After checking out from our accommodation, we spent a bit of time around Mornington.   We then decided to head for a winery for lunch.  Our first choice was closed (notwithstanding that the map I’d got from the information centre said it would be open)!   So we headed down the road, and found we were at Jackalope.

Well, with the benefit of hindsight, I now realise that it had been mentioned to me, but I was not prepared for the stylish atmosphere that we encountered.  We had a lovely lunch at the Rare Hare, all designed around “tasting plates” of various sizes, for sharing.  We had the chargrilled squid, roasted pumpkin and the ducklegs.    Very innovative, good flavours and interesting presentation.  Our only minor quibble is that we’re sure the quince jelly mentioned on the menu as accompanying the duck legs had been replaced by a tomato relish;    kind of an interesting touch, and I was OK with it, but S wasn’t impressed.

Seating was at benches (but no problems with these), and the number of patrons even though we were there early in the week attests to the fact that this place has clearly earned a name for itself.

Hotel reception, accommodation block behind
The Rare Hare restaurant
View over the vines while at lunch
More vines!
So trendy for up-market chefs to have a kitchen garden!
..and yes, lots of things growing in the kitchen garden!
Accommodation wing at Jackalope



After a “continental breakfast” (included in our room rate) consisting of generous serves of muesli, fruit, croissants and rolls and more, we ventured down the peninsula to Sorrento.   The day was cool and cloudy, but there was no sign of rain.

Lunch was at The Baths, our first visit after it was rebuilt after a fire a few years back.  Very pleasant welcome and nice food, although the kitchen was slightly slow I thought (not really complaining just mentioning).  We were amazed that the carpark at the Back Beach when we headed there was completely full – we had stumbled on a memorial service.    I returned later, when things were less hectic and. yes, the timeless atmosphere of the back beach is intact!

After a stroll around the shops, we headed to the Sorrento Hotel for “coffee with a view”, thence back to our accommodation to get ready for dinner.

The Baths – rebuilt
View from The Baths
Pop-up ice skating rink being erected on Sorrento foreshore
Sorrento Back Beach – timeless
Ferry watching while having a coffee
From balcony at our accommodation – city skyline across the bay

To Mornington

We’re spending a couple of nights at Mornington.    Yes, I know it’s not very far from home, but in a pleasant hotel room with a balcony giving an uninterrupted view of the Bay, we feel as though we could be in another country!

We arrived in time for a great lunch at The Rocks, down by the yacht club, and enjoyed a walk along the pier on a sunny winter’s day.   We then had dinner at the Royal Hotel.

The Rocks, Mornington
Yachts, Mornington
Sunset from hotel room

Lunch at Mornington

We had lunch with friends at Mornington, eating at Kirks.   The meals were fine, could have been a little warmer in some cases, but the prices were OK and the service was good.  There were some views out over the Bay, too.    On the day we were there, the local “seniors” seemed to appreciate the place!

Afterwards a couple of us went for a walk along the clifftop to the point where you can overlook the pier and the yacht club.    I hadn’t been aware that there’s a board walk for part of the way, and of course the Bay is at your feet.

From the clifftop
Cliff and boardwalk
All that money tied up in yachts, just sitting there!
Seems we were a little too late to watch the wedding photos being taken!

Catching up

I finally caught up with a friend from many years ago.   Each Christmas, we’d exchange letters, always vowing to meet up, but as often happens, for years nothing ever eventuated.  It was definitely “in my court”, but these things become almost embarrassing after a few years.   However, finally a few weeks ago, I overcame my inhibitions, so made contact and we arranged to meet for lunch at Graduate House.

I don’t think I’ve ever been there for lunch (it’s a bit out of the way for me), but it was very pleasant and we found we still had matters of common interest to discuss.    I wore a jacket (but no tie) “just in case” there was some sort of dress code.   Err…this is academia – if there is a dress code, then it wasn’t immediately obvious!

Winter Breakfast launch

Prahran Mission’s Winter Breakfast launch is an annual event.    This year, there was a good turnout, notwithstanding the early morning start on a chilly foggy day!    Not as many as at the Salvo breakfast, but the arrangements all ran smoothly.

The keynote speaker was Kevin Sheedy, well-known footballer and coach, who spoke entertainingly of his early upbringing in the Prahran and Malvern areas, as well reminding us that mental health issues affect footballers at times, and it’s an issue that coaches (and others) need to be able to live and deal with.

Still no Grace (is it a cringe or just overlooked?), but also no coffee until after the breakfast service had finished.   Those of us with an early-morning caffeine addiction were nearly panting for it by the time it came! But in the meantime, the food was good.


The Boathouse

W had lunch at the Boathouse, on the banks of the Maribyrnong river.  A nice setting, very good service and extremely satisfactory meals – all at a reasonable price.  My smoked chicken salad calls for special comment – unlike the salads you sometimes get, this one was chockers of chicken!  And the serve of fries that came with the burger was generous!  Very happy.

We were there on a weekday, and so there were tables to spare.  I can imagine, however, that things could get very busy at weekends.

Looking across the river to Angler’s Tavern

But ooops, was the guy who said farewell to us so nicely as we were leaving in fact Gary Mehigan?  Don’t ask me, I wouldn’t know, but apparently he’s judge and co-host of Channel Ten’s MasterChef series and is involved in the running of the place.

Outlook from inside
Along the river