A Weekend at the Wineries

This weekend was both a bank holiday weekend (Labour Day) AND my birthday. It is so great that my birthday falls on a long weekend here in Australia, and also that it's still pretty much summer. You definitely can't complain when you have a day off work on your birthday!

We basically spent the weekend at a few different wineries. Sunday we travelled to Trofeo Winery in Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula with Laura and Dan. Both of them have been travelling a lot for work lately so it was great to have a catch up with them. Also, they are most likely going to move to Sydney sometime this year for Dan's work which is a bit sad, so we have to spend as much time with them now as we can. 

We arrived and the restaurant was packed, and the hostess pretty much told us that there was no chance of us getting a table that afternoon. She helpfully gave us a map of the wineries and we started calling a few other places to see if there were tables available, figuring they would all be just as busy due to the long weekend. Booking things like restaurants ahead of time was not something we really had to do in London, and I still forget that on weekends you need to do that here. Australians love to plan ahead!

Trofeo Winery

Anyway we had only called one other place when the hostess came back to us and said that actually a few tables had left so she could now squeeze us in. What?! I'm not sure how we she didn't know a few tables were just about to leave... the ex-restaurant worker in me was instantly critical of her hostessing abilities... but anyway we happily sat at our table outdoors overlooking the vineyards. The weather was beautiful, a perfect blue sky and not too hot. The food was pretty good, and we all went for dessert after our main meals. Laura and I ordered a salted caramel chocolate mousse with peanut brittle which was divine but VERY rich and by the end we were both wishing we had shared it instead of getting one each! After lunch we had a little rest on the lawn by the vineyards, digesting our lunch and enjoying the weather.

Today we headed out to the Yarra Valley to the restaurant Tram Trak Winery, Zonzo. This time I was smart and called and booked ahead, and it was a good thing I did as the place was absolutely packed! They were only doing a $45 set menu with Antipasto, salads and pizzas, which were good but I think a little over-priced. Although being at a winery I guess you have to expect a bit more of a mark-up. Downside was I couldn't eat the amazing looking blue cheese and prosciutto on the Antipasto plate... not eating and drinking certain DELICIOUS foods/wine is definitely the biggest downside to pregnancy! (I know, I know, it's a small price to pay. I'm not complaining, but I am looking forward to when I can enjoy these things again!)

Zonzo Restaurant at Tram Trak Winery

Boys discussing boy things (probably football)

Beautiful view at Tram Trak

Andy and the girls!

Mmmmmm Chocolate@

After lunch we headed to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. I'd never been here before and was looking forward to something sweet after our lunch. However it was completely packed, and crawling with kids! Everywhere! I guess it is really the only kid friendly attraction in a wine region, but still, we were a bit overwhelmed. We ventured into the Chocolate shop (forget queueing for ice cream!) and it was HUGE and packed with loads of... well, chocolate. They have massive bowls of white, milk and dark chocolate chips at the front that you can taste for free, so we loaded up on those and then got out of there! To be fair, the chocolate WAS pretty good, but I could not be bothered to pick something out and then wait in a huge line to pay. Also, they sell some of their products at Coles at cheaper prices than at the shop, (one of our friends that was with us is a chocolate buyer for Coles), so it seemed silly to buy it there overpriced. 

Adam on the way home... the wine was pretty good!
Andy and I then had to go home as he coaches soccer on Monday nights now... A bit ridiculous that they still had practice on a long weekend, but whatever. I went home and listened to the first episode of the podcast Serial... wow, I am already totally hooked and can't wait to listen to the rest of the episodes. If you don't already know (as I'm a bit behind on this one, I think it came out in October and has been hugely popular), Serial is a re-investigation of a murder of a high school student that happened in Baltimore in 1999. She was strangled and buried in a shallow grave, and discovered about a month later. Her ex-boyfriend was charged and convicted of the murder, but has always maintained his innocence. The story is told by the journalist investigating the murder 15 years later, and she has doubts about whether or not the ex is the murderer. Anyway, I really enjoyed the first episode and had to stop myself from immediately listening to the next one. I highly recommend, it would be perfect to listen to if you have a long commute to work!

Anyway, a pretty good long birthday weekend... oh and I forgot to mention the best part... that as a present Andy and I will be enjoying a spa day at Weribee Mansion later this month. Can't wait for my pregnancy massage!

Thanks Binns for taking all these great pictures!


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