The hubby turned 40 and I wanted to take him out for lunch, I wanted it to be somewhere he had never been before but also it needed to be special, impressive and fitting for a man of his age (tehehe). At the Foxey’s tasting a few weeks back we again met up with Peter who runs the Fork to Fork restaurant at the beautiful Heronswood garden and historic National Trust house in Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula. The house on the slopes of Arthur’s seat was designed in 1866 and built in the 1870s is a stunning bluestone Gothic style mansion, but was designed as a family house so inside is quite intimate and homey. Bought by the Blaze family of the Diggers Club the gardens are amazing, some of the biggest trees I have ever seen including a Moreton Bay Fig for which the word massive is an understatement! The gardens are extensive and very established, well worth the small fee to explore. The shop has everything you’ll need to create the perfect veggie patch or deck yourself out in gumboots and gloves, they also stock a range of books which are all based around growing and cooking produce.
I visited the gardens some time back with my friend Deb and her mum, I was in my twenties then so all I wanted to do on a sunny Sunday was find the nearest beer garden, but I was suitably impressed with everything, if memory serves I had a char-grilled veggie stack which they grilled in front of you on a BBQ. Since then they have built a thatched roof building with exposed timber beams, beautiful timber floors and open kitchen so everyone in the small but lovely room can see what the chefs are up to. Also there is an extensive outdoor area which is paved and bathed in sunshine….obviously only when the sun’s out.
Once at our table we had a chance to look at the impressive menu, most of the fresh produce, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and garnishes, here in herbivore heaven, either grow up around you or are sourced from producers in the region. Whilst we were deciding the waitress delivered a small house baked cob loaf along with olive oil for dipping and marinated Ridge Estate Kalamata olives, which were warmed and absolutely divine. Perfectly matched to my glass of Foxey’s Hangout Pinot Gris, I awaited our next course. For starters we shared the amazing mussells with kale possibly the best mussels and broth I’ve ever tasted and trust me I’ve had lots! I then settled down to my main which arrived in good time, heirloom beetroot, walnuts, mizuna, poached duck breast with honey and rose reduction, oh my, I don’t remember eating such fresh and beautifully prepared produce. My hubby chose the slow cooked beef with root vegetable stack and watercress salad, which I savored a small morsel and of course he wouldn’t give anymore away, we also ordered platter of mixed produce and goats curd which showcased their home grown produce in all it’s finery. During our enjoyable visit to Fork to Fork we sampled different wines from the impressive list, Foxey’s Hangout and Moorooduc Estate to name a couple, and of course these vineyards are within 15 minutes of Heronswood.
If you are looking for somewhere to take the family visiting from interstate or overseas this is the perfect place, also kids are very well catered for with plenty to see and do. With Spring here and summer just around the corner Heronswood and Fork to Fork can’t be missed.
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