On Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, pairing amazing coastal and bush walks with excellent food and wine is easy! From all-day breakfasts and grazing plates to handcrafted ice cream and fine dining feasts – all created from the abundance of fresh produce – you’re spoilt for choice. With so many options, we thought we’d shortlist a few of our favourites!
Merricks General Wine Store
This Peninsula icon was established in 1924 and offers authentic country charm nestled between rolling hills and beautiful coastline. The French inspired seasonal menu serving breakfast and lunch 7 days a week is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The staff are friendly, the food is delicious and the local wines are worth a sample. Merricks General Wine Store is home to Quealy, Elgee Park and Baillieu wines and the cellar door also stocks a selection of renowned neighbours’ wines. We love this venue for the charming heritage listed venue, welcoming country atmosphere and the array of quality local produce to take home with you. Don’t miss posing next door to Merricks House to admire works by a local artist or find something beautiful at The Traders store.
The site of the Sorrento sea baths in the late 1800s is now an absolute beachfront restaurant offering unrivalled views over the bay in Sorrento. It’s hard to fault this restaurant offering both local and renowned wine accompanying consistent and tasty food. Once you take in the setting at The Baths you will soon see why it is often hired as a wedding venue.
Photo courtesy of The Baths, Sorrento
Enjoy a stroll along Sorrento main beach after or perhaps wander up the hill into Sorrento to enjoy a boutique handcrafted ice cream from Mubble – we love the salted caramel and the lime sorbet!
Photo courtesy of Mubble, Sorrento
The Portsea Hotel is without a doubt the most picturesque hotel on the Mornington Peninsula. It was established in 1876 and has been recently renovated. The hotel offers a fantastic beer garden, covered dining terrace and a spectacular Portsea deck overlooking Port Phillip Bay. It is busy over summer but the quality of food keeps the locals and tourists coming back year-round. It’s a must visit, even just for an afternoon drink in the sunshine.
Panda Blairgowrie is all about the simple concept of sharing delicious food with laughter, wine and happiness – a simple but fabulous concept. They offer dinner every night and breakfast on the weekends with an upmarket, unpretentious atmosphere. We enjoyed the mussels in a coconut curry broth and calamari saganaki. It’s worth popping over the road after for a wonder along Blairgowrie front beach. Walk to your left towards Sorrento where you can enjoy watching the boats arrive and leave at the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, or walk along the pier.
St Andrews Beach Brewery
This is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. It’s worth a visit to see how a former world-class horse training facility has been transformed into a truly unique venue. The former racetrack is now home to 8000 apple and pear trees. The venue is stylish but welcoming, the staff are friendly and accommodating, and the food is relaxed and delicious. The open and spacious beer garden is framed by converted horse stables on each side, each one housing a booth ideal for private bookings. The back wall is all glass allowing visitors to see how and where their beer is made. The St Andrews Beach Brewery is only 5 minutes from rugged and dramatic Gunnamatta Beach and also boasts a 2-acre vegetable garden where much of the produce is sourced from, for their mostly grazing and shared plate menu. This bustling venue is not your usual brewery!
Photo courtesy of St Andrews Beach Brewery
Nestled between the rugged Bass Strait coast and the calm waters of Western Port, Flinders Hotel is the perfect base to explore the many delights of the Mornington Peninsula. The Flinders Hotel has been a warm and welcoming meeting place on the peninsula for generations. The extensive menu at The Deck offers everything from pub classics to contemporary cuisine. The outdoor eating area is perfect to enjoy on a sunny day. We love the seafood linguini and the mushroom gnocchi!
Photos courtesy of Flinders Hotel
Georgie Bass Cafe & Cookery
We love the relaxed atmosphere of this cafe offering indoor and outdoor seating. Whether you are enjoying a delicious breakfast in the outdoor garden, picking up a loaf of their homemade sourdough, grabbing an egg & bacon roll and a coffee on the run or enjoying a poke bowl for lunch, you will no doubt enjoy the healthy and innovative options their creative chefs have on offer. Their philosophy is simple – delicious food that looks and tastes fabulous using the best our regional farmers, dairies, vineyards and orchards have to offer. Georgie Bass Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week and also offers renowned cooking classes.
Photo courtesy of Flinders Hotel
Perhaps a lemon-curd filled donut topped with lime segments and bitters-flavoured meringue takes your fancy? Or you might prefer a beef and burgundy pie or a shepherd’s pie to take home? Peninsula Pantry is a local cafe in a side street in Rye offering in-house made food using local ingredients where possible. They are known for their cakes, pastries, breakfasts and delicious salads. Don’t miss the Swedish cinnamon scrolls!
View our Mornington Peninsula Walks
The Mornington Peninsula’s popular bayside and wild ocean surf beaches and outstanding cool-climate vineyards are well known. Discover the lesser-known highlights – the rugged coastlines, national parks and beautiful hinterlands of rolling hills and sublime scenery. Experience the very best of this unique destination on your own two feet.