A perfect Mornington day for the Peninsula Picnic »

And a multitude of deliciousness to choose from!

By Laura McKinnon
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Mornington Peninsula Picnic - Pierce Brothers

Mornington Peninsula Picnic - Pierce Brothers

Mornington Peninsula Picnic
Mornington Peninsula Picnic - Pierce Brothers
Mornington Peninsula Picnic - Pope Joan Ice Cream
Mornington Peninsula Picnic


The last Sunday in March saw the sun shining and with an idyllic mix of entertainment, food and wine it all added up to a perfect Peninsula Picnic day out.

Whether you went along with friends or family there was something for everyone. We started our picnic experience by claiming a spot under a large shady tree which proved a wise decision as the day went on and the sun continued to shine brightly!

After laying out the picnic rug we decided to undertake some reconnaissance to plan out the rest of our day. Starting at the front gate we explored the lawn games and kids’ corner and the Hayseed Craft Market before crossing over to the other side of the field and investigating the Produce Patch and Grazer’s Grove –  but more about those later.

We then cruised by the Matilda Bay Saltbush Bar to secure some cold drinks to enjoy during the first musical act.

Hayden Calnin was first to perform in what was admittedly a hard time slot as many were still choosing their picnic spots and the smell of gourmet treats wafting across from the Grazer’s Grove was catching the attention of many. 

With aromas beckoning we decided it was time for lunch but we were faced with the almost impossible decision of what to eat. With offerings from venues such as Terre, Montalto, Terminus at Flinders Hotel, Doc, The Long Table, Dee’s Kitchen, Max’s at Red Hill, Pope Joan and Ian Curley and the amazing selection all beautifully matched wines on offer, we made the only decision possible: to try as many dishes as we could!

Starting local we ordered the “Rillette of Duck with Kitchen Salad, Vegetable Pickle and Crusty Bread” from Montalto with the recommended Ballieu Estate 2012 Pinot Noir and the Antipasto Picnic Box from Doc with the Crittenden Estate 2013 Pinocchio Sangiovese.

Meanwhile the second act, the Pierce Brothers, took the stage. I had been reliably informed by someone much younger and trendier than me that this was an act to look out for and I'm happy to report my informant was correct. Their upbeat sound was easy to listen to and inspired a number of other picnickers to dance. We were surrounded by looks of delight as people enjoyed their food, the sounds of happy face-painted children playing and applause on the conclusion of each number.

As the Pierce Brothers were finishing up we decided it was time for our next course, this time choosing a venue hailing from a little further afield (Melbourne), Pope Joan. From here we ordered the Warm Beef Roll with Hot Rod Sauce and the Organic Gruyere and Ploughman’s Pickle Toast.

We also made our decision regarding our dessert after a very persuasive chat with chef Matt Wilkinson who assured us that his award winning Smoked Yoghurt Ice Cream, Raspberries and Pistachio was not to be missed.

We enjoyed our latest food acquisitions alongside a glass of Montalto 2014 Pennon Hill Chardonnay which paired beautifully with the cheese and pickle sandwich and the music of Tinpan Orange. Before Paul Dempsey came to the stage we moved across to the Produce Patch to catch the end of the last T'Gallant Masterclass, purchase some cookies from Baked by Mum and go back to collect our much anticipated Smoked Yoghurt Ice Cream.

Matt Wilkinson’s Smoked Yoghurt Ice Cream with Raspberry Sauce, Dehydrated Raspberries and Pistachios was everything I expected... and more. The combination of the smokiness, tangy raspberry and crunchy pistachios just dissolved in the mouth and if possible added just that little bit of extra 'happy' to the day.  And while Paul Dempsey and the Waifs were amazing I must admit I am still dreaming of the Ice Cream.

We spent the day child-free but watching other families and groups it was obvious they were enjoying themselves just as much as we were. The Peninsula Picnic was indeed an event or all ages and I for one will be keen to return again next year.


Laura and her partner were guests of the Peninsula Picnic but paid for their own food and beverages.

Scroll down to read more about the food, wine and music.


  • Melbourne Surrounds (VIC)
  • Mornington Peninsula (VIC)

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