Dromana Estate pours something special!

Dromana Estate pours something special!

The Winter Wine Weekend is upon us again on Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11. So join Jo and Paul, from Dromana Estate, at the Red Hill Reserve and Showgrounds, Arthurs Seat, from 11am to 4pm daily. 

The Dromana Estate team are excited to be pouring their 2016 Dromana Estate and their 2016 Mornington Estate Pinot Noirs for the first time to the public. Their winemaker Peter Bauer is absolutely wrapped with the quality of these two little gems and both are sure to please the Pinot loving palettes of all that partake. Of course, Dromana Estate will be offering their Chardonnays too and a little surprise....their classic cool climate Shiraz! Who says the Mornington Peninsula isn't able to produce great Shiraz? Wait till you taste the soft white pepper corns!

Existing Cellar Door Club members will receive a 15 per cent discount on all wines purchased and if you join the Club at the show you will be in the running to win a carton of Dromana Estate’s 2016 Mornington Estate Pinot Noir.

Dromana Estate’s Cellar Door will be open for tastings of their complete range of wines from 11am to 5pm and the Cafe's fires will be blazing with the kitchen open for platters and pizzas from noon to 4pm. Why not try their Estate grown Pinot poached Pear with Creme Anglaise and Walnut crumb...YUM!! Book now. 



A: 555 Old Moorooduc Rd, Tuerong

W: dromanaestate.com.au

T: 5974 4400


Food and Wine Magic at Paringa

When you enter the gates at Paringa, you will experience a magical world of food and wine. The vineyard is now over 30 years old, and their wines are looking better than ever. Taste their delicious pinot noirs, chardonnays and shiraz at the cellar door, or over a meal in their chef-hatted restaurant. Paringa chef Julian Hills has a unique style, centered on seasonal and local produce, and he forages wild foods around the Peninsula. During the cooler months, dishes to delight include mushroom chestnut Rotolo, Sher wagyu, spanner crab with sautéed grains and roast quince wattle seed ice-cream with smoky apple mousse. For all truffle lovers, book early for their dinner in July. 



A: 44 Paringa Rd, Red Hill South 

T: 5989 2669

W: paringaestate.com.au

E: functions@paringaestate.com.au

Pies and Pinot for a weekend to remember

Picture this – a Myrtaceae Pinot Noir and a Johnny Ripe meat pie. That’s what Myrtaceae vineyard and winery will serve up to celebrate the Winter Wine Weekend, June 10-12.  The boutique vineyard and winery known for their Cool Climate Pinot and Chardonnay will also be releasing the anticipated 2015 wines. Tastings are conducted in the unique Riedel rolling glass.



A: 53 Main Creek Rd, Main Ridge

T: 5989 2045

W: www.myrtaceae.com.au

FB/ Myrtaceae

Australia’s final journey

Although there were occasional rain showers, the night was reasonably clear as the Royal Mail Steamer Australia approached the Rip, under the guidance of a pilot. At a speed of almost 30km/h she ran aground on a reef off Point Nepean where she stuck fast with her bottom plates stove in. She had 246 passengers and more than 2000 tons of cargo aboard, including the mail. It was 1.45am on June 20, 1904.

RMS Australia 1892–1904 Photo by kind permission of ‘Discover Mornington Peninsula’

RMS Australia 1892–1904 Photo by kind permission of ‘Discover Mornington Peninsula’

Water flooded in through the huget hole, stopping her engines and plunging the ship into darkness. There was no panic aboard, however, as the crew helped the passengers into the life boats. After standing by the ship for more than an hour, the boats carried the passengers to Queenscliff, where all were landed safely. Fortunately, the sea was calm and with the tide in the early stage of flood, the Rip was not in the turbulent state which it can be in unfavourable conditions.

At the subsequent inquiry, the pilot was found guilty of misconduct and his licence was cancelled. He was very experienced, having piloted vessels into and out of the port on more than 6000 occasions during 26 years of service. Unfortunately, his eyesight had deteriorated to the extent that he was unable to correctly identify the navigation lights.

The Australia could not be moved from the reef and the ship was sold at auction for 290 pounds plus 20 pounds for the cargo. A large amount of the fittings and cargo was removed, including all the passengers’ luggage and the mail. The purchaser is believed to have cleared more than 180,000 pounds in the subsequent auction sales of cargo and fittings. On July 15 a fire broke out which lasted for five days and completed destroyed the ship.

The RMS Australia was built for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company by Caird & Co of Scotland in 1892. One of a pair, her sister was named the Himalaya. The two ships, 142m long with a tonnage of 6900 tons, were among the finest on the run to Australia having all of the most luxurious fittings of their day. They were also among the fastest. The Australia set a new record of 26 days 6½ hours from London to Adelaide in 1892.


By Maurie Hutchinson (president, Peninsula Ship Society)              

The Peninsula Ship Society meets at Hastings Yacht Club on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10am. Visitors always welcome.

T: Maurie 9787 5780   

May I be of assistance? by Liz Rogers

The door opens and he moves across the threshold quietly until he stops and stands motionless. He is close. He sniffs my legs. Head down. Chestnut eyes with flecks of gold. A tail that has perhaps wagged against some very tough winds.

Finnigan is a rescue dog turned assistance dog after a stint at being a working dog. He failed at that – just didn’t have it in him. But he does have something else inside that makes him very special. Kindness. Yes, this handsome, goofy and palpably patient canine oozes empathy and understanding.

“He just wants to be a good boy and help his mum out,” says literacy consultant Lyn Stone and Finnigan’s ‘parent’. She takes Finn to Penbank/Woodleigh School every Tuesday for four hours and he has been welcomed with open arms. “Initially some of the students weren’t that keen to be leaving the regular class room. Much of that has changed with Finn,” says Lyn (most students are proud to take his leash and stroll to the room they work in). “He was found wandering around Taree and taken in by the Yarra Valley Working Dogs. He’s family now,” she continues.

Finnigan has many talents, but his real gift lies in knowing when someone needs support and when they need to be left alone -  plus “he smells like chocolate biscuits crushed into a carpet,” smiles Lyn. He also sleeps on Lyn’s bed. “He does have his own chair but he’s not in it much!” she continues.

As we chat about Finn’s skill for knowing not to lick Lyn’s daughter who has a disability, or knowing when to rest his chin on the knee of a distressed parent, this old soul cosies up on a pile of cushions like a snail without a shell. He is fully exposed in all his loveliness. “He does love to play ball though,” continues Lyn. “He would chase a ball until his heart burst! The park down the way has about 700 of the ones he’s lost hidden in the scrub. We go for a walk every day. Sometimes along the Merricks Trail.” Finn’s ears move at the words ball and walk. “There’s just so much goodness running through him.”

Yes, I can see that. Feel it. Right from his big Border Collie Kelpie heart.

Yes, you may Finn.

You may indeed be of assistance.  

Two mates and a brewery! By Andrea Kellett

Welcome to the faces behind the Mornington Peninsula’s next big destination in the making – Jetty Road Brewery.

Peninsula born and bred boys Grant Rodgers and Blake Bowden, both aged 28, are the faces of a consortium which is steaming ahead with plans for a craft brewery in Dromana’s industrial estate and boy oh boy, it’s going to be a cracker.

The group already have their own wholesale beer (it’s called the Jetty Road Pale

Ale), the building, a business plan and a huge dose of patience (it took six years just to find the right site). They also have a planning permit and a vast amount of collective experience in the industry.

It’s a refreshingly local venture and at the heart of it all are two great mates who love a great craft beer. Directors Grant and Blake explain: “We’re family friends, we went to the same primary and high schools and we always talked about opening a pub. Instead, we decided to open a brewery.”

Their resolve strengthened after attending Oktoberfest together and they dipped their toes into commercial brewing late last year. “We’ve done 15 years of home brewing but our first commercial beer (released October 2016) took off and we’ve sold out twice,” Grant, an accountant, continues. The boys started ‘gypsie brewing’ at Mornington Peninsula Brewery (it’s a supportive industry around here, this craft brewing) and are now brewing twice a month at a bigger venue.

As they show Mornington Peninsula Magazine around their (future) brewery site in Dromana, it’s clear there’s a lot of work to be done. They have, however, completed the commercial kitchen and it’s available for rent 24/7 while Grant and Blake work on the brewery approvals and fit-out, the beer hall, functions space and more. In the meantime, Jetty Road Pale Ale is soaring in popularity and the take-up from local venues is so impressive that namedropping is a must. You can find the boys’ beer at Portsea Hotel, Flinders Hotel, Casa de Playa in Mornington, Mr Pauls, Rosebud Hotel, GPO Hotel, Barn & Co in Balnarring, The Long Table in Red Hill South, Hop Temple in Ballarat, Southside Social Frankston, Freddie Wimpoles in St Kilda and the list goes on.

And the origins of the name Jetty Road Brewery? It’s named after Jetty Rd, Dromana, where it all started. “We started brewing on a residential street in Dromana so we called ourselves The Jetty Road Crew,” Blake explains. 

The Jetty Road Brewery vision is a “cool venue” that includes a commercial brewery, commercial kitchen, beer hall, functions space and children’s play area. “We want people to walk in here and say, ‘oh wow, this is where I want to stay’ and the kids can play too,” Grant says.

Watch this space because these boys have plenty of announcements to come. For now, you can enjoy this local pale ale at the venues mentioned; the boys are working on their second beer; and you can hire their brand new commercial kitchen now. More at jettyroad.com.au

Jett shoots the breeze by Liz Rogers

We watch the station wagon groan away.  It’s the quintessential surfing snapshot and one that hasn’t changed throughout the ages. Still looks the same. Boards in the back, their tips peeking through the top of the rear window like a sideways fibreglass smile beside the P plater sign. “There’s always boards in the back,” says Dani. “It’s all he does. Surf and hang out with mates. That’s about it.”

We are talking about her son Jett Dickinson - the 15-year-old Saint Andrews board rider with shoulder-length dark blonde hair and not a care in the world. He’s just come second in the Victorian Under 18 surfing titles held at Jan Juc over the weekend, even though he’s recovering from a recent bout of Glandular Fever. Doesn’t seem to worry him. If he can get to the beach – Rye or Gunnamatta preferably – and feel the saltwater and his Bass Board beneath his feet it’s all good. The friend he drove off with (Billy White) has just returned from a two-week stint surfing in Indonesia. That’s where Jett wants to be, chasing the waves. Maybe South America, Nicaragua or Mexico. He went to Indonesia last September with his dad for a month and spent his time surfing G-Land (also known as Plengkung Beach) in East Java. It’s a travelling way of life and he can’t wait to make it happen.

“I’ve been surfing since I was about three I guess. Mum just threw me in the water. I didn’t have lessons until I was about eight when we moved to Brunswick Heads (NSW) from Agnes Waters (in Queensland). I was in the nippers, at the beach every day. We’ve been here for about five years.”

Jett is laid back and doesn’t have any illusions about the professional surfing world. He figures it will be his last year of competition next year because “there’s nothing else after junior competition you know. I’ve always been part of the local board rider’s comps” – (there’s seven a year) – “but there’s not much after that” he says. Except for the Australian Titles at Culburra Beach (Jervis Bay) in NSW at the end of the year. “I’m in the Victorian team. The top four from the Victorian titles at Jan Juc qualified. It’ll be a one-week competition. If I get through I’d go onto the world titles I suppose.” That’s what he said. “I’d like to go to university – maybe do Outdoor Education. Surf. Travel” and hang out with his mates Billy, Harry, and Dan.

In the meantime, he’ll finish school at Dromana College, enjoy his Bass Surfboards (Dromana) sponsorship and keep it cool while travelling in his mind searching for the perfect break.

Not a problem. He’s already headed down that coastal road. Where it will lead nobody knows, but I reckon the journey for this young A grade surfer will be a breeze.

It’s a state of mind.

Jackalope: The hottest place in town by Jennifer Faulkner

If you haven’t heard of Jackalope, don’t be surprised. This luxury hotel and dining experience opened at the Willow Creek vineyard in April. Set between Balnarring and Red Hill, less than 10 minutes from the M11, it is well worth the short detour.

Melbourne-based entrepreneur Louis Li pushed the creative boundaries with this bold luxury development and he entrusts his chefs with the same licence — and they’ve nailed it. It’s the hottest place in town.

There is a strikingly unfamiliar (almost surreal) atmosphere juxtaposed with a warm and inviting ambiance. A fusion of art, storytelling and hospitality at its finest, every detail has been planned to perfection; meticulously crafted around a central concept of ‘alchemy’.

From the flamboyant and contemporary cocktail lounge Flaggerdoot, housed within the original 1876 Edwardian McCormick House, through to two striking conference rooms, 46 stunning hotel rooms, and the 30m infinity pool where you can sip and soak as you watch the sunset, each element comes together to tell part of the story.

Boasting a strong team of personable, knowledgeable and friendly staff, this is a very special place. The name occurred to Li during a trip to Berlin when he came across a small Jackalope bunny in an antique store. A mythological creature fabled to be part-jackrabbit, part-antelope, the Jackalope perfectly represented the intangible elements of his vision — playfulness with a dash of daring. And the luxury speaks for itself.

Rare Hare was an unexpected surprise. And a welcome one. Representing the fun side of the Jackalope, this trendy and cosy casual dining space offers a full-day lunch menu with seasonal meals cooked to perfection in the woodfire oven. The relaxed atmosphere and picturesque views of the sweeping vineyards make it perfect for the whole family or lazy Sunday afternoons with friends. If you like Red Hill’s Epicurean, you will love Rare Hare.

Doot Doot Doot, on the other hand, is reflective of the strong and fierce side of the Jackalope. It is a bold and enigmatic restaurant featuring marble tabletops, on-trend design and an 8m by 10m lighting installation. Executive Chef Guy Stanaway (formerly of Aman Hotels) and Head Chef Martin Webster (formerly of Montalto) each bring a solid reputation for culinary excellence and they delivered. Every mouthful was a burst of flavour and the duck was the best I’ve had. I was pleasantly surprised to see Webster out on the floor greeting patrons with his masterful dishes. “I try to get around to every table at least once,” he smiled.

Wine connoisseurs will be pleased to know that Head Winemaker Geraldine McFaul is still creating all the Willow Creek favourites, while other premium wines have been sourced from regions around Italy, France, Spain and Australia. The wine list showcases only small-production vineyards smaller than 11 hectares, like Willow Creek. There are also two fully equipped kitchens in the main building — one for the restaurant and one for the sumptuous in-room dining menu — and staff are encouraged to experience each area as they broaden their skills and knowledge under expert guidance. A dream come true for any aspiring hospitality professional.

Take a peek, I can highly recommend it.

*Jennifer Faulkner is a freelance travel writer and founder of Word Symmetry, a Peninsula-based boutique copywriting and communications business (wordsymmetry.com.au)  

Belle of the ball by Andrea Kellett

Brodie Harper is a natural ambassador for the Mornington Peninsula. The high profile television presenter has travelled extensively with Channel Nine’s travel and lifestyle show ‘Postcards’ and yet, there’s no place like home.

“I’ll never move away, ever!” the Peninsula born and bred woman, presenter, model, mother and local resident declares during an interview with Mornington Peninsula Magazine.

Brodie is speaking ahead of her role as MC for the 7th annual Children of Ghana Charity Ball, to be held at the Frankston Arts Centre on June 17. The gala night, founded and organised by locals Tony and Cheryl Carter seven years ago, has become a major event on the Mornington Peninsula’s social calendar – it’s a chance to glam up without having to travel to the city, and it’s for a charitable cause.

This will be Brodie’s third appearance at the ball and her second in the role of MC. She explains: “This came about because I’m an ambassador for Mercedes Benz Mornington and they have always done a lot with (organiser) Cheryl and Children of Ghana in the past. Living on the Peninsula, it’s easy for me to attend and I like to try and get behind local charities.”

Brodie is many things, including mum to young daughter Jessica, so it was a “no brainer” when she was approached to MC a glamorous local event that raises funds to provide basic necessities for orphans and children living in poverty in Ghana. “It saddens me that children don’t have the opportunities that they should in life. I try to always back these types of events,” she explains.

On a lighter note (the question has to be asked) has she sorted out her all-important ball dress yet? “No, I wish!” she laughs, admitting that’s a decision that requires careful thought a little closer to the event.   When asked how she would describe the ball for those thinking of dipping their toes, or high heels for that matter, in for the first time, her Peninsula pride shines again: “It’s such a fun night and it’s great to see all the locals getting behind it. They get a great crowd. There aren’t a lot of events like this on the Peninsula and it’s such a good cause,” she says.

The 7th annual Children of Ghana Charity Ball is on June 17, 6.30pm, at the Frankston Arts Centre. Tickets include a four-course meal, a start-up drink package followed by drinks at bar prices, pre-dinner entertainment, auctions, raffles and BIG CITY BEAT - one of Australia’s favourite show bands.  For last-minute ticket enquiries, call Cheryl on 0400 516 265.

Super Sammy’s heroic return by Kate Sears

Sammy J returns to his home town to perform his Barry Award nominated show, Hero Complex, at the Frankston Arts Centre.

The award-winning comedian, musician and writer has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and Montreal Just for Laughs festivals, has been nominated for three Aria awards and is known as the human half of the Barry Award-winning man and puppet comedy duo Sammy J & Randy. You might recall one of his most popular songs, the Backward Song, where he without fault sings the song backwards. Sammy also wowed a huge audience in 2016 with his ABC TV show, Playground Politics.

Hero Complex had its beginnings in 1996 when Sammy J borrowed some Phantom comics from his school gardener.  He wasn’t to know until much later, but this moment set off a chain of events that led to the birth of his daughter, saw him committing a crime in Canberra and ended with a federal policeman searching his attic. This is an unbelievable true story directed by Chris McDonald that will have you intrigued, touched and laughing until your cheeks hurt.

Hero Complex has already received incredible reviews. The Adelaide Advertiser said: “Hero Complex is, quite simply, comic genius.” The show has something for everyone. It’s a story-telling masterpiece that’s lighthearted and heartfelt.   Sammy J’s intelligent humour and impeccable timing has audiences in fits of laughter. This well-crafted story includes stand-up and music – it’s simply wickedly funny.

This year Sammy J was named the winner of the Best Comedy 2017 Award at the Adelaide Fringe Week One.  Last year he took home the Best Comedy 2016 award at the Melbourne Fringe and was the star of the 2016 ABC hit Playground Politics.

Be super and book today; you won’t be disappointed.


WHEN: Friday, June 23, 7.30pm (one hour, no interval)
TICKETS: members $35, adult $40, conc $37, U30 $30
W: artscentre.frankston.vic.gov.au

A new future for track riding by Andrea Kellett

“Riding a racehorse is a completely different skill to riding equestrian.”

And with that, Mornington Peninsula track rider, degree qualified teacher, equestrian competitor and more Lisa Coffey sums up her exciting new Peninsula equine business, launched six months ago.

From a 40-acre property on Coolart Rd, Moorooduc, Lisa runs the Victorian Racing Academy – the only academy of its kind on the Mornington Peninsula (and in Melbourne’s south east) that trains up future track riders as well as offering equestrian lessons. Lisa is earning a reputation as the go-to woman for Melbourne’s track riders of the future and she trains all abilities.

A highly experienced track rider and equestrian competitor herself with equine science and teaching degrees (plus a psychology degree) and seven years with Racing Victoria, Lisa decided last year to set up her own business. The day Mornington Peninsula Magazine met her, she’d had a 4am start, doing track work at Caulfield Racecourse. She still keeps her hand in track work, because she loves it. She’s also a Certificate III in Racing (Trackrider) instructor.

“I love teaching and I really love working with young people,” Lisa explains. “I love being able to help people progress in life, whether it’s helping them get a job or helping them in their personal lives.”

Lisa has 17 horses at the Victorian Racing Academy, including four ponies, which allows her to match her students’ abilities and experience to the right horse. She has bought a number of horses from the meat pens at sales, retrained and rehomed them and, where suitable, uses them in her teaching.

* The academy is sponsored by Stride Free - the new range of saddles by local saddle maker Peter Horobin. Lisa’s next Track Rider Course has just started and you can still register. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays for 12 weeks, $60 per session.


T: 0400 519 483 

FB /VictorianRacingAcademy

Sorrento Winter Pop-Up – A First for Mornington Peninsula

One of the most exciting new events is set to hit the sand of Sorrento Foreshore these June/July school holidays…SKATING AT SORRENTO 2017.

In a first for the Mornington Peninsula, an ice skating rink rivalling that of Times Square and Paris will pop up on Sorrento Foreshore from June 23 to July 16, 2017.

The rink, measuring 25m x 9m, will be set by the picturesque bay between The Baths and the Rotunda on Sorrento Foreshore, with ice skaters able to enjoy the views while ice skating….day or evening, rain or shine!

The Skating at Sorrento Ice Rink is a partnership between Sorrento Portsea Chamber of Commerce and Ice Rinks Australia, and is a first for the Mornington Peninsula. “We are so excited to be bringing this new event to Sorrento,” says Natalie Garner, Sorrento Portsea Chamber of Commerce Business Development Manager. “To be able to ice skate right on the shores of our beautiful bay and then hit the village for a bite to eat, see a movie or enjoy some retail therapy is an awesome experience unrivalled by any other ice rink or winter activity.”

The Skating at Sorrento Ice Rink will be open Sundays to Thursdays, 10am to 7pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 9pm. Promoters are planning special themed skate sessions and group bookings are welcome. Skate sessions will run for 45 minutes.

Tickets available at skatingat.com.au

Hat trick of awards for Peninsula Travel!

It’s been an exciting couple of months for the team at Peninsula Travel.

Not only has the Peninsula’s premier agency branched out from its flagship base at Mount Martha to open a sister agency in Red Hill, the team is also celebrating a string of victories at this year’s Helloworld travel awards.

Director Michele Saunderson and her crew of skilled advisors won a swag of accolades at the May 19 gala ceremony on the Gold Coast, recognising the best of the best across the national Helloworld network of more than 1000 stores.

In a thrilling hat trick, the office picked up the State Sales Growth award, was named State Retailer of the Year for the second consecutive year, and also took out top honour with the prestigious National Retailer of the Year award.

“I was so surprised. I shouldn’t be, because I have the most amazing team in the world," she said. "It’s a huge honour just to be nominated, let alone to win both the state and national titles, so I’m very grateful."

Michele said the award was testament to the hard work, skill and dedication of the Peninsula Travel team. “The competition was, as always, extremely tough," she said. 

"We were up against the best in the Helloworld associates groups, of which there are hundreds across Australia - some offices have 10 branches - so we are absolutely thrilled to have been chosen.” 

Third time lucky last at Peninsula Lifestyle Village

The final and third stage of development at the Peninsula Lifestyle Retirement Village in Baxter will be completed in early 2018 and is currently selling fast (Stage Two B is due to be finalised this October!) This means it’s time to set your comfort-plus lifestyle in place and create a future space full of fun in a family friendly boutique mews style village.

All Villas at Peninsula Lifestyle Village offer real retirement luxury living. The Flinders, Mornington, Somers and Bay Villas have Caesar Stone kitchen bench tops, air conditioning, built-in robes, double glazed windows, high ceilings and European appliances, while the newly designed Flinders also has two bedrooms, a duel entrance ensuite, two bathrooms and an attached garage. Now that’s called comfort!

There’s something for everyone at Peninsula Lifestyle Village. Gorgeous grounds surround the Villas built in a secure gated community for peace of mind, while regular get-togethers in the beautifully appointed clubhouse and lunchtime weekly roasts make for social celebrations. There’s a luxurious cinema, Saturday night sausage sizzles in the alfresco dining area and the regular weekend footy game on the big screen (get ready to hunker down with a piping hot pie and your mates to cheer on your team!). Why not get cosy in front of the communal fireplace or give your circulation a boost at the well-equipped gym? There’s also a library and business centre, plus a wide range of health practitioners and a hair dresser on-site (the Men’s Shed, card and gardening groups and happy hour will keep you smiling).

Resident onsite coordinator Sonia is always on stand-by at Peninsula Lifestyle Village to ensure a good time is had by all, whether that means heading off to a local vineyard on the luxury bus or making a cup of tea and having a chat.

Jump online to visit their website at www.peninsulalifestylevillage.com.au or FREECALL 1800 794 838 to begin your journey towards first rate retirement living.

A: 46 Baxter-Tooradin Rd, Baxter
T: 1800 794 838

Cashmere with a global conscience at Mia Fratino by Liz Rogers

Cashmere is soft, sexy and seductively subtle. The finest cashmere is crafted from long filament fibres of the grazing goats of Mongolia – now that’s something to sink your body into like a velvet second skin.

Vibrant and versatile, this delicious finest of fine wool wants its wearer to feel free, warm and wonderfully luxe. Local luscious cashmere clothing company Mia Fratino wants its cashmere companions to fall in love with its anti ‘fast fashion’ rebellious side and join a ‘Slow Fashion Revolution’ where longevity lounges in the arms of shape, form and beauty.

Designer Amy Jones of Merino Snug family heritage explains. “Our easy to wear range is 100% Mongolian cashmere and is carefully constructed to become even more beautiful as it wears. Mia Fratino’s mission is to support a more mindful appreciation of quality and to encourage long life expectancy. They are made to last. We don’t follow fashion trends or seasons, but focus on small production runs so our stockists receive new garments every four to six weeks. No excess bulk production means no landfill.”

Amy and her business partner director Tim Fitzpatrick began Mia Fratino (meaning ‘my sister’ in Esperanto) with the aim of producing divine knitwear for forward thinking and anti-disposable fashion advocates. A donation from every purchase goes to the Mia Fratino Foundation in Sri Lanka, which is a micro-finance system funding the training of women in basic skills to help break the poverty trap. The Foundation prides itself on empowering women through financial independence. Mia Fratino knitwear is produced in its own factory in Sri Lanka with 100% diligence to ethical production.

Searching through the rack of carefully crafted cuts and sumptuous design selections in the Mia Fratino studio in Mornington, one can’t help but feel like melting beneath all that cashmere goodness. It’s true, winter never looked so warm, inviting and well – fiercely feminine.  

“We provide a care kit with each of our garments so our clients know how to look after their cashmere too,” says Amy.

Oh no – I’m in trouble! Cashmere conversion complete.

M: 0428 196 155
W: miafratino.com
FB: www.facebook.com/miafratino
I: @miafratino

A touch of finesse by Andrea Kellett

Roong Saisombat is making her mark in Peninsula culinary circles. She’s head chef at Commonfolk Coffee Company in Mornington, executive chef at Finesse Catering Group (a Peninsula catering company, launched last year) and she’s the Soar Collective Woman of the Year. She even has a salad named after her! Mornington Peninsula Magazine caught up with Roong as she prepares to host a string of events over the winter and works on plans for her pop-up restaurant called Naturally Thai by chef Roong.

Q: What are you up to now?
A: I am still working at Commonfolk with Sam Keck as head chef and building my catering company Finesse Catering Group with my husband, chef Brad Holtz, and my sister who is our pastry chef. I’m doing Thai cooking classes for people who want to learn how to cook traditional Thai food and I’m looking for a ‘pop-up’ space to do a Thai pop-up.

Q: You obviously thrive on being busy?
A: I love being busy. If there’s nothing going on at night – no functions – we sit down and talk about food. I love cooking. I think I’m addicted to food (she laughs). I will see some flower and think, “What can we do with that? Can we put it in this salad?”

Q: Tell us more about your your plans for the winter and spring
A: Last year through Finesse we started a roaming restaurant called ‘Speak Easy’ dining. We team up with different wineries and local artists and take over interesting spaces on the Peninsula (more at finessecateringgroup.com.au/speak-easy) Upcoming events are planned for Friday, June 23, at The Studio & Co in Hastings, where we will cook tuna on freshly blown glass for the first course.  Sunday, July 16, we are at Tanglewood Estate where we are teaming up with Mornington Peninsula Brewery and a few other locals to host a long lunch. And plans are being laid for a ‘live art meets food’ showcase at The Nook Gallery in Mornington. 

Q: You are the Soar Collective Woman of the Year. How does that feel?
A: It’s made me feel like I want to work harder! You don’t think you’re going to get an award. Sam (her boss at Commonfolk) named a salad after me when I won it. It used to be called The Best Salad Ever then when I won the SOAR award he changed it to The SOAR Collective Salad of The Year!

Q: What drives you?
A: I want to be successful in life and in business. I keep working hard and I stay positive. In my cooking classes I say, “Smile, the food tastes better”. And, never give up on your dream.

Finesse Catering Group: finessecateringgroup.com.au
Naturally Thai By Chef Roong: @chefroonie
Commonfolk: commonfolkcoffee.com.au