Episode 34: Summer holidays
This week on Postcards, it's our Summer Holidays special! The warmer months are just around the corner, so the team have scoped out the best places along the coast to unwind and soak up the sun. Glen Moriarty travels to Lorne and checks out The Shed, a spacious and modern holiday home not far from the main beach, before tucking into some culinary delights at The Maple Tree. Brodie Harper ventures to the other side of the bay and discovers Peninsula Pantry in Rye, where she tries some home-made pastries and fresh salads, before retreating back to Isabelle Beach House to enjoy some open plan living and a gorgeous pool and spa. Shane Crawford is given a grand tour of the brand new RACV Resort in Torquay, where he enjoys a hit of golf on the 18 hole golf course, checks out the pool, fitness centre and tennis courts before receiving some royal treatment at the indulgent day spa. The Number One restaurant on the second floor of the resort is Shane's final stop, where he enjoys some modern Australian dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. Finally, Rebecca Judd drives to the Mornington Peninsula and admires the elegant and luxurious Meeka holiday property in Portsea, which boasts a lawn tennis court, a jacuzzi and a relaxing plunge pool. She then ventures down the road to Sorrento for a bite to eat at Itali.Co, where she has her fill of delicious wood fired oven pizzas whilst enjoying magnificent views of the bay.
Lorne – The Shed and The Maple Tree
Lorne is without a doubt one of the most picturesque and popular towns to visit on the west coast of Victoria. It is only two hours from Melbourne, and there are plenty of great accommodation options to choose from. One of the standout properties is The Shed. But it's not just any old shed, and after one look you'll realise just how special it is. From the outside this architecturally designed masterpiece is a combination of metal and glass that sits at the base of the hills leading to the state forest. The open plan living area is incredibly spacious, featuring polished concrete floors, floor to ceiling windows, two separate lounge areas, a galley kitchen, dining space, a wood fire and pool table. The Shed has seven bedrooms so there is plenty of room for the whole family, plus friends. The upstairs master bathroom is the pick of the bunch with its free standing bath and balcony area. There are three more bedrooms upstairs, all with queen size beds and a shared bathroom. Then downstairs you'll find two more rooms with queen beds plus another master bedroom with an ensuite. So whether it's a holiday on the coast you're after or perhaps you'd like to put in an offer and make a permanent move, The Shed has everything you need.
The township of Lorne boasts plenty of dining options but if you want to be seriously wined and dined without the hefty price tag, just head on down to The Maple Tree. The team at The Maple Tree work hard to ensure that every plate that leaves the kitchen is one to remember. This award winning venue certainly has the recipe for success down pat, with a great fit out, committed team and sensational menu, it's just one more reason to choose Lorne as your next summer holiday destination.
Great Ocean Road Real Estate
136 Mount Joy Parade, Lorne
Ph 03 5289 4233
The Maple Tree
116 Mount Joy Parade, Lorne
Ph 03 5289 1004
Rye – Isabelle Beach House and Peninsula Pantry
Isabelle Beach House is a private oasis, tucked away in the quiet streets of Rye, which is just an hour and a quarter from the city. With room for up to 12 people, it's the kind of house that is made for entertaining. It has sun lounges, an al fresco dining area, a BBQ, a spa and a pool. Inside the house the three rooms are made up of two queens and two bunks, which are all stylishly decorated in a coastal theme. There is also a separate bungalow that sleeps four.
Rye regulars avoid the busy shopping strip and head to Peninsular Pantry when they're in need of a tasty snack or meal. Hidden in the quiet suburban streets, this converted milk bar is the place to come for coffee, cake and even catering. The Peninsula Pantry master baker uses the best quality butter and free range eggs in all of the handmade pastries, including cinnamon scrolls, vanilla slice and Swedish Royals. Peninsula Pantry also stocks family sized pies, pasties, quiches and healthy salads for you to take home for dinner. Peninsula Pantry is open from 8 until 4 every day except Tuesdays.
Isabelle Beach House
Ph 1300 161 780
43a Wondaree Street, Rye
Ph 03 5985 2628
RACV Torquay Resort
RACV Torquay Resort is the perfect destination for a short break or a family getaway, and is only a 75 minute drive from Melbourne. The property opened in June this year so it's brand new and ready for visitors! The resort is set on a picturesque golf course, with spectacular ocean views and direct beach access. The newly built luxurious accommodation is set over five levels and all of the rooms and suites have views of the golf course or the ocean. There are 42 Ocean and Golf View rooms and 46 Premium Ocean View Rooms, many of which interconnect to form double family style rooms. On the upper levels, there are four Premium Ocean View suites with separate living areas, stylish fittings and lavish touches.
The facilities are also first class and there's something for everyone, from the family friendly indoor pool and playground to the tennis courts, the fitness centre and the truly indulgent day spa. Designed to rejuvenate, One Spa provides a wide range of treatments to awaken, revive and promote balance in your body. The spa menu offers massages, as well as facials, geisha tub soaks and a range of unique wet room offerings including the Otway Rainforest experience. A highlight is the Hammam bathing, with its stunning floatation and relaxation pools, thermal stone room, steam room and experiential showers.
If you're hungry, you can enjoy a bite and a drink at White's Paddock Bistro and Bar, or go all out at Number One Restaurant. Located on the second floor of the RACV Torquay Resort, Number One Restaurant and Wine Bar offers modern Australian food with European influences. Dishes like the Kennedy Creek grass fed rib eye and the crispy barramundi are made with fresh, local ingredients. You can also enjoy drinks and tapas at the bar or in the lounge by the open fireplace. And when it's time to burn off a few of those calories, you can sign up for a Spin Class in the fitness centre or just get on a bike and ride away.
RACV Torquay Resort
1 Great Ocean Road, Torquay
Ph 03 5261 1600
Meeka Portsea, Itali.Co Sorrento and Tideaways Beach
Sorrento and Portsea are gorgeous seaside spots that would make the perfect base for your next summer holiday. The drive only takes approximately ninety minutes from the CBD and there are plenty of great accommodation options to choose from. Meeka in Portsea is a beautiful property that exudes relaxed elegance and is nice and close to the beach. The grounds of the house feature a lawn tennis court and an outdoor entertaining area, a jacuzzi and a relaxing plunge pool. There are three large comfortable bedrooms along with two bathrooms. A modern kitchen and polished floorboards throughout make it a comfortable space to while away the summer hours.
Just down the road in Sorrento is Itali.Co, the ideal spot for a seaside lunch. It had all of the locals talking when it opened late last year in a famous limestone building which overlooks the bay. Itali.Co is the brainchild of the Nicolini family who opened the first pizzeria in Surfers Paradise back in 1969. Now they have eateries in Docklands, St Kilda and Sorrento. They are especially famous for their pizzas, which have won awards over the years, including an award this year for 'Best Pizza' at Non Solo Pasta – their Docklands restaurant. The Sorrento menu features wood fired pizzas, antipasti, piadinas and pasta along with breakfast.
And whilst you're in Sorrento, be sure to stop by Tideaways beach, one of the most protected beaches along the bay in Sorrento. Come summer time it's packed with families enjoying its gentle waves.
Kay and Burton, Portsea
Ph 03 5984 4744
1 Esplanade, Sorrento
Ph 03 5984 4004
Spring Fling Festival
The Spring Fling Festival in the Central Goldfields starts this Friday and offers more than 50 events running until October 27.
Where: Various venues in the Central Goldfields
When: 11–27 October, 2013
Bridge Road Brewers in Beechworth are celebrating Oktoberfest next weekend, so head north to join in on a weekend of German themed food, drink and entertainment!
Where: Bridge Road Brewers, Beechworth
When: 12–13 October, 2013
Wild Garden Weekend
Plan now for Melbourne Zoos' Wild Garden Weekend on at the end of month, where you can meet the horticultural team who will be mingling with zoo visitors.
Where: Melbourne Zoo
When: 26–27 October, 2013