A Blissful 48-Hour Staycation in the Yarra Valley
We have just gotten home from a magical 48-hour mini break in the Yarra Valley and Yarra Ranges with my best friends and sister.
We stayed at In The Valley, boutique luxury accommodation in Yarra Glen which features five stunning luxury suites and was the most perfect base for our staycation.
We had the BEST weekend ever and returned home feeling so refreshed and ready to take on the week ahead and resume our mum duties.
Just in case anyone is planning a girl’s weekend in the month's ahead - or is interested in planning a getaway during this current health scare - I thought I would share our full itinerary below! The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges is very much open for business - all businesses are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure they are safe to visit and it really could not be a more relaxing place to retreat to, amongst the current chaos.
Day 1 - Friday
Stop 1: Cloudehill Garden & Nursery
At 10am on Friday we departed Hawthorn after school drop offs and headed straight to Cloudehill Garden & Nursery, the most stunning garden and nursery in Olinda.
We had a tour of Cloudehill with owner Jeremy Francis who was such a wonderful guide and we learnt all about the history of the property and the gardens. These pretty-as-a-picture gardens are absolutely magical and are a must-visit when visiting the Dandenongs.
Cloudehill Garden & Nursery
89 Olinda-Monbulk Rd
Olinda VIC 3788
We left Cloudehill with a copy of Jeremy's beautiful book 'A Year In The Garden'.
Stop 2: Olinda Tea House
Cloudhill is directly opposite the Olinda Tea House, so following our delightful tour of the gardens we arrived at Olinda Tea House for the most stunning Asian-inspired High Tea.
We sat on the balcony overlooking Olinda Tea House’s exquisite gardens and enjoyed their signature Oriental Fusion High Tea, which included delicious savouries, Scones and Asian-inspired desserts including tartlets and adorable macarons. The food was outstanding!
Olinda Tea House will be holding Easter Egg Hunts on Easter Sunday (14th April) at 10.45am and 12.45pm for families booking for lunch (seating times are 11am and 1pm). The Easter bunny will be roaming during egg hunts and I can not think of a more gorgeous spot to spend Easter!
Olinda Tea House also has gorgeous private dining suites for groups up to 12 guests and also offers take away to locals and guests at local accommodation. It really is such a peaceful and tranquil setting, we felt like we were a world away from Melbourne and it was only a 50 minute drive from Hawthorn.
Bookings can be made online at www.olindateahouse.com.au.
Olinda Tea House
86A Olinda-Monbulk Road
Olinda VIC 3788
The sweetest little pineapple desserts at Olinda Tea House.
Stop 3: Mandala Wines
Following High Tea it was time to head to the Yarra Valley and our first stop was to Mandala Wines for an extended wine tasting with Cellar Door & Marketing Manager, James. We sampled around 8 delicious wines and learnt all about the family-run estate.
Mandala Wines is owned by the Smedley family who first planted ten acres of Pinor Noir rootlings in the Yarra Junction in 1999. 7 years later they expanded and moved to Dixon’s Creek.
Family is a strong theme across the wines with the Compass label reflecting Charles’ four children.
The Yarra Valley is famous for its cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but Mandala also have established Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot vines too.
There is a restaurant on-site too and next visit we will definitely stay for a meal to enjoy with Mandala’s delicious wines.
Mandala Wines Cellar Door
1568 Melba Hwy
Dixons Creek VIC 3775
Stop 4: In The Valley, Yarra Glen
At 3pm, it was time to check into In The Valley, a luxury country retreat in Yarra Glen. In The Valley is nestled in the peaceful Steels Creek Valley and is surround by wineries, plus is just a short minute drive away from Yarra Glen’s antique shops and restaurants.
There are five luxury guest suites at In The Valley and we had booked three of these for our group; Hillside Studios 1 & 2 which are separate studios adjacent to the main guest house which boast large balconies overlooking the gardens, and also Wisteria Lane which is in the guest house but has a private courtyard overlooking the beautiful manicured lawn and gardens.
On arrival we were met by the lovely property manager Rob who showed us to our rooms.
The suites are stunning and the owners have thought of absolutely everything to ensure you have a relaxing stay – from the in-room spas and bathroom amenities, the fireplaces, the luxurious bedding and the breakfast basket packed full of local produce and condiments.
The other two suites were occupied during our stay, however the property is so expansive that we didn’t cross paths with any other guests, it literally felt as though we had the entire estate to ourselves.
We had such a wonderful stay at In The Valley and highly recommend this property for a relaxing girl's weekend away!
We had such a gorgeous welcome at In The Valley - some delicious local bubbles were waiting in our room to enjoy with the girls.
This was my room - Hillside Studio One. It was just stunning and such a peaceful setting with beautiful views over the garden.
Pictured above and below is the Wisteria Lane suite which is part of the main guest house.
The manicured gardens at In The Valley are just spectacular.
In The Valley is designed for relaxation and we were lucky to start our mini-break with a massage from Tegan at Relax & Unwind Massage.
Tegan arrived not long after we had checked in and set up a massage bed on the balcony of Hillside Studio One suite. Over the next 2 hours we all enjoyed a heavenly 30 minute relaxation massage and it could not have been a more delightful way to begin our time at In The Valley.
Tegan offers massage therapy and beauty treatments in her clinic or in your own home (or accomodation).
(We had to get a photo in our matching pajamas - these gorgeous pjs are from Bride & Co who has the sweetest range of personalised pajamas and robes. I organised the PJs as a surprise for the girls and they absolutely LOVED them! www.brideandcoau.com.)
Stop 5: Yarra Valley Grand Hotel
After our massages it was time for dinner and we were excited for a (child free) night out at the Yarra Valley Grand Hotel. This historical hotel was built in 1888 and is a five minute drive from In The Valley.
The food was fabulous, we started with bubbles (of course!) and the Grand Charcuterie Share Platter followed by Gnocchi (for Em), Pizza (for Sophie) and steak with potato gratin for Kate and I. SO good!
There was live music in the bar and there was a fantastic atmosphere in both the bar and courtyard. The venue was pumping and so I would highly recommend booking a table ahead, particularly if you are visiting on a weekend.
Yarra Valley Grand Hotel
19 Bell St
Yarra Glen VIC 3775
Day 2 - Saturday
After a heavenly sleep in we all enjoyed breakfast in our suites at In The Valley. My sister Sophie and I enjoyed breakfast on our balcony and it could not have been a more delightful way to start the day!
Pictured above is my friend Em outside her suite at In The Valley, Hillside Studio Two.
At 11am the lovely Stacey from Yarra Valley Private Transfers arrived to take us to our first destination for the day. Stacey was such a wonderful guide and had so much knowledge of the area and attractions. www.yvpt.com.au
Stop 1: Sweetwater Cafe, Chateau Yering Hotel
Our first stop was for a coffee at Sweetwater Cafe at the Chateau Yering Hotel. This Victorian-style property features a cafe, restaurant and boutique hotel and the prettiest gardens.
Stop 2: Yering Station Cellar Door
The next stop was to Yering Station where we enjoyed the most divine private tasting in the Scarlett Room in the Cellar Door with our host, Alistair. We learnt so much about the estate and the wines. Yering Station was Victoria’s very first vineyard and was first planted with vines in 1838!
It is is proudly family owned & operated (owned by the Rathbone family) and renowned for its cool climate wines.