THE EPICUREAN RED HILL HAS A LONG HISTORY IN FRESH FOOD. ONCE THE Red Hill Cool Store, IT dates back to the 1920’s.
Red Hill was settled in 1862 and originally named 'Bald Hill' which came from when wild bullocks and kangaroos roamed and grazed the rich fertile hills. Located in the centre of Mornington Peninsula's Hinterland with panoramic views, Port Phillip Bay to the north and west and Western Port Bay to the south east.
In the 1920's, the area progressed into thoroughbred breeding, cattle farming and further orchiding and strawberry farms. The Red Hill Cool Store opened in May 1920 and warehoused much of the local produce. In 1921, the Red Hill to Bittern Railway opened allowing local producers to get their goods to the Melbourne market over night. The site of the railway station is marked at the rear of The Epicurean building and behind Blue Moon Trading building. The railway closed in 1954 and the establishment of the equestrian trail through to Merricks follows the route of the railway line today. In 1929, The Red Hill Cool Store was destroyed by fire, but soon replaced by a larger one. A packing shed was constructed in 1927.
The secluded and peaceful Red Hill Rail Trail is suitable for all walkers and riders and runs between Red Hill South and Merricks Station Ground, mostly along the route of the old Red Hill Rail Line – an extension from Bittern that stopped at Balnarring, Merricks and Red Hill. The line operated for a little over three decades from 1921 to 1953 before the rise of motor transport made it unprofitable.
Though relatively short lived, the rail line has an important place in the history of both Red Hill and Merricks. It played a key role in the development of the region, bringing in stockfeed and fertiliser, and helping to distribute locally-produced apples, strawberries, stock, timber and firewood; and the township of Merricks, which has maintained its charming rural character and function, was essentially established around its station.
THE EPICUREAN TODAY
The Epicurean Red Hill is an inspiring and exciting gourmet venue focusing on honest, regional produce complemented by wines from over 100 vignerons on the Mornington Peninsula. The Epicurean interior features a spectacular atrium framed by large historic timber columns from the old Woolloomooloo wharf. In the ‘cucina’ style restaurant called The Shed, an Italian-inspired menu, featuring traditional wood fire pizza plus relaxed dining captures all things Italy.
At the front of the historic building, once the Packing House for the region's fresh produce is The Store, offering delicious home baked goods, house roasted coffee, continental cafe fare, homewares & local produce.
On site fresh roasted specialty coffee, creamy formageria cheeses and the largest selection of tasting and bottled wines in the region, The Epicurean Red Hill is truly a significant destination on the Mornington Peninsula. A comprehensive a la carte menu in The Shed or something more casual…maybe wood fired pizzas and aperitifs by the fire abutting the Red Hill Equestrian trail and the lush hinterland of Red Hill. Homemade pastas, cheeses, cakes, spreads, conserves, sauces, and the best wines of each local sub-region are all available to take with you on your travels.
For more information about the region click here.