All aboard… the Q Train

Queenscliff is beautiful. The buildings are beautiful, the rugged coastline is beautiful, and the food and wine is beautiful. Even better, it is so close to the Mornington Peninsula. Literally a 40 minute ferry ride and you are there.

It is a perfect example of what we all want. To feel we are a million miles from home on that great mini-break… without the long drive or flight that we all dread so much.

Queenscliff and the Bellarine Peninsula have been fast building a name for themselves with some of the best produce around, and the landscape around Queenscliff is dotted with rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves.

What better way to experience it than with The Q Train? Feasting on local produce as you journey through the very land from which it came.

To say that The Q Train has created a buzz would be to understate it. Since beginning last year, they have been recognised with business and culinary awards alike.

The ethos is simple. Showcase local food, wine, beer and cider from Geelong, the Otways, and the Bellarine Peninsula. It was a simple idea. A couple of railway enthusiast teamed with a culinary expert, and The Q Train was born. Then came the long and loving restoration of Queensland Rail “Sunlander” carriages to host their moving feast.

And a feast it is. A degustation that, on our journey, consisted of Manzanillo olive oil, beetroot, ricotta, golden beets, beetroot jam and corn bread crouton. The next course was Sage Farm Tataki Beef, followed by Great Ocean Duck.

Next was Sage Farm lamb; braised lamb shoulder, turmeric labneh, prune, date, quinoa and mint.

By the end of this course, we had arrived at Queenscliff and after a short break, we were on the way back to Drysdale.

The return journey commenced with the fifth course, Barongarook pork with Geelong fungi.

Finally, the dessert was white chocolate orange honey mud cake, chocolate coconut parfait, honeycomb, candy zest, sumac sherbet, red gum honey coconut gel.

The wine and cocktail list that accompanied the journey was extensive and offered the perfect opportunity to sample wines of the region matched with the faultless food.

A part of the wonderful experience The Q Train offers is the attention to detail that you would expect from only the best restaurants. The ability to replicate this in the confines of rail carriages is testament to their extraordinary planning and execution.

Suffice to say, that at the end of the 2.5 hour journey, you’ll have had an experience that will leave you raving.

The best way to experience The Q Train, is to book a Sail, Rail and Dine package that includes your ferry journey and a bus to take you to the train at Drysdale. Afterwards, you’ll be returned to the ferry terminal for your return ferry ride to Sorrento.

Even better, indulge in the Sail, Rail and Stay option that adds overnight accommodation at the wonderful Vue Grand Hotel in Queenscliff.

This hotel is a Queenscliff landmark whose amenity matches its majestic persona. There is no better way to unwind from your Q Train experience than a stay at the Vue Grand Hotel.

With the busy lives we all lead, The Q Train is a perfect way to escape and enjoy a social and culinary experience close to home.

It goes without saying that the experience is very special indeed, and one that everybody should try. Book your Q Train experience today. You’ll love it! or call 0474 968 309 for information and bookings.

First published in Peninsula Essence – September 2018