If you're not from Melbourne, you may have never heard of Miss Marple's Tea Room. It's basically a gorgeous cafe/restaurant situated in a pretty part of Melbourne known as the Dandenong Ranges. The Dandenongs are just under an hour from the centre of Melbourne - longer if you're taking public transport.
Although only thirty years old, you would think you had stumbled across a much older building. The architectural style is English Tudor with exposed cross beams, gables and window boxes.
On a chilly winter's day, it's nice to get a spot near the cosy fireplace. The walls are decorated with various vintage plates and teapots. Dark wood beams hang overhead. Everything is set up for an otherworldly vintage-style experience. Even the wait staff are dressed in maid outfits that could be straight out of the 20s or 30s. Of course, that's where the place gets its name. It's meant to be reminiscent of a scene from one of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple novels.
Since I've been here so often, looking at the menu is just a habit. I always know what I'm going to order - the Welsh Rarebit and scones with jam and cream, and a pot of tea. I'd be surprised if you've seen scones like this before. They're not your usual round concoction. These are about 10cm high and one serve comes with two. I can usually divide them into six portions.
There are no bookings at Miss Marple's. They're open from 11 am each day (weekends are, of course, the busiest) and so you line up with everyone else. If they're full, you put your name down on a list and come back at the estimated time. If you've got more than four in your party, you might have more of a wait.
Either while you're waiting or after your meal, take a walk around the little town of Sassafras. It's full of quaint shops selling various wares such as antiques, clothing, paraphernalia, wooden toys and puppets and old-fashioned sweets.
If you're visiting Melbourne and looking for a day trip, then a visit to Sassafras in the Dandenong Ranges is definitely a choice you won't regret.
Miss Marple's Tea Room is located at 382 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Sassafras. Their opening hours are Mon - Fri 11am - 4pm and Sat - Sun 11am - 4.30pm.
Public transport is possible. It takes about an hour and half from Flinders Street Station. You can catch a train on the Belgrave line to Upper Ferntree Gully station and then a bus from there up to Sassafras.