At the beginning of a relationship, it's safe to say you’re both pulling out all the stops to really make an impression.
But, before you know it, those ritzy dinners, spontaneous activities and exciting weekends away whittle down into UberEats and Netflix quicker than you can say, “Hey babe, let’s binge watch The Sinner tonight”.
Don’t get us wrong, we think a delicious feed delivered to your door and a date with the couch (read: bae) is a great way to spend an evening, BUT we also think there's always time to get out of the house and into nature’s playground.
So to help you drive your date game from 0 to 100 we’ve teamed up with Custom Plates to serve up four epic date destinations that are totally worth the roadie.
But wait, that's not all! They're going to help you out even more by giving away Melbourne's Most Extra Date Night valued at over 5k.
Drive time: 1 hour
Playlist: Mood Booster
Just one hour from Melbourne you’ll find the pretty-as-a-picture Macedon Ranges. There’s heaps to see, do and eat here so you’ll need to delegate itinerary duties to the passenger - or you can take the easy route and follow our itinerary below. You're welcome.
Start The Day With The Warm Fuzzies
Edgar’s Mission is a not-for-profit farm that provides sanctuary to farm animals in need of some TLC (aw). With over 450 rescued animals, you can expect to see pigs, dogs, horses and lambs. The tours are super popular so make sure to book a tour well in advance, right here.
Lunch With A View
Mount Macedon Winery is an absolute must-visit. This place isn’t just a vineyard; it’s a farm, restaurant and a retreat. Head to the cellar door for a wine tasting then soak up the scenery of the mountains and vineyard over a grazing platter made with seasonal, quality produce sourced locally from the region.
Lancefield Day Spa is the perfect way to round out the day trip. We’re a sucker for a massage, so our top pick is the Hanakasumi Body Ritual; a full body massage with warmed cherry blossom rice powder exfoliant and aromatic shea butter. We feel relaxed just typing that.
Drive time: 1 hour
Playlist: Chill Out
Tucked away in the hinterland of the Mornington Peninsula, Red Hill will get you serious ROI on your date with loads of wholesome activities to wow you and your S.O.
Pick Your Own Cherries
Rejoice! Cherry season is upon us! No matter how old you get, there’s really nothing quite like picking your own berries. The season runs from mid-November through to early January, so make sure to pay a visit to the stunning orchards at the Red Hill Cherry Farm.
Long Lunch With All Of The Wines
Polperro Winery is one of Mornington’s most aesthetically pleasing wineries, especially for lunch. Start with a wine tasting followed by an unbelievable dining experience amongst the vines. The menu features fresh, textural and seasonal flavours that match perfectly with their delicious wines. PS: Make sure to get around the beef short rib with eggplant, watermelon radish and molasses.
Located in its very own hop garden, The Red Hill Brewery is a unique, independent microbrewery born from a local couple’s passion for beer. Relax, take a load off and settle into the rustic bush surrounds with a cold brew in hand before heading back to the big smoke.
Drive time: 1.5 hours
Playlist: Front Left
With an abundance of mind-blowing food, stunning farms and insta-worthy day spas, the only bad thing we have to say about Daylesford is that you can’t squish it all into 24-hours. Take the weekend, you deserve it.
Breakfast At Cliffy’s
Before you ask, the answer is yes. This is 100% worth the early wake up call. Cliffy’s Emporium has been around for 60 years, so it’s no wonder that it's considered a local institution. With old 1950’s signs still adorning the windows, this place has serious character and charm. Indulge in the decadent breakfast menu and finish off with some of their housemade cakes and biscuits.
Lunch At The Lake House
This is regional dining at its best. With two Chef Hats and an array of other impressive awards, The Lake House is perfect for splurging on a birthday or anniversary. Not only is the food incredible, the sunlit restaurant is an Instagrammer's dream with huge picture windows showing off impressive views.
Linger In Fields Of Lavender
You’ll be glad to know we’ve found the perfect place to walk off your food coma. Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm is in the rolling hills of Shepherds Flat and shows off a seriously impressive European-style garden with stunning stone buildings from the 1850s. Stroll through vegetable and herb gardens and make sure to pay a visit to the stunning lavender fields.
Drive time: 1.5 hours
Playlist: Songs to Sing in the Car
Don’t let this small town fool you, Ballarat is bursting with history, things to do and plenty of droolworthy places to visit (read: you will eat a lot).
Time Travel To The 1800s
Sovereign Hill is a replica Gold Rush town with streets, shops and gold mines all from the 1850s. The attraction recreates one of the town’s most monumental eras and is as cool as it is educational. Make sure to also pay a visit to The Gold Museum, which shows off gold nuggets and other real deal artefacts. How good is history?!
You deserve a drink after all that learning and luckily, we have found just the place. Kilderkin Distillery have been making premium gin and whisky since 2016, so premium that it's encouraged to try them neat or on the rocks (if you're game enough). What’s even better is that they share a cellar door with the guys at Red Duck Brewery, so you can taste all the gin AND beer your heart desires.
Ultimate Dinner Date at Underbar
Firstly, it’s probably important to note that Underbar only seats 12 people at a time, so you’re going to need to make sure you book in advance. Featuring a seasonal chef’s tasting menu that uses ingredients from Ballarat and the surrounding areas, it goes without saying that the food is unbelievable. We should also probably mention that Head Chef Derek Boath used to work at three Michelin star restaurant 'Per Se' in New York, so safe to say he knows a thing or two…
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