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As much as we fancy our culinary prowess after an episode of Masterchef Australia, we much prefer to have beautifully crafted plates popped in front of us – and with an abundance of exceptional wineries and restaurants serving the finest produce right on the doorstep in Victoria, there’s really no reason to get your hands dirty. We take a look at the state’s gastronomical hotspots, from the brunch capital of Melbourne to the paddock-to-plate fare of the Macedon Ranges.

Want to experience the delights of Victoria’s King Valley for yourself? Check out our exclusive offer for Lindenwarrah at Milawa here.

Buy your holiday now with 12 months interest free*. Book your Luxury Escape to Lindenwarrah at Milawa and pay it off later with 12 months interest free. Simply select the ‘Interest-Free Payment’ option at checkout. Minimum spend $999. Monthly payments required. Conditions, fees, charges apply. Click here for more details.

Melbourne

Sorry Sydney-siders, but Melbourne easily takes the crown as Australia’s culinary capital, with more trendy pop-ups and hidden bars than you can shake a knife and fork at. From Dining in the Dark to restaurant trams and wood-smoked cocktails at a speakeasy down a questionable back-alley, for gourmands this is the city that has it all.

Brunch is nothing short of an institution, and if it doesn’t come with edible petals, Melbournians ain’t got no time for it. Amanda Scuteri of Weekends in Melbourne, an Instagram account with a dedicated following of 29,000 hungry to see the city’s latest dining trends, has tried a brunch or two in her time. Her top tips? The Golden Gaytime pannacotta at Bentwood, the bircher muesli at the Temperance Society or the ricotta hotcakes at Dear Abbey.

Stay and eat at:
The Langham, whose award-winning Melba Restaurant serves a larger-than-life buffet spread with over 12 food stations—think fresh seafood, dumpling, made-to-order pasta, cheese, steaming roasts and sushi—and an infamous Floating Dessert section featuring an exquisite chocolate fountain. We recommend doing your rounds before deciding where to start.

Mornington Peninsula

One of winter’s greatest pleasures in Victoria is a cosy fireside escape to the Mornington Peninsula. With an abundance of fresh, locally-grown produce and boutique wineries, this picturesque coastal region is quickly becoming one of the hottest spots in Victoria for gourmands. It’s also home to five of Victoria’s finest restaurants, where chef-hatted indulgence is the order of the day.

“In addition to an array of farm-gates, markets, artisan food producers, winery restaurants and casual cafes, the Peninsula offers some of Australia’s best regional fine dining,” says the General manager of Jackalope, one of Australia’s hottest new gourmet properties. “Five restaurants have a coveted Chef’s Hat rating, including our own Doot Doot Doot, and all showcase the best of the Peninsula’s produce. The unique maritime climate of the Mornington Peninsula is fertile ground for more than just wine – dairy products, lamb, beef, mussels, chickens, truffles, olives, and more are produced here. Our menu presents an ever-evolving five-course culinary experience, drawing on seasonal offerings from the hotel’s kitchen garden the best of the above.”

Stay and eat at:
Jackalope, whose Doot, Doot, Doot restaurant offers an ever-evolving five-course tasting menu showcasing the best of Mornington Peninsula produce.

The Grampians

Best-known for its Shiraz and sparkling wines, the Grampians is home to dozens of boutique and historic wineries – some dating back as far as the 1800s – making it a must-visit destination for cellar-door-hopping, where the passion of the local winemakers shines through.

Naturally, where fine wine is found fine food surely follows, and you’ll find it in abundance here. Locally-produced sheep’s milk, honey, meat, organic vegetables, olives and pink salt provide the region’s chefs with an embarrassment of riches when crafting their menus.

Stay and eat at:
Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel; one of Australia’s most sought-after dining experiences where dishes crafted from ingredients grown in the hotel’s own 1.2-hectare gardens are complemented by a 28,000-strong wine cellar.

Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges

Head to the Macedon Ranges for true paddock-to-plate dining, where gourmet fare is created using fresh, seasonal ingredients. A plethora of restaurants in towns such as Hepburn Springs and Kyneton are elevating the region into an up-and-coming foodie destination.

There’s also plenty on hand for those who like to get stuck in in the kitchen themselves, with local farmers’ markets acting as goldmines for local jams, chutneys, organic fruit and veg, cheeses, meats and more – not to mention drops from internationally-acclaimed family vineyards.

Stay and eat at:
Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel in Hepburn Springs, where The Argus Dining Room restaurant serves modern Australian fare with an emphasis on regional, locally-grown produce together with an extensive selection of wines, including boutique drops from family-owned vineyards.

Image: Nils Versemann / Shutterstock.com

Bellarine Peninsula

The Bellarine Peninsula is enjoying something of a renaissance as a foodie destination. Goats cheese, olive oils, tomatoes, mussels and oysters are all fruits of the Bellarine land and sea, with local markets offering handmade cheeses, locally-grown berries, freshly-baked bread, homemade jams and honey. Tasting all that food is thirsty work, but thankfully there’s a plethora of award-winning wineries, microbreweries and cider houses for a local tipple.

Stay and eat at:
Mansion Hotel & Spa at Werribee Park, where dishes made with artisanal produce are washed down with award-winning Lindenderry Chardonnay at Joseph’s Restaurant & Bar.

Goulburn Valley

The clement weather and sandy soils of this region north of Melbourne have enabled it to produce award-winning wines since the 1860s. Here you’ll find one of the oldest wineries in the country, Tahblik Winery and Vineyard, and farm gates offering the fresh and juicy produce of the local orchards including apples, pears and peaches.

Stay and eat at:
Mitchelton, a renowned winery with a newly-added luxe hotel. Its restaurant, The Muse, offers modern farmhouse cuisine inspired by Nagambie Lakes produce, while guests can also indulge in the creations of the Ministry of Chocolate.

victoria

King Valley

They say that visiting Victoria’s King Valley is like wandering into Little Italy, thanks to the vineyards established by Italian migrant families which produce varieties such as prosecco and pinot grigio. The first prosecco vines were planted in the region in 1999 and gradually other local winemakers caught on, creating the ‘Prosecco Road’ – a food and wine trail tapping into that quintessentially Italian gastronomic style.

Stay and eat at:
Lindenwarrah at Milawa, located close to world-class epicurean hot spots such as the award-winning Milawa Cheese Factory and Brown Brothers Winery. Its Restaurant Merlot overlooks the vineyards and serves Australian paddock-to-plate cuisine.

Want to experience the delights of the King Valley for yourself? Check out our exclusive offer for Lindenwarrah at Milawa here.

Buy your holiday now with 12 months interest free*. Book your Luxury Escape to Lindenwarrah at Milawa and pay it off later with 12 months interest free. Simply select the ‘Interest-Free Payment’ option at checkout. Minimum spend $999. Monthly payments required. Conditions, fees, charges apply. Click here for more details.

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