Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pining for the peninsula

I am back from a week down at the Mornington Peninsula and as much as I also love the Bellarine Peninsula and beyond - when you live in the north-east, it is now an amazingly fast drive to the Mornington Peninsula via Eastlink and the Peninsula link.  Mr Rosanna and I are scheming on how to save enough money to buy ourselves a beach house somewhere down there and if you own or are able to access a beach house anywhere from Mornington to Portsea then you are indeed a lucky person.  Mr R and I are still lamenting the fact that his grandparents sold their place in Dromana all those years ago...
Under the Dromana Pier
Anyway, we move on and I am lucky to be able to use a beach house on my family's side from time to time.  It's always a different holiday with kids rather than as a couple - the Mornington Peninsula will always be dear to me as it's where Mr Rosanna popped the question all those years ago and we have spent a number of our wedding anniversaries there.  Prior to having kids, it was also a great place to go and look at antiques with the Tyabb Packing House (which is still there) and the Mornington Antiques Centre (which sadly isn't).
Inside the Rosebud Vintage Bazaar
Image via www.rosebudhotel.com.au
It was relatively cold and grey most of this week but we still loved it.  Given the rain, we did spend one day checking out some of the smaller antiques stores including The Factory Antiques Market which I found via The Junk Map and the fabulous Rosebud Vintage Bazaar, which is housed in an old Art Deco theatre with a cafe in the former theatre foyer.  Mr Rosanna and I could have spent hours there if the kids had let us!  And I got another Art Deco fix by having lunch at The Rosebud Hotel which has been really nicely renovated even if it feels a bit generic inside.  If you like the Old England Hotel in Heidelberg, then it's pretty similar.  We also stopped in at the Rose GPO Hotel for a coffee in the afternoon and it's got a cool vibe - I liked the music and the pressed metal ceilings at the back dining area.
Cape Schanck Boardwalk          
Cape Schanck volcanic rock
We also did a fair amount of driving around so the boys could go walking at Cape Schank and Gunnamatta surf beach but really, they were pretty happy to just play on the beach in the sand and paddle in the water at various locations in Tootgarook, Rye and Dromana.

Given we're on a budget, we didn't do a lot of dining out but we did drop into an old favourite after driving up to Arthur's Seat - the Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove - where there is an outdoor piazza cafe as well as the more upmarket restaurant where we've previously celebrated special occasions.  The kids loved running around the outdoor sculpture garden and there were some cool pieces on display - the kids loved the eagle (below)!  If you are in the area on a nicer day, the Enchanted Maze, Seawinds Gardens and Red Hill village are all worth visiting.
Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove


We also had wood-fire oven pizza and seafood at the excellent McCrae General Pizzeria (next to The Pavilion) - great food and great service which was really appreciated after the disappointment of driving to Dromana and finding the Drive-In closed!  My cousin Di has also said that the Thai restaurant at the McCrae Lighthouse is the best she's ever had, which is a huge statement given she has a long background in hospitality.  We did make it to the Dromana Drive-In on our last night and it has been a long time since I've been to a Drive-In theatre.  I still remember the one next to Rob's Restaurant (now Tao's Restaurant) from when I was a child growing up in Bulleen although I've more recently been to the Coburg Drive-In as an adult.  The kids had a hoot in their dressing gowns and pyjamas and had it been warmer, we would have all snuggled in the back of our car with the door up.  Mr Rosanna also loved the old 50's style diner where he grabbed a cup of coffee before the movie started.  The Dromana Drive-In is one of the last independent outdoor movie theatres of its kind and has been there since the 1950s.
Dromana Drive-In and the original screen? (There are now 3 screens)
Star Wars action on top
The lights were on but no-one was home
We're now sadly back in Rosanna and I am gearing myself up for another busy school term as we move from Autumn into Winter.
At Dromana beach - Mr Rosanna reckons this would make a good album cover...
Although I think this one is better!

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