By Jo Rittey


If you’re looking for somewhere to get away from the bustle for the day or to entertain those holiday visitors, put the Bellarine Peninsula and Terindah Estate on the list.


Whether you make the 80-minute drive or hop on one of the new Port Phillip Ferries which run from Victoria Harbour to Portarlington, you are guaranteed to feel as though you’ve had a big day out.


The Bellarine Peninsula has long been a destination for the likes of Torquay, Queenscliff, Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. Portarlington has remained comparatively quiet. All that is changing. The annual Portarlington Mussel Festival is on this weekend and the wineries in the area are magnificent.


Just before Christmas I took the ferry across to Portarlington to check out Terindah Estate, an idyllic seaside winery boasting a new chef and new summer menu. Having been advised that it was easy to get a shuttle from Portarlington when the ferry docked, I hadn’t quite been prepared for the choice of shuttles. I’m pretty sure I chose the right one, given it was a free wine tasting tour that called in to a couple of wineries on the way to Terindah for lunch. Great start.


Terindah Estate is one of those memorable eating places. Where else can you look down the vines to the sea and a glimpse of the You Yangs on the horizon? Bliss.


New chef, Ivan Roianov came to this beautiful spot from the Ukraine via Dubai and he is loving using the wealth of local produce he has discovered here. Crisp, clean starters like grilled kangaroo salad with sun-dried tomatoes and orange and Portarlington scallop carpaccio prepare are a lovely lead in to a mains menu which champions the local seafood; seared swordfish with fresh herb velouté and seafood blanquette with black mussels, clams, white fish and prawns are pretty hard to go past when you’re looking out at the sea.


For those with a sweet tooth, there’s basil panna cotta with salted caramel and tomato marmalade or the creamy vanilla-ginger crème brulee with local berries and mint. Or if you’re like me and like a French flourish to your meals, there is a selection of cheese. Naturally all of these can be accompanied by or even matched to some of the Estate’s wines.


We have some incredible parks and pools in the Northside that offer much in the way of summer soul filling, but sometimes a little adventure away can be just what you need.



Jo is a French teaching a freelance writer. Armed (not very helpfully) with a PhD in Medieval French Literature, an exotic New Zealand accent and a winning (hopefully) smile, she likes nothing better than sharing a meal and good conversation with friends.

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