exciting on a holiday…

Where we stayed…

  • We stayed at the beautiful Jackalope. The property is home to two restaurants, a spa, pool, cocktail lounge, vineyard and cellar door. It would be very hard not to love this place.

Entrance to the hotel

Jackalope- Hallways (1)

Jackalope- Room bathroom (1)

Jackalope- Room with bed (1)

Jackalope- Jax Hayden Sunlight (1)

Jackalope- Caviar full (1)

Jackalope- Vines view from room (1)

Where we ate…

  • Port Phillip Estate– Easily one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen. The entrance alone makes you feel like you’re entering one of James Bond’s secret hideaways. Besides it being a beautiful building, the food and wine are why people go and it’s easy to understand why. We stopped in for lunch and a wine tasting and were instantly relaxed the minute we walked through the door. It’s the type of place that even if you just go for a wine tasting, you’ll feel like you’ve just had a mini holiday.

PPE- Outside back (1)PPE- Empty Table (1)PPE- Wines with view (1)PPE- Terrine (1)PPE- Duck (1)PPE- Venison (1)PPE- Cheese plate (1)PPE- Jax with champagnePPE- front outside (1)


  • Doot Doot Doot– This is one of the restaurants at Jackalope, and also where our friend Ollie works. We came here for dinner our first night and opted for the tasting menu with wine pairings. It. was. so. good. A very well balanced degustation featuring the highest quality of local and in season produce, with perfectly paired wines.*If you don’t get the chance to eat at Doot Doot Doot, you have to stop by just to have a look at the beautiful ceiling, created using 10,000 lightbulbs.

DDD- Ceiling (1)

DDD- Menu (1)

DDD- Ollie (1)

DDD- Trout Roe Icecream (1)DDD- Truffle Eggs (1)DDD- Fish (1)DDD- Sweetbreads (1)DDD- Chef in kitchen (1)DDD- Duck (1)DDD- Dessert ice cream truffles (1)DDD- Rhubarb Dessert (1)DDD- Orange dessert with drink (1)DDD- Petite Fours (1)DDD- Jax on stairs NEW



  • Red Gum Barbecue– We stumbled upon Red Gum Barbecue while driving around (we were probably lost..). It a self proclaimed classic American style barbecue place. Being American, I feel like I’m allow to say, this was probably the best American style barbecue I’ve had in Australia. The space is a converted warehouse and is super casual, perfect for large groups and families with long picnic tables throughout.

Red Gum- Food with hands (1)Red Gum- Bar (1)Red Gum- Smoker (1)

  • Rare Hare- One of the two restaurants on the Jackalope property. Much like Doot Doot Doot, Rare Hare is a beautiful space that focuses on local and seasonal produce. We opted for some of the lighter items, after eating our weight in barbecue, and it was delicious. *Yes, we consider mortadella and salami “light”.

Rare Hare- Trout crisp (1)Rare Haer- Meats (1)Rare Hare- Squid (1)Rare Hare- Pumpkin (1)

Where we visited…

  • Avani Wines- Avani is run by Shashi and Devendra Singh. They are one of the most lovely couples. They bio-dinamicaly grow their own grapes for their Syrah, and also buy grapes to make a Chardonnay and Pino Gris. If you get to talking (we stayed for 3 hours) you may find yourself in the basement of their home, trying wines straight from the barrel that they themselves haven’t tried in 2 years. It is a special and unique experience different from many cellar doors. If you love wine and good conversation, you’d be a fool not to stop in. *Avani is by appointment only, I have added their website at the bottom of this post.

Avani- couple standing alone smiling (1)Avani- Devendra wines close up (1)Avani- Vines (1)Avani- Shashi pouring wines (1)Avani- Wines in front of vines close up (1)Avani- Jax in the cellar (1)Avani- Jax and Devendra talking (1)

  • Main Ridge Dairy- Main Ridge Dairy is a goat farm that makes strictly goats cheese. They offer a range of different tasting plates for groups of all sizes, and also sell all of their cheeses. We went for a small tasting plate that allowed us to try all the cheeses without getting too full. They were delicious and each was different from the next. A great spot to stop between wine tastings or with the kids to see the goats.

Cheese- Goat close up cropped ear (1)Cheese- Goat's cheese plater (1)Cheese- Jax and Goat Kiss (1)

This was our trip! We gave ourselves plenty of time to relax and kept our schedule pretty loose. There are so many beautiful places in and around the Mornington Peninsula it would be hard to go wrong staying, eating or visiting anywhere. I’ve added the websites of where we went below, feel free to comment with any questions you may have!


Doot Doot Doot & Rare Hare

Port Phillip Estate


Red Gum BBQ

Main Ridge Dairy

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