Four indulgent day trips for Mother’s Day

Travelling Well | Wendy Hargreaves | Posted on 02 May 2019

Take mum out of town for a decadent day trip.

Nothing says “I love you mum” like a bunch of petrol station flowers and a chintzy card, right?  Yeah, maybe not.

This Mother’s Day,  bypass the chrysanthemums and spoil your mum with a decadent day trip on 12 May.

The first step is to choose a destination and book a scrumptious lunch, allowing time for a spot of relaxation. And don’t forget to make sure there’s something beautiful to see. 

It’s not too late to arrange the perfect day out. All you need is a bit of inspiration.  And if you’re a mum... pop this article under the noses of your family and feign surprise on the day. 

Pt Leo Estate Laura Restaurant with a backdrop of the estate's sculpture park

Pt Leo Estate’s award-winning restaurant Laura takes in views of the estate’s sculpture park.


MORNINGTON PENINSULA 

A winery in the quiet Westernport corner of the Mornington Peninsula wins the Mother’s Day trifecta hands down, with sweeping water views, world-class art and exceptional food and wine. 

Pt Leo Estate is a destination to savour for a whole day, just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne’s CBD. 

Start by choosing from two dining options: a 45-seat degustation space called Laura or a more casual 110-seat bistro named after the winery. Both menus celebrate local produce from the land and sea, thanks to thoughtful cooking by Sydney expat Phil Wood (ex-Rockpool). 

Make sure you arrive at least an hour before your lunch booking to allow plenty of time to take in the views and enjoy some wine tasting at the cellar door. 

And you’ll need at least an hour after lunch to stroll around Pt Leo’s outstanding collection of 50 large-scale sculptures by local and international artists – a perfect aid to digestion. 

After such an indulgent day, nobody wants to drive home. Why not book a room at RACV’s Cape Schanck Resort (20 minutes’ drive away) and cap off mum’s special day with a late-afternoon hammam bathing experience at the One Spa retreat. 

SPA COUNTRY

Carving out spa time is mandatory in Victoria’s Central Highlands, especially in the resort towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. And the best time of year to ‘take the waters’ is autumn, when the region’s deciduous trees blaze with colour on every roadside. 

These rich autumn colours make the 90-minute drive north-west of Melbourne part of the adventure. Take the scenic route via Woodend and Trentham, both charming villages full of delicious temptations.  

Stretch the legs and suck in the fresh air, but don’t dawdle too long. If you’ve done your homework, mum’s booked in for a mineral spa treatment, and you want to make sure she has plenty of time to relax. 

Home to the nation’s highest concentration of natural mineral springs, there is no shortage of places to take the waters here, but bookings are recommended. Try the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa (Mineral Springs Reserve Road, Hepburn Springs), Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel (124 Main Road, Hepburn Springs) or the super-luxe Salus Spa in the gardens of the award-winning Lake House hotel (4 King Street, Daylesford). 

A close up of chocolate sauce being poured over a chocolate pudding by Cuvee Chocolate. Crumbs and sauce surround it.

Treats from Cuvee at the Chocolate, Cheese and Wine Festival.


A closeup of a roast dinner from Rochford Wines with a bottle of red wine in the background, with a glass of red wine.

Lunch and a glass of red at Rochford Wines.


A close up image of a cheese fondue topped with rosemary, served with crusty bread a bowl of salt from fromagerie Milk the Cow

Oozy cheese fondue from fromagerie Milk The Cow.


I’m not sure if this happens to everyone, but a mineral spa session always ends with hunger pangs, so make sure you have a lunch booking. 
 
For something special, book a table at the Lake House, where chef Alla Wolf-Tasker will be cooking a special five-course tasting menu for Mother’s Day ($150 per person). If the weather permits, enjoy a pre-lunch drink on the deck overlooking Lake Daylesford, a beautiful explosion of colour in autumn. You should also make time to stretch the legs with an after-lunch stroll around the lake. 
 
Mother’s Day is also celebrated in style at The Convent, a charming 19th-century mansion with stunning views over Daylesford from Wombat Hill. Enjoy a set menu lunch at the cafe (three courses for $64), and walk off the meal in the three-level art gallery. 
 
And if you want to make a weekend of it, RACV’s Goldfields Resort is just a 25-minute drive away from Daylesford along the Midlands Highway.
 
SOUTH-WEST COAST
 
Fresh sea air does wonders for your appetite, so a Mother’s Day road trip to Lorne calls for a suitably hearty lunch. The slow-cooked lamb shoulder at Lorne’s Ipsos (48 Mountjoy Parade) makes every minute of the two-hour drive from Melbourne worthwhile. Designed for two to share, this fall-off-the-bone Greek-style lamb ($66 for two) comes with a fresh green salad and almond tarator sauce. 
 
If you take mum on a walk around Lorne’s northwest-facing Louttit Bay before lunch, you’ll have room for a few extra dishes, such as the flavour-bomb taramasalata dip and the ultimate salty-sweet combo – fried battered fetta with sesame and honey dressing.  
 
Relax with a sweet house-made baklava at Ipsos, or make your Mother’s Day meal a progressive lunch with coffee and cake at Qdos, Lorne’s artistic hub tucked in the rainforest behind the town. 
 
Loved by locals and visitors, Qdos (35 Allenvale Road, Lorne) is part gallery, part cafe, with major sculptural works sitting among towering eucalypts in one of the prettiest natural amphitheatres in the Otways. There is always something new to see in the gallery, and the coffee is excellent. 
 
Finish your Lorne day trip with a massage at Endota Spa, a tranquil space in the heritage-listed Erskine House at Mantra Lorne, or take your mum for a chill-out session in the salt room at the nearby Lorne Sea Baths. This centuries-old Eastern European therapy emulates the cleansing properties of salt caves, pumping dry salt particles into the air to purify the airways and skin. And if you’re feeling too relaxed to contemplate driving all the way back home, stay the night at RACV’s Torquay Resort.
 
A large rounded black scultpture in Pt Leo against a clear sky

 Inge King’s Grand Arch sculpture at Pt Leo Estate.


ALL THE CHOCOLATE

If your mum loves chocolate, head straight to the Yarra Valley on Mother’s Day. 

The famously sweet  Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery (35 Old Healesville Road, Yarra Glen) is always generous with tastings, and will be celebrating all things rocky road in May with create-your-own workshops. 

But mum needs to pace herself, as Rochford Wines has the ultimate chocoholic event planned for Mother’s Day – the Yarra Valley’s inaugural Chocolate, Cheese and Wine Festival. 

Rochford (878-880 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream) has joined forces with artisan chocolatiers Kennedy and Wilson, Melbourne Cocoa, Cuvee and Ministry of Chocolate, along with the amazing cheesemongers at Milk the Cow. 

Tickets to the event are free, but you need to register in advance. Book ahead for a hands-on masterclass in chocolate making with Cuvee’s master patissier Deniz Karaca, or learn how to match cheese, wine and chocolate with the team from Milk the Cow. There will also be special Mother’s Day lunch menus at the winery restaurant, along with an Italian feast at 400 Gradi’s Yarra Valley outpost on the Rochford property. Bookings are essential. 

Even better news for parents: Rochford will offer professional child-minding services for kids aged seven and under, so mums can relax with their chocolate, cheese and wine.