Episode 06: Country charm
In this episode, Rebecca, Glen, Brodie and Shane take a drive out of the city to discover some of the most divine country retreats and activities Victoria has to offer. From Lake Daylesford Country House to an arts and crafts market at Lardner Park in Gippsland, gorgeous luxury accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula and a road trip to the King Valley, you'll love everything about regional Victoria and its indisputable country charm.
Lake Daylesford Country House and Captains Creek Organic Wines and Produce
Lake Daylesford Country House is located just a short stroll from the centre of Daylesford and only an hour and a half's drive from Melbourne. The four stunning rooms have been decorated tastefully and come with an ensuite bathroom. Other highlights of the property include a luxurious lounge and a separate dining room with French doors that open up to the outdoor dining area. There's also a gorgeous, fully-equipped country kitchen.
For a true country experience, be sure to visit Captains Creek Organic Wines, just one of the region's many wonderful food and wine producers. This small, family-owned vineyard is part of a larger 100 hectare mixed organic farm growing vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Lake Daylesford Country House
Ph 03 5348 4422
Captains Creek Organic Wines and Produce
160 Mays Road, Blampied
Ph 03 5345 7408
Pizzini Wines and the Mountain View Hotel
King Valley is situated in north-eastern Victoria, nestled between Wangaratta and the Alpine National Park. The drive from Melbourne will take around three hours and one of the most popular places to visit is the Pizzini winery in Whitfield. Taste your way through their range at the cellar door or pay a visit to Katrina Pizzini's A tavola! cooking school to learn some of the family's culinary secrets that have been passed down through the generations.
The small country town of Whitfield has always been popular for camping, bushwalking and four-wheel driving, but now there's another good reason to visit. Surrounded by gardens and situated on Jessie's Creek, the Mountain View Hotel has been in the Pizzini family for years and a recent makeover has turned it into one of the region's finest boutique gastro-pubs.
175 King Valley Road, Whitfield
Ph 03 5729 8278
Mountain View Hotel
4 King Valley Road, Whitfield
Ph 03 5729 8270
A Day Out At Lardner Park
Head to A Day Out at Lardner Park to experience all the charm of a country market. Located midway between Warragul and Drouin, Lardner Park is just over an hour's drive out of Melbourne. It's run by Craft Markets Australia, who established the famous Red Hill Market. Treat your taste buds to the gourmet smorgasbord on offer. Culinary delights include preserves, home-style baked goods and seasonal fruit and vegetable. All this shopping will make you hungry and it will be hard to ignore the sensational aromas wafting from the market's food stalls. Spend a few pesos at Nicatacos, who specialise in a Nicaraguan version of the popular Latin American snack.
A Day Out At Lardner Park
155 Burnt Store Road, Lardner
Ph 03 5976 3266
Tussie Mussie Vineyard Retreat Farm and Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
Tussie Mussie Vineyard Retreat offers several different types of self-contained accommodation. Stay in the main lodge with its four bedrooms, country kitchen and comfortable lounge. Or for a relaxed and romantic getaway, opt for the Old Laundry, or the separate owner's cottage. The property boasts many attractions, one of which is its Vineyard Kitchen. Cook here to your heart's content using ingredients from the kitchen garden and then enjoy your meal in the adjoining modern dining space. The outdoor pizza oven makes another appetizing attraction. Make your own or, better still, hire a chef to make one for you.
While in the region, take advantage of its many excellent wineries, including Red Hill South's Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove. Sample their wines, explore the property, grab a snack in the outdoor cafe or settle in for some of best in local cuisine at their acclaimed restaurant. The restaurant offers floor to ceiling views across the valley and serves food inspired by regional France but utilising fresh, seasonal produce from the Mornington Peninsula.
Tussie Mussie Vineyard Retreat
206 Bittern-Dromana Road, Merricks North
Ph 0408 976 410
Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
33 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South
Ph 03 5989 8412
2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
The 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival is about to roll into town, so book your tickets and get ready to have a laugh at one of the many events on offer.
Where: Melbourne International Comedy Festival
When: March 27−April 21
Suzuki Night Market, Queen Victoria Market
Calling all market fans! This coming Wednesday is your last opportunity until the end of the year to explore what's on offer at the Suzuki Night Market.
Where: Queen Victoria Market
When: Until March 27
Deni Blues & Roots Festival, Deniliquin
And next weekend Deniliquin plays host to one of the biggest events in town: the Deni Blues & Roots Festival. Come along and get your dancing shoes on for a great weekend of fun and entertainment.
When: 30−31 March