Winter in Melbourne can be a dreary time. Grey skies, misty or pelting rain; temperatures plummeting down almost to zero. But winter time also gives visitors to the foothills and up into the Dandenong Ranges exciting opportunities to experience some of the "cosy" things about winter time.
Taking time to travel up the Burwood Highway or even better the Mountain Highway, you come to the small village of The Basin. Boasting coffee shops that visitors gladly queue for and other small shops offering fruit and vegetables and flowers and a bakery well worth calling in and buying something for afternoon tea, ensure that you take time to spend browsing in the "best little bookshop in the Hills" - Rainy Day Books, where you'll receive a very warm welcome.
Situated at the foot of the "Dandenongs", Rainy Day Books is a treasure trove. If you're looking for a favourite book or one that is hard to find, then ask Meryll Williams to search for it through her worldwide network. Rainy Day Books offers all sorts of collectibles and I was tempted with some old 1800s books including a wonderful old family bible.
Get in touch on (03) 9762 0862 or check out their blog.
Travelling further up towards Sassafras and Olinda, there are many restaurants boasting log fires during winter time. It won't take long before the chill is taken care of, and then you're able to concentrate on some of the wonderful menus from places with grand sounding names. Some of the fare is just as exciting, even as far as their names go.
For instance, what about Flippin' Pancakes. They don't just do pancakes. One of the tastiest warming curries has to be their Maharajah's Curry. Or try their lovely light pancakes with a tasty beef curry served with rice, mango chutney and sliced banana. If that doesn't warm you up on a cold winter's day, then nothing will!
Another winter warmer is Miss Marple's Tea Room. The menu is enticing to say the least. Their Devonshire Tea is always in great demand, but take a closer look at their menu and you'll find all sorts of treasures. If it's a special sweet you're looking for, then you can't go further than their Vicar's Folly. There's butterscotch icecream, sprinkles of honeycomb pieces, chocolate, whipped cream and caramel fudge.