Iron Chef Shellie

Decadence 19th Century Dinner @ Werribee Mansion

A dinner not to forget, at Werribee Mansion in the most decadent setting.

Travel & Dining

Decadence 19th Century Dinner @ Werribee Mansion
March 14, 2011

Let's Be Friends

Subscribe to my newsletter to stay in touch and be first in line for new recipes and regular subscriber-only treats.

Click to Subscribe

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.

Amuse Bouche

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!


The Accommodation

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
K Road
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.


19 comments on “Decadence 19th Century Dinner @ Werribee Mansion
  1. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    The grounds, dinner, breakfast – everything looks stunning (especially the table setting)! And a pillow menu – wow 🙂
    Heidi xo

    March 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm
  2. Mez

    OH. MYGAWD!!!!

    What an amazing dinner. What gorgeous settings!!! I haven’t been to Werribee Mansion since I was a little kid.

    The food… I have no words!!! It looks delicious and albeit I have zero taste buds at the moment I want to eat everything!!!

    Stunning photos, amazing dinner – thank you for letting me share your experience virtually!!

    March 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm
  3. Adrian (Food Rehab)

    Oh hello! What an awesome night away. So this is the gig you and Pen were on about regarding “dresses” LOL

    Great pics and summary of events Shellie!

    March 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm
  4. kristy @ ksayerphotography

    What a gorgeous place to have dinner! You’re so lucky to be invited to these kinds of things – and to stay overnight! Sheeeesssshh 😛

    March 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm
  5. penny aka jeroxie

    We were definitely very pampered…. the bed, the pillow, the pool and then the food and wine….. and thanks for your iphone flashapp! xoxo

    March 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm
  6. Ashley Ng

    Oh my goodness, there’s just so much to look at! You guys were pampered to no end! Drooling away over here! 🙂

    March 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm
  7. Celeste @ Berrytravels

    Oye! This all looks pretty DAMN AMAZING. Colour me all kinds of colour of jealous and envy!

    Never mind the accomodation, THAT DINNER. DRESSES. SETTINGS.OMG.

    March 14, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  8. Honey @ honeyandsoy

    That is breathtakingly lovely, Shellie! The dinner table set up is divine, and your pictures have captured them beautifully. Your outdoor photos are like postcards- love the clear crisp deep blue sky!

    March 15, 2011 at 9:17 am
  9. Anna Johnston

    This place looks AMAZING. I am soooooooo jealous, however your photos transported me right there. Totally felt like I was with you. The food looks incredible, and the team of chefs look super happy, that’s nice. Love the table setting too. Ahhhhh, who am I kidding, the entire post is wonderful. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    March 15, 2011 at 11:32 am
  10. Jennifer (Delicieux)

    Wow, that an experience! So jealous! It looks like such an amazing meal. I love the orange filled with sorbets.

    The room looks amazing too. I love hotels that have pillow menus.

    March 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm
  11. April @ My Food Trail

    Wow, what a fantastic experience! 🙂 You guys were so lucky with the weather. I haven’t seen such blue skies for a while! Lovely photos as usual!

    March 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm
  12. Cherrie

    what a score! Excellent summary, Shellie… now how do I score one of these gigs????

    March 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm
  13. Susan

    Wow that place looks awesome! What a beautiful setting. I love places like that, they make you feel so special and relaxed. Love a King sized bed too, we only have a double at home which we share with our big black labrador!

    March 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm
  14. Thanh

    What an amazing and truly unforgettable experience. The surroundings looked amazing, and I’m sure made up for a few minor issues with the food.

    I love the idea of a pillow menu, as they always give you pillows that are way too high for my liking.

    How was the bacon and eggs stuffed in a croissant that Hamish made?

    March 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm
  15. Agnes

    Oooh very decadent! You lucky thing 🙂

    March 27, 2011 at 11:41 am
  16. travellyn

    Werribee House looks fabulous and the gardens, how lucky are you to have such an amazing dinner in such wonderful surroundings. I’m green with envy!

    April 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm
  17. Alison @ MelbourneMumma

    What an amazing event to be part of, lucky you! I love the Mansion Hotel. Must go back.

    July 25, 2011 at 10:24 pm
Tags  >>  

Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site is by Shellie Froidevaux - aka Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include recipe development, food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients and photography workshops for people who really want to change their game :)

Subscribe to the Email List

Find out more about Shellie

© 2024 Shellie Froidevaux
All images and content on this site are protected by copyright. Written permission is required from the author if you wish to use any material anywhere on this website. Please be nice, please respect my creative work and hard work.