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Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat


Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat in the heart of Victoria’s spa country at Hepburn Springs is holding an intimate ‘In Season at Peppers’ gourmet affair on 1 and 2 February to entice food lovers to experience their Gourmet Food Trail with a banquet of local food and wine experiences.

The weekend event is part of the Peppers Gourmet Food Trail – a program of events, packages and offerings at their collection of stylish resorts and elegant retreats, celebrating the finest food and wine producing regions in Australia and New Zealand.

Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat’s ‘In Season at Peppers’ event will allow guests to explore this gourmet region, which is blessed with a diverse range of local produce, and will give guests the opportunity to taste and experience the journey of produce, from paddock to the plate.

Priced from $620* per person twin share, the ‘In Season at Peppers’ package includes two nights accommodation, breakfast daily at The Conservatory, a gourmet hamper of regional produce, and an assortment of dining experiences and events.

On Friday evening, food fans will be welcomed with drinks and canapés at the retreat’s Tipperary Bar and Lounge.

The following morning, guests are invited to join Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat Executive Chef David Willcocks on an exploration of the Daylesford Farmers Market and a tour of the retreat owner’s Birch Estate Farm in nearby Smeaton.

As the sun begins to set on Saturday evening, guests will savour a five-course degustation dinner at The Argus Dining Room designed by Chef Willcocks. The menu will feature a selection of regional produce and wines paired by renowned wine critic and special guest host Nick Stock.

As he does with his lunch and dinner menus at The Argus Dining Room, Chef Willcocks will be incorporating a philosophy of accessible food throughout the degustation dinner.  

“Using regional produce in a modern way with a focus on flavour and simplicity is what we’re all about,” he said.

For those who can’t make the weekend event, Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat also has specially crafted ‘Summer Gourmet Food Trail Package’ which allows guests to embark on a culinary journey at their leisure. Priced from $355* per couple per night (Sunday to Thursday nights), the package includes accommodation in a Traditional Hotel Room, a three-course dinner at The Argus Dining Room on one evening for two people, breakfast daily for two people at The Conservatory and a take home hamper of gourmet delights. Valid until 31 March, 2013.  

Call 03 5348 2202 or email

For more information on Peppers Gourmet Food Trail events and packages visit  

Joining the team as Executive Chef in June 2012, David Willcocks was inspired by the commitment of Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat owners Chris Malden and Wayne Cross to supply the kitchen with rare breed beef, rare breed lamb, orchard fruit and vegetables from their Birch Estate Farm. Chef Willcocks is very familiar with buying direct from farmers and utilising fresh regional produce from his time at the world renowned 'Schilo Kitchen' at the five-star Hotel Finca Cortesin in Malaga, Spain, where he worked as Executive Sous Chef for three years. Chef Willcocks also has plenty of experience working with Victorian produce having started his career as an apprentice at Elenores Restaurant, Chateau Yering in the Yarra Valley before moving onto restaurants like Ezards at Adelphi.

Nick Stock is one of Australia's most respected and prolific wine critics. He is a regular contributor to Gourmet Traveller and Gourmet Traveller WINE; editor of The Age/SMH Good Wine Guide, and was awarded Best Drinks Journalist at the 2007 Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards. His deep involvement in wine stretches well beyond wine writing to wine show judging, educating, public speaking, radio and television broadcasting and winemaking. He engages all, from the most sophisticated and involved collector right through to the enthusiast and novice wine drinker, with his savvy, informed and engaging style.

Peppers Retreats, Resorts & Hotels is Mantra Group's luxury accommodation brand. There are 30 Peppers properties in Australia and New Zealand in regional areas, resort destinations and metropolitan locations with the first Peppers in Fiji due to open in 2013. All offer a level of style and quality to meet the expectations of the most discerning traveller.  Peppers began as a small collection of intimate boutique retreats 25 years ago where culinary excellence was the focus, establishing a relationship with food that still exists today.

*Subject to availability. Minimum two night stay applies.

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© Mantra Group 2013