A luxurious yet family-friendly historic farm house nestled between the Mornington Peninsula wineries, beaches and artisan galleries in Red Hill. Does it get any better than Butterfly Retreat?
As the kids scampered out of the car, high-pitched excited shrills echoed through the lush green gardens. After a ferry crossing and a short drive, we had arrived at our family getaway – Butterfly Retreat. A luxurious yet family-friendly historic farm house nestled between the Mornington Peninsula wineries, beaches and artisan galleries in Red Hill. Does it get any better?
Within minutes, we had opened every door we could find in this large and beautifully decked out luxury farm house with décor fit for a royal – French provincial with a rustic, Industrial charm… the perfect combination.
As I unpacked our bags, I heard yelling and screaming from one of the rooms and after walking around the large house trying to find them, I was greeted by a very excited five-year old in a dilemma as to which of the four bunks she would sleep in – there was even a floating bunk which was the cause of much commotion.
Meanwhile, my nature-loving husband was nowhere to be seen. Upon arrival, he had seen there was hectares of gardens to explore with fruit orchards and wildlife and birdlife at every turn – yes, this indeed was going to be a fun few days.
That night, I did something very unusual. I decided to cook in the big farmhouse kitchen. The funny thing about this is that I detest cooking. In fact, whenever we go on holidays, the family knows that it’s mum’s time off as well, so they were very surprised to see me whistling away in the kitchen with music on, glass of red in hand and in domestic goddess mode! You see, the place is so homely and full of rustic charm that it would be a crime not to cook up a storm. Not to mention, there is a large, beautifully-restored timber dining table to seats 10 people. It was the perfect place to sit with the family and plan out our next few days.
The next day we all ventured out to explore the property and came across a fairy garden, much to Daisy’s delight! Suffice to say, we didn’t see much of Daisy over the next few days as she spent countless hours writing little letters to the fairies, cleaning out the leaves from their house each morning, reading them stories and leaving them a bowl of pebbles, fairy dust and nuts each night for them to enjoy. A child’s imagination is truly amazing.
Speaking of fairies, on the second night, the kids were tucked in bed asleep so my husband and I snuck outside and sat under the fairy lights in our own private garden with a bottle of vintage local pinot noir. It was such a magical place to unwind and reconnect.
During the day, we ventured out to explore the surrounding wineries and beautiful gourmet food offerings. We did some berry picking at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, which is something to definitely add to your list. After an hour or so of berry picking, which the big kids and little kids loved, we all devoured a strawberry and chocolate fondue platter and overdosed on berries.
A great winery and restaurant for kids and adults is Green Olive at Red Hill. With ample space for kids to run around and some farm animals to look at, it’s the perfect place to kick back with a wine tasting and a tapas platter, and admire the breathtaking views of the vineyard, rolling hills and lush green countryside. There is even an in-ground trampoline to entertain the kids!
There’s only so much gourmet food and wine a family can take, so after a day of exploring the Peninsula, we headed to the beach for some much-needed walking and swimming. Then it was home to our farm house retreat to sit in front of the wood fire and play some board games with the family (p.s., there is a games cupboard to rival no other!).
After a few days away, we were reluctant to leave, and all agreed this would be our secret getaway spot – lucky for you, I decided it was too good not to share. But, just remember who told you about this little gem first.
HOT TIPS FOR FAMILIES:
Butterfly Retreat is the ideal accommodation for families and groups of up to 14 people. Spacious and welcoming, it’s the perfect place to unwind, relax and explore the renowned wine region of the Mornington Peninsula.
Bookings: Butterfly Retreats
138 Arthurs Seat Rd, Red Hill, VIC
Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
Address: 244 Shands Rd, Main Ridge, VIC
Hours: Open Friday to Sunday and school and public holidays 11am-4PM
Green Olive at Red Hill
Address: 1180 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge, VIC
The Eagle – Arthurs Seat Gondola
Address: 795 Arthurs Seat Road, Arthurs Seat, VIC