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My Mister had an extra day off this weekend (because four just wasn’t enough), and instead of sitting around the apartment reading (me) and playing Fallout 3 (the Mister) we set out to explore the Mornington Peninsula.

Even after 6+ months as a Victorian, I still have next to no idea about most of Melbourne, let alone what lies beyond. The furthest I’d travelled was to Dromana, and given I made that trip on a fixie, I saw little beyond a blinding wall of pain once we hit the hills outside of Frankston.

By contrast this trip was uh-mazing. We stayed at Manderley. Actually it was the Morning Star Estate and winery between Mt Eliza and Mornington, but given the house’s sprawling size, mist rolling across elaborate gardens and vineyards stretching to the sea, you can forgive a girl for fantasising, right?

The Mister spoiled me silly taking me antiquing, wine tasting and adventuring in little coastal towns. The highlight of the trip was a visit to Heronswood – a heritage house and garden owned by the Diggers’ Club that I have been eager to make the pilgrimage to since I started my own humble little balcony garden last spring. The gardens are a green thumb’s dream. There are new plant varieties being trialled, current varieties on display, examples of how to set up a veggie patch to feed a family of three, a cafe offering meals from the kitchen garden and a nursery.

I was completely blown away to know we’re that close to some really gorgeous country side so close to the city and have spent the rest of the weekend day dreaming about running a nursery/B&B on a big property overlooking the beach.

Boats lined up along Sorrento's foreshore

Converted bathing machines brightening up Mt Martha beach

We made the most of the last of the summer weather reading on the beach

Lilo in Mornington is my new favourite beach cafe. The food and coffee were excellent, but both times we went there I spent more time goggling the decor than thinking about what i was eating

Even the bathrooms looked gorgeous in green

You find the strangest things in rural antique shops...

A few snaps from the hotel grounds

All that beautiful scenery on our very grown up holiday... and this is how we appreciated it

Pics and more gushing about Heronswood are on my garden blog, The Urban Patch.