Eat, drink, shop
74 High Street, Heathcote 0439 499 948
Heathcote’s best brekkie spot is on the edge of town in a modern, airy space that’s all grey and blue tones with timber and concrete accents. There’s Proud Mary coffee from Melbourne and crowd-pleasers such as coconut porridge with creamed Arborio rice and berry coulis.
THE VERANDAH CAFE
2905 Lancefield-Tooborac Road, Tooborac merindoc.com.au
Overlooking grapevines and hills laden with granite boulders, Merindoc’s cellardoor café serves fresh fare that goes perfectly with the glorious setting. Choose from small bites, platters and specials such as poached salmon with salad that includes ingredients picked straight from the kitchen garden. For dinner HEATHCOTE INN RESTAURANT
9 Hunter Place, Heathcote heathcoteinn.com.au
The relaxed eatery at this 13-room hotel offers Italianstyle food with an emphasis on local produce. The wine list is a rollcall of regional producers, from Paul Osicka to Jasper Hill, while the farm-to-fork menu includes dishes such as housemade gnocchi with three-cheeseand-parsley cream.
For taking home MCIVOR ESTATE 80 Tooborac-Baynton Road, Tooborac mcivorestate.com.au
On their Italian-inspired mixed farm, Gary and Cynthia Harbor took advantage of the graniterich soil by planting an olive grove next to their grapevines. You, too, can reap the rewards by picking up a bottle of their cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, which is available in three types: manzanilla, nevadillo blanco and a blend of correggiolo and frantoio.
Caramelised bourbon baked pear with mascarpone and savoiardi biscuit at Heathcote Inn Restaurant (left); McIvor Estate is modelled on a traditional Italian mixed farm (below)