First published on 21 Nov 2011. Updated on 18 Apr 2013.
Why Yarra Valley?
Sure, you can stay at a big, fancy resort in the Yarra Valley, but if you’re looking for a relaxing, romantic weekend away from hundreds of guests, book a room at Susan’s in the Valley in Healesville. This modern, five-room B&B is set amongst two acres of manicured lawns, but don’t expect a swarm of kids running around – children under 16 aren’t allowed. If you’re in the mood for a good homemade country roast, that’s exactly what owners Robert Jordan and Susan Shelton will knock up, for up to 12 people (there’s a curve ball for your dinner date plans). Being a wine buff, Robert also knows the best gems in the Valley, so expect a decent red to match and use that opportunity to ask for his tips for wineries to visit. Some of Time Out’s faves include Coldstream Hills (try the Reserve Pinot Noir and Reserve Chardonnay), Dominique Portet (we’ll have a bottle of the ‘Andre’ and the Fontaine Rose) and Yering Station (their pinot noir, shiraz viognier and pinot noir rosé). If you want to add a splash of romance to the getaway, book a sunrise balloon ride with local provider Global Ballooning, which has flights from $290pp.
108-110 Badger Creek Rd, Healesville 3777. 03 5962 6244. Rates: from $260.
At Bella Vedere in Coldstream, the focus is firmly on organic and regional produce. Owner and executive chef Gary Cooper likes to keep things local, so many herbs and vegetables and most produce is sourced from both his kitchen garden and throughout the Yarra Valley. Menu highlights include the quail and Swiss brown pie, the lamb sweetbreads fried in molasses butter and pickled sweet ham on the bone with black pudding. Expectedly, given the restaurant is surrounded by the Badger’s Brook Estate and Dominique Portet wineries, there are some gems on the list – and that decision is safest in Gary’s hands.
874 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream 3770. 03 5962 6161.
Time Out Tip
For a sugar hit, stop by the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery for an indulgent tasting (that’s free) and pick up a tub of fruit laden ice cream for the freezer at home.
35 Old Healesville Rd, Yarra Glen 3775. 03 9730 2777.