Thursday, May 19, 2016

Coombe Yarra Valley

Happy Birthday, Dame Nellie Melba, on this 19th day of May! 

We were thrilled to visit the former home of the opera legend recently and love that it is now open to the public.
Right next to the carpark, the gobsmackingly beautiful scenes begin, at an avenue of trees sprinkled with barrels of geraniums, and views of dams, paddocks and mountain ranges.
Coombe Yarra ValleyWe were met at the grand Cypress hedged entrance by the lady of the house, Dora. A shy, timid girl, she gave us a bit of a sniff and then decided we were ok. The next 10 minutes were spent patting and cuddling this gorgeous pooch. Highly recommended experience. Coombe Yarra Valley
The courtyard leads to the cellar door of Coombe Farm and a providore store selling all sorts of fab things, like these funky watering cans.
Coombe Yarra Valley The clock tower features a fox weather vane and the words "East West Hame's Best". 
I think it's a fox. It could be Dora the dog. 
Coombe Yarra ValleyThe tower sits atop the former motor room/garage, which has been transformed into a 150 seater restaurant.
Coombe Yarra Valley
Exposed brick and timber beams from a previous era meet modern industrial style lights. 
Coombe Yarra Valley 
Crispy Confit Duck Leg and the Yarra Valley Beef Burger were our mains choices, and we saved room to share a dessert. Peach Melba, of course.
Coombe Yarra Valley Peach Melba
Next to the restaurant, the Gallery is a mini museum of all things Melba. Portraits, paintings, photographs and luggage from Dame Nellie's collection are housed in the rooms. 
Coombe Yarra Valley Dame Nellie Melba
Glimpses of the garden and cottage can be seen from the restaurant, so we walked around the other side of the building, along the fence line and back to the carpark.
From here, we could see the wrought iron entrance to the Cottage...
Coombe Yarra Valley
 ...and the oldest swimming pool in Victoria.
Coombe Yarra Valley
We had arrived too late for the morning Garden Tour, and couldn't do the later tour, as we had school pick-up, but will definitely revisit for a better look at the gardens. Oh and the scones. With jam. And cream. I definitely want a better look at those.
A stop at the Coldstream Op-Shop on the way home scored us some seriously CHEAP books and these cool planter boxes, made from recycled fence palings by a local and selling at the very good price of $3 each.
We took  3 of them home, popped some seedlings in and they now sit in our courtyard, like portable vege gardens.
Where: 673-675 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream
When: Daily
Why: history, dining
How Much: prices vary

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