Just an hour’s drive south of Melbourne, the hinterland region of the Mornington Peninsula is renowned as a gourmand’s go-to destination, with a feast of farm-fresh produce and award-winning wines to be sampled and savoured. But in Red Hill, a tiny township tucked among the vineyards and olive groves, the substantial side serving of shopping is a delightful surprise, with a selection of beautifully curated stores to explore while working up an appetite.
STOP 1: Epicurean
This former 1920’s apple-packing shed marries perfectly with it’s rural location, boasting a stylish industrial makeover by Melbourne design firm Hecker Guthrie. The Italian inspired restaurant out the back serves up wood-fired pizzas and local wines while ‘The Store’ at the front sells café fare, coffee roasted in house and a selection of homewares and homemade goodies to take away with you.
Open: The Store is open 7 days from 8.30am – 5pm; The Shed is open Wed – Sun for lunch and dinner.
Visit: 165 Shoreham Road, (03) 5989 4000.
STOP 2: Red Hill House
Owner Josie Achermann squeezes gorgeous homewares and fashion finds into her cosy store, with an emphasis on the locally sourced and handmade. You’ll find shelves of glassware, bedlinen, bathroom accessories, children’s gifts and every gourmet accoutrement.
Open: Mon-Sun, 10am-5pm.
Visit: 169c Shoreham Road; (03) 5931 0225.
STOP 3: Hill Station
A subtle, sweet scent wafting from the perfumes, toiletries and diffusers on the central table is the first thing you notice in this style-savvy boutique. It includes the delicate notes of Italian colognes with scents first produced by Florentine monks more than 400 years ago – just one of the unexpected and exclusive finds in storeowner Rhonda Mentiplay’s collection. Hill Station is the only Australian stockist of Uffe Frank, the Danish fashion designer behind Princess Mary’s wedding gown, plus a range of jewellery imported directly from The Met in New York.
Open: Mon & Fri, 10am-3pm; Sat-Sun & school holidays, 10am-5pm.
Visit: 9/159 Shoreham Road, (03) 5931 0008.
STOP 4: La Brocante
Vintage and one-off pieces are selected from around the globe by La Brocante’s owners, Penny Attiwill and Matt Learmonth. Penny lived in France for many years, and uses her insight on regular European visits to source items from the interesting to the unashamedly out-there – think an ostrich from a 1930s Belgian carousel. “A lot of people around here love to travel,” says Penny. “So there’s a conversation about where the piece came from and where we stayed when we found it.”
Open: Mon, Thurs-Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, 11am-4pm.
Visit: 137 Shoreham Road; (03) 5931 0293.
STOP 5: T&G Antiques
Having each just completed a doctorate in history, owners Tim and Grace Gassin are highly qualified to discuss the style and vintage of each of the pieces in their fine antiques range. Larger furniture is predominantly of pre-1850s British and colonial origins, but an assortment of 18th and 19th century treasures from all around the world also play a starring role.
Open: Thurs-Sun, 10am-5pm.
Visit: 11/159 Shoreham Road, (03) 5989 2137.