Freelance writer living and breathing all the brilliance of Melbourne.
Published June 18th 2009
Scones are a delight that I feel deserve a renaissance!
What a deliciously fabulous treat they are, even more so during the cooler months. Every time I eat one with lashings of cream and homemade jam, I get an intense memory of being at my Nana’s house in the country when I was younger, with an open fire and misty vista.
Well, we don't have to visit Nan or cook like her for that matter (lucky in my case), to enjoy these culinary delights. What you do have to do however, is have a few hours spare and the desire to embark on a little adventure!
Located around 45 minutes out of Melbourne are the Dandenong Ranges, a beautiful mystical area encompassing a myriad of small townships including Monbulk, Sassafras, Olinda and Emerald. Even the names suggest that venturing to this corner of the world is going to be a fairy-tale like, fun adventure.
And it is! As soon as you past Scoresby and begin to climb into the Dandenong Ranges Park area, you immediately notice a distinct drop in temperature, your view from the car changes from roads and traffic lights to lush forest, long concealed drive ways and the occasional sign for a B&B. Your thoughts return to that of a few years ago when exploring new places and finding hidden things was as exciting as a Stimulus Package.
Any one of the towns listed above host a number of fantastically kitsch tea houses and cafe's, hidden amongst the rainforest backdrop, serving hot tea, scones, freshly baked cookies and cakes daily.
Don't limit yourself to tea houses and scones though, drive with an open mind and pop into the small farms you pass along your way - selling cherries, berries, jams, lavender and other fresh produce straight from the farm to you.
You can reach the Dandenong Ranges from the Eastern Freeway and can expect to lose a few hours once arrived.