Have you ever wondered what’s behind that thick hedge as you drive down Maroondah Highway in the Yarra Valley?
That hedge surrounds Coombe, the glamorous former home of Dame Nellie Melba. When she was alive the Australian opera singer was one of the most famous women in the world. She was also the first woman in Australia to get her driver’s licence!
Coombe is still a private residence today but part of the property has been turned into an excellent restaurant and cellar door.
We are invited to sample Coombe’s famous high tea. It’s only held on Wednesdays and Sundays at 2:30pm so bookings are essential.
The restaurant incorporates a beautiful light-filled extension from the restored motor house and historic clock tower.
Ask to sit near a window and bask in the view of the Coombe cottage garden ‘avenue’ and the glimmer of the oldest swimming pool in Victoria.
The three-tier stand is generously filled with elegant finger sandwiches, dainty sweets and the chef’s Grandmother’s scones with housemade jams and clotted cream. It comes with a glass of blanc de blanc sparkling, as well as tea or espresso coffee.
Luckily you’re able to take leftovers home! If you’re eco-conscious, BYO containers as I had to wrap scones in a napkin.
While there’s no ‘kids menu’ as such the space is very family friendly and one stand can easily feed two children. There are numerous high chairs available, an activity pack is provided to each child and there is a change table in the disabled toilets.
If kids get a bit twitchy there’s lots of space to roam and run.
You can also stroll through the Melba gallery with precious memorabilia (including Dame Nellie Melba’s famous Louis Vuitton suitcases) and drop into the providore store for a jar of that delicious housemade jam to take home.
At the Coombe cellar door tastings of award-winning estate grown Coombe Farm wines are $5 (redeemable on purchase).
The knowledgeable staff will guide you through a wine tasting session taking into account your personal preferences.
The cellar door also sells freshly baked bread daily.
Afternoon Tea at Coombe is the perfect way to wind down after a day of wine tasting or touring in the Yarra Valley. The restaurant also operates Devonshire tea from 9:30- 11am weekdays Melbas Morning Tea is from 9:30am- 11am on weekends ($38 per person). A la carte lunch is available from 11:30am- 2:15pm Tuesday to Sunday and a 2 or 3 course set lunch is also available on Sundays.
If you want to visit the stunning landscaped gardens you have to book a guided tour. You might even get the chance to climb inside the hedge!
Click here for more reviews of afternoon tea with kids at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie, Sheraton Melbourne and The Windsor.
Click here for more things to do in the Yarra Valley with kids
- pram access;
- high chairs;
- disabled toilet;
- Change table;
- Standard menu suitable for kids;
- Activity pack;
- free parking; and
- bookings essential;
- Full Prepayment required at time of booking. 24Hours Cancellation required