Episode 01: 9 February
In the first episode for 2014, the Postcards team travel all over Victoria to discover some of the best places to eat, drink and relax. Glen kicks off the show with some grape grazing in the Yarra Valley where he samples fine wines at De Bortoli, Rochford Winery and Coombe Farm Estate. Lauren travels to the picturesque town of Daylesford where she explores an impressive historical property, wanders through the beautiful Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens and finally enjoys a picnic courtesy of the Wombat Hill House Café. Brodie ventures to the Mornington Peninsula to enjoy all of the colour, crafts and culinary delights at the Red Hill Market, and finally Shelley Craft chats all things 'The Block' with Shane Crawford and shows him around her home away from home, Albert Park.
Yarra Valley wineries
De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate was established back in 1928 and is renowned for its classic Italian-style wine and food. 'Locale' is the restaurant onsite at De Bortoli which serves delicious dishes such as gnocchi with pork shoulder ragu and seared quail breast. The cellar door is open for wine tastings daily, and the famous cheese shop offers cheese varieties such as Meredith Goat's cheese, French Brie and Heidi Gruyere to pair with your favourite drop.
Just around the corner from De Bortoli is Coombe Cottage, which was once the Melbourne residence of Dame Nellie Melba, one of the most famous opera singers of the 20th century. The cottage and its surrounding gardens are currently closed to the public but the gates will open once the new restaurant is complete. Meanwhile, the Coombe Farm Estate 'Tasting Room' is open to all and it's where you can sample wines such as chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot gris. During the Grape Grazing Festival, Coombe Farm will play host to opera, show tunes and sliders in the vines.
Rochford Winery will also be a hot spot during the Grape Grazing Festival this year, as it will host some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry and have plenty of great food and wine on offer. During the festival, Jimmy Barnes will perform at 'A Day On The Green' on Saturday 15 February, and there will also be 'Movies in the Vineyard' with 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' screening on Friday 14 February. Aside from all of the festival fun, the Rochford Cellar door is also well worth a visit, as is 'Isabella's at Rochford' the onsite restaurant and café, which serves up dishes such as wagyu carpaccio, manchego and piquillo pepper croquettes, and duck breast fricassee.
De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate
Pinnacle Lane, Dixons Creek
Ph 03 5965 2271
Coombe Farm Estate Wines
11 St Huberts Road, Coldstream
Ph 03 9739 1131
878–880 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream
Ph 03 5962 2119
Grape Grazing Festival
Ph 03 9730 2447
The accommodation options in Daylesford are endless but if you're after a property with rustic charm and a fresh feel then look no further than the Coach House. Built in 1854, the impressive historical house was originally a hotel catering to the many gold miners in the area. It included both a shop for essentials and accommodation. These days it has five bedrooms which can sleep up to 14 people, a huge kitchen and two lounge rooms. Along with its lake frontage the Coach House is also surrounded by large European gardens.
Another great place to enjoy beautiful surrounds is at the nearby Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens. The Wombat Hill Gardens are situated on an ancient extinct volcano, high above Daylesford. Set over ten hectares, the gardens were established by Baron Ferdinand Von Mueller who was also responsible for Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens. A highlight within the gardens is the many rare and notable trees, some of which are included in the National Trust Register of Significant Trees. Amongst the natural beauty you'll also find Wombat Hill House Café. Once an old caretaker's cottage, the quaint café is decked out with comfortable couches inside, and surrounded by a lush garden outside. The café offers simple seasonal food, sourced locally wherever possible. The team at Wombat Hill House Café also prepare picnic hampers for those that wish to find their own dining spot amongst the greenery.
The Coach House
Ph 03 5348 4422
Wombat Hill House Cafe and Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens
Central Springs Road, Daylesford
Ph 03 4373 0099
Red Hill Market
The Red Hill Market comes to life on the first Saturday of each month, excluding June, July and August, at Red Hill Recreation Reserve on Arthurs Seat Road. There are plenty of food stalls selling tasty take-home treats such as jams made with locally grown blueberries, Mediterranean antipasto, freshly baked bread and Grandma's traditional plum puddings. Or if you're after a snack on the spot, treat yourself to some piping hot calamari, a delicious taco or two, or even hot corn on the cob. In addition to the delectable food offerings at the market, there are also plenty of stalls selling pieces for your home and garden including hand crafted glass work, individually stitched bean bags, fresh roses and quirky hand painted signs. A trip to the Red Hill Market is the perfect way to spend a family day out as there is also live entertainment and activities for the kids. Stallholders have been selling all sorts of wares at the market for 40 years now, so you're bound to find a few goodies that you'll love.
Red Hill Recreation Reserve, Arthurs Seat Road, Red Hill
'The Avenue Bookstore' opened in 1986, and is located in the heart of Albert Park village. It continues to be a favourite local meeting place, as well as a destination store for book lovers across Melbourne and beyond. The store carries an extensive range of select local and imported books with a strong focus on the best new and backlist titles in all categories. From new release hardbacks and children's stories to books on food, art and design, this gem has every form of literature you can imagine.
One of the newest spots along Victoria Avenue is 'D.O.C.' Albert Park. This restaurant serves simple Italian fare, and is part of a popular chain run by the Nicolini family who are kicking goals on the culinary scene. D.O.C. Albert Park serves up classic Italian food made from quality produce, and the restaurant exudes an authentic atmosphere despite the contemporary space that it's housed in. Delicious pizzas are laden with toppings such as fresh basil, buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and prosciutto, and the pastas and salads are just as tasty.
Further along Victoria Avenue is 'Jock's', an ice cream store that has been scooping and selling the good stuff for over ten years. Jock's ice creams are made from scratch with high quality ingredients. Favourite flavours amongst the crowds that flock to Jock's include Hokey Pokey and Chocolate, so beat the warm weather and treat yourself to a cone or cup filled to the brim.
The Avenue Bookstore
127 Dundas Place, Albert Park
Ph 03 9690 2227
D.O.C. Albert Park
135 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park
Ph 03 9690 7960
Jock's Ice Cream Store
83 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park
Ph 03 9686 3838
'GREASE' The Musical
After successful seasons in Brisbane and Sydney, and coming soon to Adelaide and Perth, the No. 1 Party Musical – 'GREASE' is now showing at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne, so don't miss out on this 'electrifyin' production!
Where: Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne
When: Until the end of March, 2014
Sand Sculpting Australia Exhibition – 'StoryLand'
The Frankston foreshore is the place to be over the coming months as it's where you'll find the amazing 'StoryLand' themed sand sculptures on display, along with plenty of fun activities for the kids as well!
Where: Frankston Waterfront
When: Until 27 April, 2014
Apollo Bay Seafood Festival
If you're a lover of seafood, then venture down to Apollo Bay in two weeks' time and check out the Apollo Bay Seafood Festival, where there'll be live music, a farmer's market, and of course – an abundance of seafood from the region!
Where: Apollo Bay Foreshore
When: Saturday 22 February, 2014