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The Dandenong Ranges

Home > Melbourne > Brunch | Cafes | Day Trips | Escape the City | Gardens
by Mon's Adventure (subscribe)
Documenting roadtrip adventures and foodie outings. See more at!
Published February 20th 2017
I've often found birthdays stressful, for no reason other than myself. Instead of worrying about putting on a good show, this year I was merely craving a relaxing day out with my close friends.

I also wanted to bring the dog so we decided on a brunch out in Lilydale before heading to the Dandenong Ranges.

Hutch & Co: 251 Main St, Lilydale
We started our day with a rejuvenating brunch at Hutch & Co. I stumbled upon this place once whilst looking up where to eat in the area and its menu and offer of breakfast boards enticed me immediately.

hutch and co lilydale
Tonic espresso - lime, soda water and espresso

I wanted to try something a little different for my coffee and ended up with a tonic espresso ($5) - espresso, soda water and lime. It sounds interesting for summer but didn't quite suit my tastes.

hutch and co lilydale
Matcha hollandaise

Although the breakfast boards were novel, we all ended up with our own dishes. My friend got the Ham Hock Benedict ($18) with matcha hollandaise, which looked vibrantly green but apparently the matcha flavour was subtle.

hutch and co lilydale
Corn fritters

Many of us opted for the Crispy Corn and Quinoa fritters ($17) with our choice of sides, so I went with my obligatory hash brown. The fritters stood out from most brunches as they were deliciously crispy rather than mushy and the additions of beetroot and dukkah made me happy I chose the healthy option for once! (That's usually quite a hard feat).

hutch and co lilydale
French toast

To offset this load of healthiness, we ordered The French Toast Strikes Back ($16) to share. We made another good decision by deciding to share as the French Toast was very sweet - but delicious.

Overall it was an enjoyable brunch with good service, food and a decent outdoor area for pets. To see their full menu head here.

Kalorama Lookout: Lookout Rd, Kalorama
For our next stop, I considered Silvan Reservoir but decided against it. Dogs are allowed but not along the reservoir wall, which I assume would give the best view.

Instead, we made a quick stop by Kalorama Lookout, where you can see the Silvan Reservoir.
kalorama lookout
Silvan Reservoir from Kalorama Lookout

Unfortunately it was a bit of a grey day, so we took some snaps, spotted a sheep in the field, then headed to our final destination.

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden: 1A Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke
These gorgeous gardens have been on my list for a while and conveniently, dogs are permitted on a leash.

The garden is peaceful and full of colourful hydrangeas. The most photogenic section though would be the lake, surrounded by small bridges and perfect greenery. You'll even find a few mini waterfalls.

We strolled and explored every nook and cranny, then sat, relaxed and chatted as the dog was a little tired.

There's a cafe just down the road so I wouldn't mind returning to try that or even to bring a picnic basket and laze on the lawn. I'll let the pictures speak for this place.

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden
A perfect picnic spot

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden
Relaxing, green surrounds

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden
Dog-friendly gardens

It was a lovely few hours in the Dandenongs and a nice little itinerary if you don't have a full day. The gardens are great for relaxing or to also practice some photography. Where else do you find relaxing in the Dandenong Ranges?
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Why? Enjoy a few relaxing hours in the fresh air of the Dandenong Ranges
Where: Dandenong Ranges
Cost: $15-$25
Your Comment
Nice way to spend your birthday! I agree they can be stressful, much nicer to do something like this
by Jay Johnson (score: 3|1368) 1196 days ago
by Lorraine A on 03/10/2013
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