On the Saturday before mother's day I took my mum for a pampering afternoon on the Mornington Peninsula.
We started out with a decadent lunch at La Pétanque in the gourmet hamlet of Main Ridge (also home to Ten Minutes by Tractor). This was risky because nice restaurants have an innate ability to fail miserably when I happen to take my mum to them. Luckily that didn't happen this time.
La Pétanque is a set in beautiful location is a posh meets rustic 'barn'. It also has a little spot to actually play pétanque while overlooking the grounds.
We started with a delightful amuse bouche of saffron poached potato creme fraiche and salmon roe.
Our entree was an exquisite dish of dill cured salmon with blue swimmer crab with gin and tonic jelly.
My mum had the crown roasted pheasant special that was resting on a cassoulet and topped with latticed potato. It was fantastic but slightly overshadowed by my main (which I of course shared).
The Aylesbury duck breast is the best overall duck dish that I have ever eaten (and I have eaten a lot of duck). The breast was perfectly cooked: juicy, a bit pink and with crispy skin (but not so crispy that it was hard). The duck liver parfait was a richly spiced accompaniment to the duck that added that level of decadence that could make you feel guilty as you eat - if you were that way inclined. The rhubarb and sous vide beetroot added an earthy balance. There is a wistful tear in my eye just thinking about it as a write this.
Our dessert was a wintry rhubarb ice cream with rice pudding crumbed apple.
We followed lunch up with a visit to Peninsula Hot Springs for more relaxation. I would recommend a visit if you haven't been. The hill top pool has a spectacular view and the facilities (which include a hammam steam room) are lovely.