I’ll always have Dromana

The holiday may be over, but the benefits are definitely not. 

How I love the Mornington Peninsula, it’s been part of my life for about four decades now. 

Four days in my favourite place was just heaven

I slept well, ate well, relaxed, wandered the shops, tried new cafes, read books, watched the waves roll in at various beaches, watched the sun sink into the ocean and turn the sky orange… taking these days off to recharge was so restorative. 

I stayed in an AirBNB called Above Board, you should definitely check it out

Such a great spot, just a few minutes walk from some great cafes and shops and literally as close to the beach as you can get without camping on the foreshore. 

As soon as I’d lugged my suitcase up the stairs and taken some ‘in pristine condition’ photos, I hot-footed it to my favourite local cafe Pier Street Kitchen. Order the falafel, you won’t be sorry!! 

One of my favourite things about visiting the Peninsula is that there’s not only plenty of natural beauty everywhere you look, but the locals who work in the many hospitality jobs are all super friendly and welcoming, whether it’s high season or not. Happy staff means happy, returning customers. Count me in! 

The service and food at Merchant + Maker in nearby McCrae was definitely up to par, the waitresses were lovely, and their coffee was so good I ordered a second latte – I just go wild when I’m on holidays!! Great breakfast spot and this little place is also directly across the road from the beach. 

It’s not a Peninsula holiday for me without a leisurely lap of Sorrento’s beautiful shops. The only sales assistant who ignored me after I said hello to her didn’t see any of the money I spent that day There’s always one! 

I chatted about Palm Springs photography, collage and modernism with one lady in her home furnishings store, and the girls in Seed were friendly and up for a chat too. 

The weather got sunnier each day I was there, so I sat on the deck of a bathing box, coffee in hand, and watched the water sparkle like Elizabeth Taylor’s bejewelled décolletage. 

On my last day beside the seaside I ventured around to St Andrews Beach, on the open ocean side of the Peninsula. 

To get across to St Andrews, I passed groups of sheep sitting in fields, horses grazing lazily under trees, farms with row after row of vegetables, and of course, there are vineyards. It’s not just about the beaches in this beautiful part of Victoria. 

Watching the waves roll in — it’s so grounding. There’s just something about looking out to sea, knowing there are such vast expanses of water all around us that puts me in my place, in the best possible way. I am part of this incredible creation. We all are. 

I am so incredibly grateful that I was able to enjoy a holiday like this, and that the sun came out and made it feel like Spring is just around the corner. 

Forget your passport the next time you’re thinking about a getaway, on an island as beautiful as ours, there’s a beach just right for you out there. I’ve found mine. 

 

Annette x 

 

PS I stumbled across another fab little cafe called Hunter after I’d been to St Andrews Beach, and guess what? More  awesome falafe! A delicious end to my beachside getaway. 

 

Sun sets over suburbia

Hip hip hooray for the joy of annual leave! 

I am at the beginning of a much needed week off work, and there are fun plans afoot. 

In a couple of days I’m off to the seaside. 

There’s a sweet six year old’s birthday party to attend first, and a few household chores to do, and then I’m outta here…. see ya later suburbia. 

Yes, it’s a winter break, and that’s a-okay with me. 

Gimme a cosy cardigan and scarf, a blustery sea breeze and beautiful cafe to enjoy a long lunch in, and I’m all set. 

I decided to take a week off about a month ago, and Air BnB came through with a fab and funky apartment on the Mornington Peninsula. 

Today I spent approximately three minutes in an op-shop and I found three great books for three dollars each. Winning. 

Cute apartment – check. 

Books – check. 

Things are coming together swimmingly (though I’m not packing my bathers). 

I went back and forth about whether to splurge on a third night away, and I’m so happy I decided to book it. Thanks for helping me out with that decision Instagram pals. 

Hot tip: ask nicely about a late check-out and you might get FIVE extra hours in your getaway pad. Check! 

My plans are to enjoy the Peninsula’s trio of treasures – the beauty of nature, the peace and calm that being by the sea always gives me, and the gorgeous villages dotted with great local cafes and swoonworthy homewares stores. I’ll mostly be window shopping, but if I see something that catches my eye…. 

I’m definitely going to re-visit some favourite haunts, and I’d love to find some new favourites. 

All I’ve got to do now is pack up my paints, books, cosy cardigans and slippers – I never travel without them – and tootle off down the freeway to my winter wonderland. 

Oh I do love to be beside the seaside!! 

I’m sure to be sharing snaps on Instagram, so you’ll basically all be coming with me. Lucky you. 

If you’re a fan of the Mornington Peninsula, please leave a comment with your go-to cafes, bars, shops and seaside walks. 

Ahhhh, I can feel that sea air doing me good already. 

Bring it on. 

Excitedly,

Annette xx 

Ladies Who Lunch – The Lilo Cafe Edition

Right off the bat, this is not a sponsored post. This is a post about a lovely lunch date I enjoyed with a friend. I may rave about her cafe… let the reader beware! 

 

Yesterday I got to do one of my favourite things – go on a day trip! Well, it was an overnight trip actually, and stop number 1 was a lunch date with my Blog With Pip pal, Maryke. She and her husband run a fab cafe beside the seaside at Mornington (a gorgeous part of the coastline here in Victoria, Australia) so plans were made to meet there for lunch, and I set off on yet another bloggy blind-date. Exciting!

Now, these days, people often say that unless you ‘Instagram the shit of it’ things haven’t really happened. Well, I was so busy enjoying Maryke’s company that I neglected blogger rule #1 – thou shalt obsessively take selfies. Oops! You’ll see other shots on Instagram, fear not!

Maryke and I bonded during our Blog With Pip days, and since, over our shared love for the Mornington Peninsula, and we have become firm Instagram buddies.

Here’s a little insight into Maryke’s character – earlier in the year, ‘just because’ Maryke decided to send me a bulging care package, which was as much fun to unpack as any gift received on Christmas morning. What a legend! The dukkah (which she made herself!), oh my, so awesome….. and I’m still using the spices regularly. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving. Oh, see that wee jar of tomato chutney – GAME CHANGER!

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By the way, Maryke’s Instagram name is @missmarthamarthamartha and I totally recommend you follow her to see snaps of her lovely beside-the-seaside life, which she shares with her gorgeous boys and her husband Mark.

Mark & Maryke are the kind of people who have hospitality running through their veins, so their cafe by the sea – Lilo Cafe in Mornington – @lilocafe on Instagram – is a welcoming, warm, eclectic, emerald toned, light-filled yet cosy place to stop for a filling breakfast, spend a leisurely hour with a latte and the paper, or meet friends for a delicious lunch with a cheeky glass of wine. If I ever have a glass of one of the Peninsula’s many fine wines with lunch, I’m out & proud, but I know some people like to keep their pre-cocktail hour imbibing on the down-low.

Well, the weather outside was frightful, but the decor and food, delightful.

Lilo Cafe, Mornington
Lilo Cafe, Mornington
View from Lilo Cafe
We had four seasons in one day, again!
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Lilo’s bejewelled spoon collection – oh look, there’s Maryke in the reflection. Selfie for the win!

I have said it before, and I intend to keep on saying it, one of the BEST things about blogging is the connections that you make. Whether that’s through an online course you might do, or a conference you may attend, or a good old Instagram crush, there are LOADS of amazing people out there, and this week I got to meet another one, hug her tight and chat with her over lunch.

Lilo Cafe
The Lady of the Lilo 

I loved meeting Maryke – she was exactly who I thought she’d be from our encounters online. Generous, interesting, creative, down to earth – and we only spent 90 minutes together! And if you think I just got a free lunch and great conversation, you’d be wrong, I came away with fresh eggs, a couple of lemons (she’d seen me bemoaning a lack of lemons on Facebook), another jar of her game-changing RELISH and a gorgeous notebook.

Thank you Maryke!

So, if you’re planning on heading down Mornington way, or even if you’re not, I highly recommend that you stop in at Lilo Cafe – as well as serving excellent food and bevvies, you’re sure to enjoy Maryke’s whimsical, eclectic, upcycled styling of the space.  The Lady of the Lilo will watch over you benevolently, reminding you that even if it happens to be pouring with rain, just across the road, the sea awaits.

As the clouds parted and I hugged Maryke goodbye, I felt so grateful for the ways that blogging has brought me out from behind my computer, especially when it lands me in one of my favourite parts of the world.

When was the last time you discovered a new cafe? Or made a new friend?

I’d love it if you’d share your stories, or recommendations for best latte in your ‘hood in the comments.

Are you a lady who lunches?

Do tell!

Cheers,

Annette