Famous for being the home of Victoria's premier wines, the Yarra Valley is also a picturesque getaway ideal for families and couples wishing to escape the bustle and humdrum of the city and 'burbs. Located only an hour away from the Melbourne CBD, it offers a rich cornucopia of food, flora and fauna, served up with a generous dose of friendly hospitality.
Established in 2004 by Phil Sexton, founder of Little Creatures Brewery, Innocent Bystander is a gourmet's dream: lovers of wine, cheese, coffee, bread and beer are all catered for in this brewery-slash-café. Priding themselves on fresh produce, their ever-changing menu includes a good selection of tapas, steak, seafood and wood-fired pizzas.
Here you can sample wines from both their Giant Steps and Innocent Bystander labels, enjoy a sit-down meal in their spacious surroundings, or take home some freshly baked bread or cheese.
Next to Innocent Bystander is White Rabbit Brewery where you can sample boutique beers by the bunny-inspired label.
Like a kid in a candy store'. This phrase is of course, very apt when describing the feeling one gets as they step into Marysville Lolly Shop, also known by the quaint moniker of Uncle Fred and Aunty Val's Lolly Shop and Produce Store. Although currently under refurbishment due to the bushfires, the shop is still operating albeit from a smaller temporary building.
Despite the reduction in size, Uncle Fred and Aunty Val's boasts a good range of local and international sweets, including coconut ice, aniseed humbugs and Reese's peanut butter cups. Recommended are the cinnamon and clove-tasting brandy balls, and the white chocolate strawberries-spheres of creamy white chocolate filled with whole freeze-dried strawberries. The Big Bouquet
Founded by Bert and Margriet Rijk, The Big Bouquet doubles as a flower farm and alpaca stud. Native to South America, alpacas are smaller relatives to the llama and are bred for their dense, warm wool. The flowers grown by Bert and Margriet include brightly coloured gerberas and anthuriums (also known as flamingo lillies). The Rijks conduct tours of both their greenhouse and alpaca farm, and operate a store which sells alpaca products including knitting yarns and clothing items made from this quality natural fibre.
Why? Famous for being the home of Victoria's premier wines, the Yarra Valley is also a picturesque getaway ideal for families and couples wishing to escape the bustle and humdrum of the city and 'burbs.