Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A day of destination dining

It's funny, when you plan something for a long time and never get around to it- it almost loses its appeal. I'd planned to visit both Merricks General Store and Red Hill Cheese for so long that they had actually gone off the boil in my mind and retreated to the 'I'll get to it one day' corner of my brain, over taken with newer discoveries and excitements... besides, I get my Red Hill Cheeses at the local Leo's -in between good stock up's at the Farmer's Markets. So there's no rush... right?
Finally a weekend road trip with friends took us out to 
Mornington- so lovely at this kick start to Autumn time of year- and still these places were not top of mind- what would it take??
Finally, it hit me- we had no plans on this drive, other than to take in the sites, sounds and FOOD of the day!!! Little alarm bells in my mind... 'you fool, this is what you were putting it all off for!' 
Thankfully I finally woke up.
Merricks General Store is, as so many people before me have noted, a delight! The four of us stopped in for breakfast and nearly stayed for lunch in the open general-store-come-barn kind of space- pictures of horses and piles of pumpkins keeping us so cosy and happy. It misted rain outside and filled our bellies with house-made baked beans and poached eggs inside... what a start to a day of driving. 
Later in the day I discovered why Red Hill Cheese is a destination all of its own. Really, with the soporific effects of cheese, I'm glad I wasn't the driver. Degustation? Give me a cheese tasting any day- and my heart was stolen by the Fingal Gold (cow cheese, mild, smoky and soft) and the Mountain Goat Blue (goat, ASCA Gold medal winner 2008).
The ride home must have been a stinky one, but as we were all in on the taste test, none of us noticed. 
I'm glad we took in Sorrento, Portsea and the rest... but really, my site seeing stopped when we pulled in at the cheese. 
And I can honestly say, a take-away wheel of Sorrento Picnic (cow, mature, full flavoured mountain style cheese) to be eaten watching the sunset over the bay, is a cheese experience worth having again. 



Katherine said...

RIGHT! once Little Number Two is born - that's a road trip for us right there!! And I shall indulge 9 months of soft cheese abstinence and HOW! (we'll give them a call before-hand to make sure they're well stocked!! sounds fabulous Jane!! :o)

Anonymous said...

Well I'm from north of the border but have noted to make the cheese a target next time downunder being an old cheese lover my self.
A dutchman.

stickyfingers said...

We are regular buyer from these guys at the Port Melbourne & St Kilda Farmers Markets. Particular favourites are the brie style Misty, the Sorrento Picnic - as you mentioned - the stinky washed rind and the goats curd in oil.