The Mornington Peninsula is so easy to get to from Melbourne but this weekend it was temporarily even more convenient thanks to the Wine Food Farmgate Garden Party showcasing some of the region’s eating and drinking highlights at the Botanic Gardens. I was invited along to this special preview which was a great reminder of the absolute bounty of cracking produce and wines right on our doorstep.
There were beers from the Mornington Brewery, wines from the fabulous Crittenden Estate and a knockout “spiced seaside” cocktail heavy on the Bass & Flinders gin teamed with a squeeze of lime, fresh mint, sugar, wedges of cucumber and star anise.
Non alcohol drinkers were also looked after with a “peninsula punch” featuring Mock Red Hill juices which I will be trying to recreate at home. I loved the combination of cherry cordial, lemonade, pineapple, kiwi, cloudy apple juice floating with thinly sliced apple and wedges of lemon and lime.
There was an antipasto table groaning with salami, olives and cheeses from Main Ridge Dairy and Red Hill Cheese.
A salad of lightly pickled heirloom carrots topped with a sprinkling of goats cheese also impressed.
Chefs manned a barbeque serving up mini beef burgers, sausages and steak sandwiches and there was also a huge baked snapper from Peninsula Fresh Seafood which came out steaming in folds of paper and was quickly divvied up into fish tacos with some lime mayo, slaw and a squeeze of lime.
Chocolate truffles and tiny glasses of apple jelly topped with cherries and honeycomb provided a sweet end to the garden party. But the show stopper was the “oversized” chocolate mousse which required two men to carry it to the table.
Light, fluffy and oh so chocolately it was topped with the most delicious strawberries from Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm. Normally strawberries this size are completely tasteless water bombs but these were so sweet and delicious. Those berries alone are reason enough for me to head back down to the Mornington Peninsula as quickly as I can.
Gourmet Chick was invited to attend the Wine Food Farmgate garden party.
Details: The Wine Food Farmgate garden party was sadly a one off event but you can follow the Wine Food Farmgate trail around the Mornington Peninsula yourself to check out all the great producers featured.