Rise and vine at Lindenderry at Red Hill
With serenity and fine dining on the Mornington Peninsula, Michael Pirrie discovers an inviting weekend escape.
By Michael Pirrie | Published #65, Summer 2016
My visit to Lindenderry at Red Hill after many years overseas was like a journey through the mists of time, and occasional coastal fog, back to the sand dunes and beaches of my youth. Lindenderry was a fated romantic experience as well, accompanied by Christine, a fellow time traveller with whom I had reunited following a chance encounter more than 30 years after we first met on a blind date at a school ball. What could possibly go wrong? I was on a mission to impress, after all. It was Christine’s birthday and after missing the milestone last year, the pressure was on. Lindenderry came highly recommended and did not disappoint.
My original trips to the Mornington Peninsula had bypassed Red Hill in favour of the adrenaline rush to be had at the surf beaches of Sorrento and Portsea. This time, however, the natural beauty of Red Hill and the surrounding peninsula was a constant reminder we are a lucky country still.
From its spectacular coastal views and pristine beaches, long winding roads and pleasant valleys to sheep and cattle farms and lazy hamlets, this is a beautiful part of the world. At one moment, sun peering through gaps in the clouds to shine on the ocean below and green fields behind, you could be in Scotland. The sweeping vistas and spectacular cliff formations with rolling surf backdrops at Flinders, Cape Schank and beyond down to Point Nepean are as compelling as those on the Cornish coast or maybe California. And all this little more than an hour’s drive from Melbourne.
The homespun values of Australian life are reflected in the secluded comforts, cuisine and corkage of Lindenderry, a standout promotion for Australian tourism.
Comforts at Lindenderry at Red Hill
It fills the senses. Arriving at the property is like stepping into a canvas composed by the British-born, French impressionist-inspired Australian landscape artist John Tiplady. Its trees are precisely positioned and manicured to set heights to frame the guest accommodation. The dining, relaxation, day spa, pool and conference areas have been massaged into the surrounding grounds, which include an award-winning vineyard. The warmth of our welcome set the tone for a memorable stay.
This tranquil place offered a range of activities, so there was something new at every turn. The majestic gardens were a delight to wander around and we could choose between a morning dip in the pool or just to relax and read the papers in the library. Tennis, table tennis, billiards and chess were also available. Another plus was that our bathroom was stocked with Christine’s favourite Appelles toiletries.
Lindenderry’s locally sourced fine dining was a highlight under the helm of award-winning chef Michael Greenlaw, formerly of Melbourne’s Vue de Monde. The spacious dining room encouraged intimacy and staff were attentive and friendly. Menus comprised five mains and three desserts – the panacotta with autumn fruits was sublime. The mushroom pot pie side dish, which included fresh mushrooms foraged by the chef from the Lindenderry grounds, was mouth-watering. From the excellent wine selection we chose the 2010 Lindenderry Pinot Noir. Breakfast was more low-key, with highlights the savoury egg and vegetable tarts, and the rich Bircher muesli.
Lindenderry delivered the perfect hosted experience, with abundant creature comforts, superb service and subtle surprises such as the bowls of local apples that gave the reception area such a refreshing fragrance. But it’s the staff who are the stars and they made our stay one to remember. Approachable and knowledgeable on anything that could be of interest to us during our stay they are ideal brand ambassadors for Lindenderry and the peninsula.
Keep warm and cosy by the fire at Lindenderry at Red Hill
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Weather to go
The best time to visit the Mornington Peninsula is in summer, between December and March. The weather is warm and experiences the lowest rainfall of the year. Temperatures average in the mid to low twenties, providing a comfortable climate for a number of activities. The lowest temperatures coincide with the highest rainfall, generally occurring between June and September. March and April experience less crowds, and average temperatures in the low twenties.
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