Episode 05: Summer series
On this week's episode of Postcards Summer Series, Brodie Harper explores an historic property with beautiful gardens in Dromana called 'Heronswood', and also sits down to some delicious dishes at the onsite restaurant 'Fork to Fork'. Lauren Phillips takes the urban route through Melbourne and feasts on all sorts of juicy American inspired dishes such as American BBQ meats at 'Meatmother' in Richmond, spicy Mexican delights at 'Acland St Cantina' and hot-off-the-grill Argentinian fare at 'San Telmo'. 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, takes a dip in the pool, dines at 'Number One' restaurant, and receives some royal treatment at the indulgent day spa. Finally, Rebecca Judd ventures to Fitzroy in Melbourne where she is shown around 'The Grainger', an inner city property that can accommodate up to 16 people in comfort, before chatting with Andrew McConnell at the elegant 'Cutler and Co.' and stopping in to admire the contemporary art and original designer homeware at 'Spacecraft'.
'Heronswood' is a breathtaking property located in Dromana, just over an hour's drive from Melbourne. Designed in 1866 the house was built from granite blocks quarried from Arthurs Seat and its architecture is best described as 'Neo-Gothic'. Heronswood is also the home of 'The Diggers Club' who are the expert green thumbs that look after the two hectares of gardens which is made up of mature trees dating back to the 1800s, as well as an enviable exhibition of edible goodies from the ground. Everyone is able to enjoy the freshly grown herbs and vegetables at the onsite restaurant 'Fork to Fork'. Sit outside in fragrant surrounds or bunker down in the beautiful thatched-roof building and tuck into dishes like spiced pumpkin soup with kafia lime, calamari salad with roasted peppers, onions and chickpeas or perhaps a Heronswood Platter – roasted vegetables tossed together with some olive oil and topped with home-made basil pesto and local goat cheese.
105 Latrobe Parade, Dromana
Ph 03 5984 7900
Meatmother, Acland St Cantina and San Telmo
'Meatmother', located on Swan Street in Richmond, is the mother lode of American style BBQ. This meat lovers' mecca is spread over two levels. Downstairs is a bar that has bourbon and whisky inclined cocktails whilst upstairs is the main dining area, where mouths are watering over their meat trays. Baked for up to 12 hours with the chefs own concoction of special herbs and spices, this southern style food certainly has soul. Each meat tray comes with a side, for example pulled pork could be paired with chipotle slaw or beef short ribs might go well with mac n cheese. All combo's come served on Texas toast, delicious!
If you head south of the river to 'Acland St Cantina' in St Kilda, you'll be transported south of the border to the land of all things Mexican! Acland St Cantina is one of the newest joints to jump on the Mexican food wave that has taken the city by storm. At the cantina they cater to all crowds with an all-day, all night takeaway spot, a café, Mexi-Mart, liquor store and bar. But it's the dining room where the food fiesta really fires up! Although Acland St Cantina doesn't strictly stick to traditional Mexican cuisine, all the usual Mexican favourites can be found on the menu alongside some more complex dishes. And be sure to save room for dessert, you don't want to miss out on the salted caramel churros tacos!
Tucked away down Meyers Place, 'San Telmo' proudly flies the flag for South American cuisine in the city. This Argentinian style grill is named after Buenos Aires' oldest neighbourhood, and the romance and history of the area is captured by the antique clad dark interiors. Saddle up by the bar and you'll be able to admire the custom built parrilla on which most of their meats are cooked such as slowly smoked chorizo, and hanger steak served with chimichurri – a parsley, garlic and olive oil base sauce.
167 Swan Street, Richmond
Ph 03 9041 5393
14 Meyers Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 5525
Acland St Cantina
2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Ph 03 9536 1175
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 last 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 4 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.
1 Great Ocean Road, Torquay
Ph 03 5261 1600
The Grainger, Spacecraft and Cutler & Co.
The Grainger is an early Victorian home which was named after famous Melbourne composer Percy Grainger. Located on Nicholson Street, this property is very much a home away from home, offering seven bedrooms which accommodate up to 16 people in comfort. There's a large table for ten in the dining room, a newly renovated kitchen with all-new appliances, and even an outdoor courtyard garden.
Around the corner on Gertrude Street is 'Spacecraft', a store that sells contemporary art and original designer homeware. It is run by artist/designer Stewart Russell who creates his unique pieces in an art studio down the road. Each piece has a story behind it and architecture tends to be a reoccurring theme in his work.
Along the same street is one of Melbourne's most acclaimed restaurants – Cutler & Co., which executive chef Andrew McConnell opened four years ago. It reflects his passion for exceptional and often unusual produce as what started as a fine dining experience now allows the flexibility of family lunches, appetisers and drinks at the bar. The full degustation menu is still available and a signature of the eatery. Named top restaurant in Victoria in the Gourmet Traveller Guide for 2013, it has two chef's hats.
Nicholson Street, Fitzroy
225 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Ph 03 9486 0010
Cutler & Co.
55–57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Ph 03 9419 4888
Zoo Twilights – Perfect Tripod with Dan Kelly
'Perfect Tripod', together with Australian singer/songwriter Dan Kelly, will kick off the Zoo Twilights Season on January 24, so don't miss out on this hilarious musical performance.
Where: Melbourne Zoo
When: Friday 24 January, 2014
Festival of Sails
If you're in Geelong for the long weekend, be sure to check out the Festival of Sails, the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere.
Where: Geelong Waterfront
When: 25–27 January, 2014
Australia Day Events in Melbourne
Why not venture into the city next Sunday for the Australia Day Parade, the Children's Festival at the NGV, and the RACV Australia Day Picnic which includes the Federation Vehicle Display in Kings Domain Gardens.
Where: Swanston Street, Kings Domain Gardens and NGV
When: Sunday 26 January, 2014