Places: Cakes & Ale Bistro, Sorrento, Mornington Peninsula
There is something comforting about heading down to the Mornington Peninsula in winter. Windy and wonderful, this is one of my favourite places. I love poking around the cosy little boutiques and antique stores as well as filling my belly at one of the wineries and restaurants. It is a place where you can really appreciate winter. Sorrento is full of super cute locally sourced sandstone buildings which lend the old town feel of this lovely historic coastal town. Heaven is refreshing morning walks down to the back beach to collect treasure and a big bowl of cinnamon laced porridge to warm you up afterwards. Followed by coffee and nourishing locally grown food. What more could you want?
Cosy and modern, with a lovely focus on local and sustainable ingredients, the little bistro Cakes and Ale is the perfect little place to re-fuel after your adventures. Named after a line from Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", the menu is filled with comfort food. There are crispy things, crunchy things (panko crumbed sardines), buttery things (butternut pumpkin gnocchi with sage and hazelnuts in a brown butter sauce) and hearty dishes (slow cooked lamb), seafood and cheese!
Something I loved about Cakes and Ale was that as soon as you sit down you are greeted with a bowl of roasted almonds to snack on while you peruse the menu. Once you have decided the lovely staff bring a plate of rustic hand-cut bread and butter - the kind you imagine being served in a tavern with a big bowl of stew and pint of ale in a fantasy novel...
Growing up in the Yarra Valley, I can be a little picky with my wine but the waitress recommended a beautiful sangiovese which was DELICIOUS. I ordered the slow cooked lamb with soft dutch carrots - the waitresses recommendation and she was right on the money! The lamb was soooo good and went perfectly with the soft dutch carrots and smokey eggplant it was served with. I used the last piece of my bread from earlier to mop up all the juices, of course.
The meals were balanced, nutritious and the serves were a great size, not too big and not too small. You could easily order a few dished to be shared. This is a perfect place to bring your friends or family, with a few large tables scattered around. Also a great date spot for whispering sweet nothings in between mouthfuls - I don't think anyone would notice. I can imagine myself visiting alone with a book and know that I would still have a great time.
They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a local's special Thursday evenings. Can be a little pricey but it is well worth it!