Enjoying a delicious and filling lunch and tasting some great wines were other highlights.
The property’s three villas are built over the estate’s lake and as such both my bedroom and main living room offered fantastic water views. My villa was extremely comfortable and was a great base from which to explore Crittenden Estate and all the Mornington Peninsula has to offer.
The room’s décor. All three villas have been recently refurbished and mine was light and airy with some fun decorations.
The facilities. My large villa include a lounge/dining area, fully equipped kitchen and laundry. The spacious bathroom, which comes complete with spa bath and shower, leads to a walk in wardrobe and equally spacious bedroom which offers views over the lake. The bedroom and lounge area lead on to a good sized deck which includes a barbecue.
The deck. While it was cold I managed an afternoon glass of wine on the deck (guests receive a complimentary bottle of Crittenden’s Estate). Observing the bird-life was most enjoyable. Watching my neighbours fish from their deck and net what looked like eels, provided additional entertainment!
An evening walk around Crittenden’s Estate. The family run estate covers about 11 kilometres and guests are welcome to walk through the vineyards and around the lake. A setting sun provided some great villa pictures.
The wood fire in the lounge. A necessity after my evening walk! While the villa includes a television and DVD it was one of those nights when a book and classical musical seemed more appropriate. Fortunately both were on hand.
Wine tasting. Guests staying at the villas receive a free `Wine Flight’ at Crittenden Estate’s new Wine Centre. `Wine flight’ is the name Crittenden’s use for its structured wine tasting program. Based on similar programs in South Africa, the aim is to ensure a full understanding of the wines visitors are tasting. As such on arrival guests are seated at a table and given a choice from eight different `flights’, each comprising five wines. Options include Chardonnays, Pinot Noir, Geppetto, Pinocchio and Los Hermanos. A small tasting plate of locally produced cheese, olives, bread and ham, designed to complement the wines, is also included. After a quick discussion it was decided Flight 8 – a mix of reds and whites was right for me so I tasted and learnt about wines including the 2013 Los Hermanos Saludo al Txakoli, 2013 Crittenden Estate ZUMMA Pinot Noir and 2014 Pinocchio Vermentino.
The food. A stay at the villa includes breakfast provisions, with such offerings as locally made (and delicious) muesli, bread, bacon, eggs and tomatoes. The estate is also home to the independently run Stillwater restaurant. Fortunately my visit coincided with its days of opening (times vary during the year) and as a result I enjoyed a wonderful Gippsland pasture-fed eye fillet for lunch. The restaurant specialises in seasonal produce and wherever possible uses ingredients from local, sustainable, organic producers. I was so full from lunch I couldn’t manage dinner but had I not over indulged, information in my room included a number of recommendations for local restaurants and even local driver services, had I wanted to have a few wines with dinner.
No bath robes. Apparently there used to be, but they were `disappearing with guests!’ Given the spa bath, fire and general feel of the villa you will probably want one so remember to bring your own.