If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that Ruby Slipper readers LOVE vicarious weekend getaway blogs. Whether you’re currently at your desk, in the library, on public transport or kid-wrangling – strap on your leather driving hat, pop on your gloves and a natty scarf and get ready to join your favourite Melbourne bloggers on a Bellarine Adventure! Join myself, Marianne from Esme and the Laneway, Leeyong from Style Wilderness and the Sarah’s of Style Melbourne and Style Emporium on 48 hours of Phryne Fisher-style adventure by the coast.
After a rejuvenating coffee at our regular pre-adventure coffee venue – Mixed Business in Clifton Hill – Marianne, Leeyong and I hopped into my car and jetted off over the freeway towards Geelong. As a weekender, the Bellarine Peninsula (think quaint seaside towns like Queenscliff, Barwon Heads etc.) is a nice distance to drive – not too close to the big smoke, yet not too far. Before we knew it, we arrived at underground sensation coffee-n-brekkie venue Elkhorn Roadhouse (Leeyong and Marianne picture in top image, looking sweet by a winter garden). Elkhorn Roadhouse has hearty breakfasts complimented by local produce and an array of home-made jams (Peach and Vanilla, anyone?) and relishes. My, I do love a good relish. After a pitstop for a creamy chai and a few photos, we were on our way to the next venue of our adventure. BTW, I LOVED reading all the comments on our journey from my Instagram followers on whilst on the road! Find me on Instagram here – @iolantherubyslipper
Voila! Down a couple of country roads, through the dappled vineyards, past a few sheep …. discover the sublime Jack Rabbit Vineyard. Sitting on the edge of the bay with spectacular views of the ocean and a teeny, weeny Melbourne in the distance, The House of Jack Rabbit was a treat beyond words. Hosted by friendly and informative Lyndsay, we were given a tour of their cellar door, restaurant and site *which includes a helicopter pad for all you jet-setters*, it wasn’t long before we were trying an array of their fabulous wines with matching antipasti.
Our favorite Jack Rabbit tipple? Without a doubt, the Sparkling Blanc de Blanc (which we also enjoyed a glass of at the Vue Grand Hotel – but more on that later).
After working out way through a comprehensive list of reds, whites, sparklings and *hic* moscato, it was time to fill out little blogger bellies. The House of Jack Rabbit have a delicious menu, with something for everyone (pictured, thai beef salad and Marianne singing the praises of her vino)
Just as we were leaving Jack Rabbit Vineyards, Marianne and I espied an avenue of richly fruited trees – literally glowing with goodness and sweetness in the Autumn sunlight. A feeling of simplicity, a sensation of peace, a lingering smell in the fresh bayside breeze of smokey woodfires, freshly turned soil and the promise of fruit to come. Magic.
As the last rays of the day disappeared into the ocean, we took a leisurely drive to charming Queenscliff. It was mostly quiet, with locals finishing their Saturday night shopping. Queenscliff enjoys beautiful turn-of-the-century buildings including beautiful Vue Grand Hotel – where we had our dinner later that night.
What’s a trip to a seaside village without a peek in their op shop? Marianne espied a cosy for her cakes and models it, Alexander McQueen style. As the sun set, we finished our slow saunter through Queenscliff and set the GPS for our accommodation….. to be continued in our next blog! (PS – Why don’t you subscribe to the Ruby Slipper blog, ensuring you never miss an edition?)