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One of the main tourist attractions in the Mornington Peninsula is the Red Hill Estate for all wine lovers. For beer lovers, there is the Red Hill Brewery. Their brewery and dining area has this nice rustic wooden aesthetic to it but it feels very Australian and modern. While the Brewery’s beer gets people through the doors, their sharing plates are wonderful in its own right.

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We ordered one of those beer sampling tray, as seen below. From the far back I believe Wheat Beer, Scotch Ale, Belgian Blonde and Golden Ale. Being a fan of the lighter beers, I much preferred the golden coloured beers as it didn’t feel as heavy and strong. I don’t drink beer all that often so I really can’t comment on the complexities of flavours of each beer, but I’d definitely go back for the Belgian Blonde. Reminds me of Stella Artois, which is a good thing!

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We also ordered three sharing platters which range from $10-12 dollars as this was basically our morning tea beer, and to accompany our lovely beers.

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The first dish we ordered is the Beetroot & Orange Cured Salmon. My golly was it something else. The citrus flavour of the orange works really well with the slight saltiness of the salmon and the sweetness of the beetroot makes this whole combination oddly beautiful.  The Main Ridge dairy goats curd mousse and pea shoot salad, really add to the complexity of the dish. I’m actually a fan, even though I was quite apprehensive at first.

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The other two dishes we ordered is the Stoemp Cakes. These crispy fried pieces contain mashed potato served with vegies. I’m a big fan of anything potato so these cakes were superb. The batter is very light and thin so it doesn’t feel overly rich and fattening. The homemade mayonnaise adds a nice creaminess to the overall dish. So I was pretty happy with this dish, but I’d be happy with potato regardless so maybe it’s not the best advice to go off.

On the right of the picture, in the red bowl, is the Lamb Koftas. Again, Red Hill Brewery have served up another winner. These lamb balls aremarinated with some very pleasant spices, and for those that are put off by the Lamb taste, it still has retains some of this but the roast tomato sauce along with the spices mostly mask this flavour.  Even though I loved the Stoemp Cakes, these Lamb Koftas were my absolute favourite. Perfectly cooked, and just a pleasure to eat.

Red Hill Brewery is definitely a must visit for Beer lovers, but also wins my heart for its delicious food. I couldn’t afford to come here as often as I would like, but that’s okay. When travelling to (or even through the) Mornington Peninsula, you can’t go wrong with stopping here.

Red Hill Brewery on Urbanspoon

Red Hill Brewery (Menu)
88 Shoreham Rd
Red Hill South
Victoria 3937

Ph 03 59892959
Fax 03 59892270

Winter Opening Hours
Thursday – Sunday 11am – 6pm (7pm during daylight savings)
plus all Public holidays and Mondays during school holidays

NB: Bookings are required for lunch

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There sure are an insurmountable number of eateries just in the Mornington Peninsula. Us Melburnians are definitely spoilt for choice.

Mainly wineries were open on the Monday that we decided to take a trip down there, if you come down on a weekend I’m sure it’d make deciding what’s for lunch… or just a snack even harder.

I think we bad some bad luck finding some breweries on a weekday though. We tried the Red Hill Brewery but to no avail, it did have a quaint look to it and well I’ve heard some good things about it.

Finally we found a ‘Beer Garden’ called Pig & Whistle, it has that old bar feel to it. A bit country, a bit pub but homely and welcoming is what you get too.

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It has two separate areas, one is the bar which serves mainly the alcohol and pub food. The menu looked decent, it had the standard fare of fish and chips, pies and well if I can recall, pizzas.

Then there is the restaurant area, which has indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating was plentiful and it actually looked quite nice, plus it was a good day but I do prefer the indoors when eating a meal so we decided to seat inside.

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The inside of Pig & Whistle is filled with old mugs and 50s/60s memorabilia, from the looks of it anyway with many posters and frames all hanging around. It has that older carpet/country smell that you get from some B&Bs or a motel but it didn’t really detract from my experience.

The menu selection was decent, it had a mix of cultural foods from Italian, Thai, and the Australian/English varieties and local and international alcoholic beverages. As I have an undying love for all things risotto, I picked a Seafood Risotto as one of the specials of the day.

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It was really quite good. Had a generous quantity of prawns, scallops and mussels (If I can recall) and was seasoned nicely. The rice was cooked well too. It was tomato based with some grated cheese on top and it all worked pretty well. One of the better risottos I’ve eaten, and was pleasantly surprised in the end.

They also had a Thai Green Curry
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Classic Fish and Chips
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Seafood Pasta
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All in all, we had a perfectly good meal. Service was decent, it might have come a bit later then we expected but nothing to raise arms about. After our lunch, we headed to their garden to check out the views and flowers.

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The Pig and Whistle definitely has made it’s mark in the area, catering for everything you could possible want. Their dessert menu looked good too but we were stuffed!

Check it out for yourself!

Pig & Whistle Tavern on Urbanspoon
Pig and Whistle Tavern & Restaurant

Open from 11.00am every day until late

1429 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road
Olinda
Victoria
9751 2366

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Visited Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm in Main Ridge (Mornington Peninsula). I’ve heard about these from travel shows like Postcards and it looked like a great place to find local alcoholic drinks, jams and food. I think it started out as a family business and has grown extensively.
It seemed like it was quite a popular place, many cars parked there already before midday on a weekday too!

Sunny Ridge first and foremost is a strawberry farm, where customers can pick their own fruit. Usually customers are able to pick not just strawberries but raspberries, blueberries and avocadoes too, although I think due to the strange Victorian whether we had that they didn’t have enough plants for picking.

You can also buy their produce if you didn’t want to pick them yourself, it also has jams, syrups, wines, chocolates, ice creams and a nice selection of desserts and snacks. Their selection of jams; strawberry (of course), raspberry, and I think blackberry, in assorted sizes. Plus many tasty looking chocolate and fruit syrups like passionfruit and strawberry. Sunny Ridge has chocolate coated freeze dried strawberries and blueberries too. I didn’t get to try them but it looked quite nice.

Wines
We tasted a wide selection of alcoholic beverages under the brand Robello Wines, which is an extension from the family business. liquors (two variations – a Fragola Cielo Strawberry Liquor and Fragola Amore Strawberry Cream Liquor) both quite sweet and light. The strawberry cream liquor tasted like a strawberry milkshake, a similar texture to Baileys.
They stocked a Charlotte, a 100% Strawberry Sparkling which has won numerous Australian Fruit and Wine awards. This had such a nice flavour, a strong strawberry punch. An instant like.

The Strawbellini (Moscato Strawberry Sparkling) was also another favourite of mine. It was refreshing and had a nice strawberry flavour to it too. This wine has recently been placed in the top 5 sparkling wines of the San Francisco International Wine Competition, that is quite the feat.

The Lolo Semi SweetStrawberry Wine was a bit of a let down after trying two fantastic sparkling wines, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. It just didn’t pack the same punch as the two sparking wines.
They also stock a Fragola Port, which I somehow missed.

Sunny Ridge also had a new line of ciders, Apple and Apple & Strawberry. The Apple & Strawberry cider had a nice flavour, it had a sweeter and well, stronger flavour to it then the Apple. The Apple one, compared to the Strongbow varieties, it didn’t really stack up but the Strawberry cider did have a different flavour to keep me interested.

For the non-alcoholics, they had Sparkling Strawberry flavoured beverage which wasn’t there for tasting, but I presume with the many fantastic strawberry wines they had, that this one would be excellent too.

Cafe
Then we went onto the cafe, they had a great range in their menu. Cakes, tarts, ice creams, sundae, teas, milkshakes. Pretty much everything. Their desserts looked quite scrumptious, it was hard to choose!

We ended up trying the Strawberry cheesecake, Devonshire tea and their ice cream.
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The cheesecake was served with a chocolate and strawberry syrup, whipped cream and fresh strawberries. It looked and tasted fantastic, it had such a great taste to it, it was smooth and soft with a nice biscuit bottom. Plus the syrups and cream just added an extra texture and flavour to it all.
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The Devonshire tea (aka Scones + jam) was nice, it wasn’t the lightest and fluffiest scones I’ve ever eaten but it was certainly better than the ones I attempted to make.

We tried the Roasted almond ice cream and the Strawberry ice cream. I liked them both, it tasted real and fresh without any fake flavouring that many ice creams seemed to have. There was a Strawberry farm in Tasmania that tops this one, but it was still good nonetheless.

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We managed to devour everything and Sunny Ridge definitely made a lasting impression on me.
Their wide selection of products means we’ll be heading there again and I can see why it is so popular and a great tourist attraction for the Mornington Peninsula.

Check it out, it is certainly worth a stop by:

Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm on Urbanspoon
Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
244 Shands Road, Main Ridge

Victoria 3928,

AUSTRALIA

Phone: +61 3 5989 4500
Email: info@sunnyridge.com.au

Opens Daily 9am to 5pm (Nov to Apr) or weekends 11am to 4pm (May to Oct)

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