For the Australia Day weekend this year, we settled on Somers as our destination. We said goodbye to the kitties, packed up the blender for our green smoothies, and zipped down the freeway to arrive at Pankina at Somers, our rented holiday house, in just over an hour.
Without the madness and traffic jams of the Mornington Peninsula and infinitely easier to get to, Somers is a tiny spot perched on Westernport Bay, serviced by the truly delightful Somers General Store.
Having decided in advance due to the magnificent kitchen at Pankina (not to mention the full set of matching gorgeous crockery, cutlery, glassware and serving platters) that a lamb roast was indeed appropriate for Australia Day celebrations, I set about prepping dinner, including the now famous (in many homes throughout Melbourne, and beyond) roast spuds with semolina and truffle salt from the divine Mish Lilley’s blog MishDelish.
Paolo Vino was on hand of course to ensure we had just enough (several) bottles of fine Victorian Shiraz and Cab Sav to accompany the meal, and another important factor was the gorgeous girlfriends who kept helpfully topping up my glass of bubbles to aid my creative cooking juices.
For dessert we enjoyed fresh blueberries and strawberries, plain yoghurt flavoured with rosewater and vanilla and slightly sweetened with agave nectar, topped with Persian fairyfloss and pistachios.
After a morning run on the beach the next day to pound away the well-deserved (and highly patriotic) hangover, followed by breakfast at the Somers General Store, we thought it would be silly not to take advantage of being a stone’s throw from all the treats of Red Hill, and concluded that a trip to the spa was most definitely in order. A lamb shank pastie at the famous Red Hill Baker for lunch, and we left children with menfolk and entered the sanctum of the Red Hill Endota Spa, where I had quite possibly the best massage of my career, with the lovely Leith. We left having overspent on irresistably gorgeous moisturisers and scrubs, feeling chilled and truly on holiday!
The next day we visited the Coolart historic homestead for a bit of art which even kids loved, thanks to all the vibrant colours and amazing photography, and then crossed the hill to Dromana to while away the late afternoon on the beach, when the crowds had thinned, playing beach cricket, swimming and lazing about, ending up with fish and chips at sunset.
Somers is quiet, unspoilt, perfect for families, and is host to an amazing array of wildlife – in 3 short days we saw blue- tongue lizards, a tawny frogmouth which alighted on our balcony railing, 2 koalas, and dolpins.
It’s magically relaxing but close to gorgeous Chef-hatted restaurants like Montalto and the Long Table in Red Hill, as well as the fantastic Cellar and Pantry for gourmet cheese, wine, bread, and anything else you can think of, and Balnarring is 5 minutes away for supermarkets and other basics.
We can’t wait to come back and we’ve only just left! And special thanks to the lovely Gabi, the owner of Pankina, who left us the most wonderful welcome pack, full of preserves, biscuits, wine, milk, bread, coffee etc and left us wanting for nothing.