Montsalvat is a European-style artist colony in Eltham which was established in the 30s and is still a thriving arts community today.
The parkland features unique European-style buildings set among bushland, numerous galleries and a cafe.
The Boulevard at Montsalvat is the on-site cafe and a separate enterprise that you can enter without paying the fee.
The cafe has a gorgeous garden setting in the outdoor courtyard, though on a sunny day there’s not a lot of shade if the umbrellas are not up (due to high winds). Meet the resident peacocks!
The cafe menu is fairly run-of-the-mill and includes kids options at $12 each. I am not particularly inspired by the food and the service is a bit haphazard, so unfortunately it’s not a great dining experience befitting the stunning setting. I’d recommend bringing your own gourmet picnic instead.
After the cafe enjoy a ramble through the grounds and buildings, which are now used for exhibitions, workshops and functions.
There is a small fee to visit the gardens, workshops and buildings.
All of the buildings on the site were designed and built by residents with local materials and there’s photo opportunities at every turn.
Kids will just love running up and down the hills, climbing the walls and picking flowers.
Montsalvat is Australia’s oldest artist community and a unique day trip from Melbourne, being only 35 minutes away from the CBD and the gateway to the Yarra Valley. While you’re there visit award-winning Second Home for a (better) meal, play at the Eltham Lower Park Play Space and ride the Diamond Valley Railway on Sundays.
Montsalvat 7 Hillcrest Ave, Eltham (03) 9439 7712
The Boulevard @ Montsalvat 9431 2681
Daily 8:30am to 5:00pm (Kitchen closes 3pm)
Closed: Cup Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday