Decadence 19th Century Dinner @ Werribee Mansion
I was somehow lucky enough to score an invitation to a once in a lifetime dining experience at the historic Werribee Mansion, as well as stay a night at the amazing Mansion Hotel & Spa at Werribee Park. Formerly St Joseph’s Seminary, created by the Corpus Christi College in 1926. Special permission was granted to hold the dinner on the balcony of the mansion, which hasn’t happened since the Corpus Christi days. For more information on the Mansion and Werribee Park, click here.
We started by meeting the hotel manager, Michael Edwards in the lobby of the hotel with the other dinner guests. We were ushered out to the picturesque Parterre Gardens for pre-dinner drinks and canapes.
I can’t remember exactly what each were; I remember the front one being a duck liver pate with absinthe jelly. The other I can’t recall, but they were both delicious in their own right. Great to get the taste buds flowing.
We then headed up through the mansion, up onto the balcony.
The view from the balcony was breathtaking, the dinner table for 52 guests was equally impressive. I don’t think I’ve ever been part of something so grand before. I was speechless.
The rosemary and sea salt bread roll was crunchy and packed a punch. A great variation to a plain bread roll.
A delicious candied walnut with a foam and sweet jelly, flavours of celery get your mind thinking and prepare your palate for the feast ahead.
Begin: Autumn harvest sorrel and spinach soup, ewe’s milk curd, herbs from the kitchen garden.
A delicious vibrant thick soup, packed full of flavour.
Little Something: Quail stuffed with chicken liver, softened stone fruit from inhouse orchard, vino cotta.
Not really a liver person I gave it ago. It started off really nice and creamy but then I really didn’t think it was my thing. Luckily the dining partner to my left also didn’t fancy the liver, and we both popped it to the side of our plate. The quail was lovely and the stone fruit was a lovely accompaniment, added a great sweetness and texture required.
Feast Upon: Pheasant two ways – succulent breast and choux farci, bread pudding, recrafted petit pois, marrow jus OR Venison leg, slow roasted with love, baby potato in duck fat, artichoke, muscatel soil.
I went for the venison leg, which was extremely tender and falling apart. But towards the end, a few of us commented on how dry it was; a little more sauce would most likely have avoided this problem. The potatoes were cooked perfectly, and overall it was delicious.
Penny went for the pheasant and let me have a mouthful. It was very nice from the taste I had, but she and a few others towards the end had commented on how it was a tad under seasoned.
Something to Cleanse
We thought this might be a Heston Blumenthal trick. The citrus was filled with amazing sorbets. The lemon was filled with a sherbety/lemon cheesecake sorbet, the lime was a tangy and tart lime flavour, and the orange contained a strawberry filling. All amazing and a crowd favourite.
Indulge from the Bygone Era: Lemon posset, Mansion French brioche, sous vide blood plum with fruit and nut relish.
The blood plum and fruit and nut relish was like Christmas on a plate. The brioche had a white chocolate (if I remember correctly) gooey interior. The lemon posset (syllabub) was probably my favorite with it’s creamy texture and tart flavour.
Newly appointed executive chef of the hotel’s award winning restaurant Joseph’s; Marcus Levy and his team pop their heads up before we retreat to the library.
Retreat back to the hotel library & graze: “Victorian” cheese, date tepenade, fresh fruit, lavosh
Petit Four: Elderberry jelly, candied jubes, chocolate fruit truffle
A perfect way to end the evening, cheeses from Milawa, and sweet petit fours with drinks.Then up to my room to retire for the evening in the most amazing king size bed ever. I was so glad I didn’t have to drive all the way home after such a feast!
Thanks to my iphone app, Flashlight for providing neutral light for photos, it helped quite a few people!
Breakfast was still required the next day, even after such an epic feast. We head down to Joesph’s restaurant for a buffet and hot breakfast.
Whilst waiting for our hot items we ordered off the menu, we helped ourselves to the buffet.
I was impressed they had bircher muesli, so had a small bowl with yoghurt and stewed fruits. Hamsley helped himself to the danish, muffin and croissant side of the buffet.
Hamsley had the big breakfast, a very decent serve. He commented that the mushrooms were all kinds of awesome.
I went for the sweet french toast with berries and maple syrup. Deliciously light and fluffy, I was ready to face the day!
Mansion Hotel & Spa at Werribee Park
Recently acquired by The Lancemore Group, this boutique hotel is set amongst 10 acres of tranquil gardens and sculptures. It provides 91 stylish rooms, an award winning restaurant (Joseph’s) as well as a 17 metre indoor pool, spa, sauna and steam room. The Spa offers a variety of pampering treatments.
I was impressed with the variety of tea and coffee available for in room drinks. I was MORE impresed with the pillow menu. For someone with neck problems, this blew me out of the water. I didn’t end up ordering a pillow this time…. perhaps next time!
Whilst you are at Werribee, don’t forget to wonder around the lovely gardens, take a walk to Shadowfax winery, and check the Werribee Open Range Zoo.
Mansion Hotel & Spa at Werribee Park
Werribee VIC 3030
Phone: (03) 9731 400
Iron Chef Shellie stayed at Werribee Mansion Hotel and Spa and dined as a guest of Q Strategies and The Lancemore Group. I would like to thank everyone involved and for the invitation to such an amazing event and experience. It is one I am extremely grateful for, and I’m glad I could share it all with you.