Mornington Peninsula Trip- Day 1

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Froggy’s birthday is coming up soon and we designed an ultimate girls weekend getaway to celebrate: a little bit of wine, a little bit of pampering and lots of delicious food.  Cue Mornington Peninsula – this place has absolutely everything a girl wants, and more.
Froggy, Monky and I started our journey early Friday morning.  We had a Groupon voucher for Horseback Winery Tour that morning.  Though the forecast was rainy that day, the weather held up and have us some glorious sunshine.

Horseback Winery Tour has got a huge upgrade since I was there a few years ago, when they were still operating in a shed.  Now, they have this beautiful centre completed with lockers, wine tasting, reception desk.

As there are quite a number of people going on tours, I felt that at times they were trying to herd us along at the reception.  Nonetheless once we got our horses the tour guides are lovely & relaxed.

I got Sparky the cheeky horse, who likes to nip at other horses’ butt when they go too slow and loves to eat.  Apparently people say the horses reflects the rider’s  personalities…

We visited two wineries, T’Gallant and Green Olive which I am quite familiar with already.  We bought the Romeo and Juliet sweet wine from T’Gallant, and at Green Olive I bought some nourishing hand cream while Monky and Froggy bought some dukkah and delicious olives.

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After we got back from our tour we went to Red Hill Epicurean as part of our tour package for lunch.  We get to choose a pasta/ risotto / pizza plus wine and salad.  We all decided on the seafood gnocchi with mussels, prawns, scallops in a bisque.  Whilst the sauce was beautiful and the seafood was relatively fresh, we all thought that pairing a seafood bisque sauce with gnocchi was quite weird as the gnocchi didn’t quite grip the sauce.

We paid $35 for lunch to be included, but I thought it could have been better value for money.

After lunch, it’s hot springs time!  Peninsula Hot Springs is one of my favourite places in Victoria, and funnily enough, not a lot of people know about this natural hot springs location.  What I like about Peninsula Hot Springs as opposed to Daylesford is that this is an outdoor hotsprings, so you are pretty much at one with nature.  There are a number of different pools, some are hotter than the others.

My favourite one is the hilltop pool.  It’s quite a hike from the main area, however once you got there it’s well worth it.  The view was simply amazing.  Sadly it was really rainy when we got up there, but if you love a bit of romance you can nuggle up to your love ones in a hot pool, under cold cold rain, which is not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

By the time we are done with the hilltop pool, the sun has set and the hot springs lit up all these pretty lights to guide us down.  We went to the Hamman Turkish steam sauna, the normal sauna and the therapy pool before heading off to dinner.

Stillwater at Crittenden offers a weekday special dinner, three courses for $65, which is exceptionally value for money.  Monky and I started with the Three Things from the Sea: Oysters, Prawns and Kingfish sashimi whilst Froggy had the croquettes.

IMG_1121 [800x600]The Croquettes were beautifully cheesy and crunchy, with bits of jamon to add saltiness and freshly smoked almonds adds an extra dimension to the dish.  Sadly we can’t say the same for the seafood.  The oyster weren’t very fresh, and the yuzu in the oysters were too subtle to detect.  The kingfish sashimi was advertised with a mirin soya dipping sauce but that didn’t come, so it was just kingfish sashimi with nothing, which is pretty boring.

IMG_1124 [800x600]The mains though, more than made up for the sad entrees.  My mains of lamb in two ways were simply amazing.  The slow cooked shoulder were melt in your mouth and my rack of lamb was beautifully cooked.  Monky and Froggy’s eye fillet with creamy potato puree was also sensational.  We would probably be really happy just coming back for the mains and skip the entrees, and also the dessert.

As you can probably tell by the above comment, we weren’t too happy with our dessert either.  Sadly, my highly aniticipated hot ricotta donuts and the girls’ honey spiced pannacotta fell wayyyyyy short of expectations.

IMG_1132 [800x600]My ricotta donuts, first of all, wasn’t hot at all.  It was pretty soggy and mushy at that.  What really made up for it was the dots of lemon curds, strawberry puree and chocolate sauce.  The honey spiced pannacotta was pretty tasteless and once again had to combine with the other elements to make it passable.

I know a lot of people gave positive reviews about Stillwater at Crittenden but in our opinion it was too much of a hit and miss to truly say we enjoy the experience.

It was a long day and we crashed almost instantly we got back to our airbnb apartment.  ZZzzzZZZzzzZZzzz

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