Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Road trip: Red Hill and the Mornington Peninsula

The day after the Great Ocean Road marathon we visited the Peninsula Hot Springs for a soak in the thermal baths to relax our weary muscles. I thought Ruth might like to visit the spa so we headed there for a couple of hours to enjoy relaxing in the different thermal pools and lying down on the big slab of marble in the hamam. Interspersed with with a couple of dips into the cold and refreshing plunge pools. It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

After the spa we drove up to Daroma for lunch. We popped into café JETT, a place with a very high opinion of themselves. The waitresses we wearing t-shirts asking you to like them on face book, there was a JETT newsletter on the tables, invites to their sixth birthday party and even a JETT club for you to join. I only wanted some lunch, not a new best friend.

After lunch with drove up to Arthurs Seat which is a local high point in the area and home to an over sized green chair. Unfortunately it was quite a murky day so we didn't get the best views of Port Phillip Bay.

So we could all have a tipple we decided to drop of our hire car at our rented cabin and set off on foot to walk to the local wineries. Our first stop was Darling Park. We spent a thoroughly enjoyable time tasting eight different wines while chatting to one of the staff at the winery. As we were the only people there we got his undivided attention and it was interesting to learn about the different grapes, growing conditions and wine making techniques.

As I've thought in the Hunter Valley you don't really get any cellar door bargains. If anything the prices at the boutique wineries are generally quite high. Which I'd also say is true of Darling Park's premium selection. However, they also sell at the cellar door a red and wine (only by the case) some very decent wines at $10 a bottle. If I lived in Melbourne I would have bought a case of each.

Our friendly host waived all of our tasting fees because Andrew bought a bottle.

A little tipsy after eight (small) glasses we stopped in at Vines of Red Hill only to be told that they didn't have any wine left as they'd sold out and were waiting for the new season. Probably a good thing for the head!

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