Stones of the Yarra Valley

We recently had the opportunity to dine at The Barn for a wedding on a Sunday afternoon. And if you’re wondering, then yes, we went to Meletos next door only the day before this for a birthday! It was one busy weekend filled with Yarra Valley adventures! The Barn is spacious with lovely floor to ceiling windows offering spectacular views of the greenery and vineyards outside. It has a beautiful rustic feel inside with fresh greenery and wooden decor. It is a real stunning place for a venue.

For entrees I had the heirloom carrot, grilled haloumi, herb crusted cauliflower and radish salad. The carrots were lovely however the haloumi was probably a tad bit salty. Davin had the twice baked Yarra Valley goat’s cheese souffle with chive veloute and confit cherry tomato. This was a really nice dish and the souffle was so light and delicious.

For mains I had the free range chicken breast, romesco, rocket, pistachio and chilli. The chicken was flavoured, tender and was certainly not overcooked. Davin had the eye fillet with gratin potatoes, mushroom ketchup and grilled leeks. The steak was cooked medium. We would have probably preferred it a bit more rare however overall it was a good dish. We also got dobson potatoes with confit garlic and herbs as well as farro, peas, mint, salted ricotta and lemon vinaigrette as sides to go with our mains.

Overall it was a lovely venue inside and outside with its gorgeous surroundings.

Stones of the Yarra Valley
Address: 14 St Huberts Rd, Coldstream VIC 3770
Phone: +61 3 8727 3000

Stones of the Yarra Valley Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


If you’re heading out into the Yarra Valley for a day trip and you’re looking for a place with great food and wine, then Meletos might be just the spot for you! We’ve been here to dine on a number of occasions, but most recently we were here for a birthday lunch.

It’s always a lovely drive to Meletos, particularly on a sunny day and the scenery is so picturesque leading up to the restaurant and even more so when you arrive. There are crabapple trees and raised vegetable beds right out the front. The restaurant itself are a collection of century old farm buildings which have been developed into the restaurant it is now. It is beautifully rustic inside with floor to ceiling windows offering views of lush greenery outside.

It is always bustling with people inside and on this occasion it was no different. For drinks we started with a couple glasses of the 2015 Rob Dolan ‘Blanc de Blanc’ Sparkling Chardonnay. We’ve been really getting into sparkling lately and this was lovely and crisp.

All the dishes were ordered for sharing and some of the highlights for the starters included the marinated white anchovies which were delicious and not too salty, and the Yarra Valley goats curd with truffle honey and grilled bread. The goats curd was amazing with the truffle honey!  We also had the hand cut cacciatore mild salami.

For mains we ordered some wood-fired pizzas on their menu which included the Cotechino sausage, San Marazano tomato and Roast pumpkin. We also shared the whole market fish and wood-fired rotisserie free range chicken. Oh and we can’t forget the french fries with smoked paprika and manchego. These came out so fresh and crispy! To be honest none of the dishes really disappointed. It was a great meal and perfect when you feel like trying a number of different things.

We then ended the meal with a couple of Four Pillars gin and Fever Tree tonics which was so refreshing and perfect for a warm day! They came out in these lovely glasses and I am definitely going to have another one of those next time I’m there.

Attached to the restaurant is the Napoleone Brewery so you can also order paddles of beer or cider to enjoy at your table.

Overall, we highly recommend checking Meletos out if you’re after some good food. Whether you’re there to just have a few small dishes and drinks or a proper lunch, this place can cater for it because of their variety of dishes, small and large. And how can you say no to the lovely scenery?

Approx $70 AUD per person
Address: 12 St Huberts Rd, Coldstream VIC 3770
Phone: +61 3 8727 3030

Meletos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rare Hare and the Jackalope experience


A couple weekends ago we visited Rare Hare, a restaurant out in Mornington Peninsula, which is part of a fairly brand new establishment called Jackalope.

Jackalope is a unique one stop shop getaway which includes a luxury art hotel, a vineyard and wine tasting cellar, a fancy cocktail lounge called Flaggerooot, a fine dining restaurant called Doot Doot Doot and a more casual style restaurant called Rare Hare. You literally don’t need to go anywhere else and could spend the whole day here. Or even stay there the night if you want to!

Anyway on that day our focus was Rare Hare because we had heard good things about it. Now Jackalope has only been around since April this year so it is VERY new and yet the word was already out there about how amazing the place was. In fact the day after we visited, it was featured on TV on Postcards.

Rare Hare only takes bookings for groups of 8 or more so we decided to show up at 2 PM on a Saturday afternoon for a late lunch. The restaurant was still buzzing! We were told it would be about an hour wait and I provided my mobile number so they could text me once our table was ready. This gave us time to explore the grounds. First stop? Straight to the wine cellar of course for some wine tasting!


The wine cellar entrance is attached to the restaurant and so after we put our name down on the waiting list we walked straight through the door into a huge open warehouse space with an abundance of wine barrels from floor to ceiling lined up against the walls and perimeter of the warehouse. It was quite a sight! Outdoor heaters were set up in the warehouse for warmth near the wine tasting table. Staff there were very friendly and chatty. And surprisingly all the wines were quite good! We’re not Chardonnay drinkers and almost passed on tasting it but the friendly staff convinced us to give it a go, and guess what? It was so good we ended up buying a bottle! We also purchased a Shiraz and a Brut to take home and was very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the wines.

With still time on our hands we then went to check out their cocktail lounge which is located just inside the Jackalope hotel. As soon as we entered we were like wow! This is a glamorous cocktail lounge you would probably normally experience in the city but not out in Mornington Peninsula! We seated ourselves at the bar which had a lovely marble finish and ordered a couple of cocktails. Behind the bar there was an abundance of colourful bottles of liquor. They also had a bar food menu so we decided to order the truffle mac and cheese croquettes, which were AMAZING. The batter was so crispy and the filling oozed of delicious goodness.



It was not long after I got a text advising us our table was available so off we went to Rare Hare. It was still packed when we were seated and handed the menus. Everything on the menu looked great. We started off with their pacific oysters and got half a dozen with a migonette sauce. We enjoyed it with their lovely 2012 Wllow Creek Vineyard Brut which went really well with it. The oysters so fresh! In fact they were so good we ended up ordering another half a dozen! We also ordered some cured meats and the cured trout with horseradish creme which were both delicate, fresh and delicious.


For mains we ordered the kingfish, rare venison, chargrilled squid and beef cheeks to share. There isn’t even any point in describing each dish because every single dish was faultless. The presentation of the dishes were beautiful and the flavours were spot on. They really focused on highlighting their fresh produce and we were really impressed with the quality of their food. We also got the meringue which had lemon verbena, fennel seed custard and rhubarb for dessert which was also spectacular. What more can we say? We are super happy that we found this gem and we’ll definitely be back for more of their amazing food.





We ended up finishing the great day by sitting on their comfortable chairs outside with a final glass of sparkly (tea for Davin as he was driving), watching the sunset before we headed home. It was a perfect day.


Rare Hare
Approx $60 AUD per person
Address: 166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North VIC 3926
Phone: +61 3 5931 2501

Rare Hare Wine & Food Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Frogmore Creek Winery

Frogmore Winery

Last September for my birthday we took a trip to Hobart over a long weekend to celebrate and just get away. I had never been to Tasmania before but instantly fell in love with the beauty and quietness of the city. I loved the crisp air, the slow pace and the picturesque views, laneways and buildings. What I especially loved about it was the amazing food it had to offer. As usual we had done a bit of research before we left and had a rough idea of the restaurants we were going to visit. Frogmore Creek Winery was one we were quite keen on as we discovered that it was a one hat restaurant and it actually ended up more than exceeding our expectations. I can’t stress this enough but It. Was. Amazing!

The winery is located in Cambridge which was less than a 20 minute drive from the city centre so we hopped into our rental car and got there in no time for our lunch reservation. On arrival the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. The winery was set upon beautiful lush greenery surroundings with an abundance of growing grape wines and a lake in the distance with houses dotted along the water. Inside, the restaurant was clean and modern with wooden furnishings and wide windows allowing natural light in. Wine barrels were used as decorations inside and outside, to hold plants and as tables in the outdoor seating area.

Pulled pork lollipop entree
Pulled pork lollipop with brocolli jelly

Now onto the most important part! An a la carte menu was available but we decided on the chef’s choice set menu which is $85 per head and was happy to be surprised by whatever they had to offer. You must allow a good few hours to enjoy this degustation experience. The presentation and quality of the food was spectacular. Each dish was assembled with such detail and care like a work of art, it was too pretty to eat so of course I had to snap lots of photos before I ate! When I finally got around to the food, I was blown away… all the ingredients were fresh based on its changing produce and combined in its complexity worked so well, it’s obvious that the chef has put so much thought into the creation of each dish. I could talk about how great the food was all day as every dish was so good but some of our highlights was the 42 degree ocean trout with potato salad, poached egg, mizuna lettuce, seaweed cracker and miso dressing, the pulled pork lollipop with brocolli jelly which came out looking like a dessert so it really surprised our palates! And the the lemon lego dessert with basil ice cream and lemon pana cotta, it was divine and I felt like I was in food heaven!

Ocean trout
42 degree ocean trout with potato salad, poached egg, mizuna lettuce, seaweed cracker and miso dressing


Frogmore Creek dish

Lego lemon dessert
Lemon lego dessert with basil ice cream and lemon pana cotta

The service was exceptional too and was as expected from a fine dining restaurant. They were friendly, efficient and very switched on. Overall it was the best winery restaurant we have been to so far and we were very impressed. I highly, highly recommended if you’re ever in Tassie to check it out!


Frogmore Creek Winery
Approx $100 AU per person
20 Denholms Rd, Cambridge TAS 7170
Phone: +61 3 6248 5844

Frogmore Creek Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato