Healesville, in the Yarra Valley in country Victoria is the ‘town with eight lives’. Eight times fire has licked at the doors of this country hamlet and eight times it has somehow avoided catastrophe. Including during the recent Black Saturday bushfires which came within 150 metres of the main street. Naturally, Healesville residents feel blessed and this joie de vivre is evident everywhere. Particularly in the food and wine.
Healesville has rich fertile plains and a cool alpine climate. Burly Black Angus cattle poke their heads through the fence lines and vineyards roll on endlessly.
Healesville is famous for its meat, dairy, and wines and is slowly putting itself on the map for its fine dining experiences. Check out the Red Shed for a light luncheon at Medhurst Wines, Innocent Bystander winery on the main street for authentic thin crip pizza with extra vibe on the side and the Healesville Hotel for unctuous, slow-cooked dishes in the prettiest dining room in Australia. It’s also won Regional Restaurant of the Year a few times. Stay at the Tuck Inn B&B off the main street so you can stagger back to your room and enjoy a delicious cooked breakfast as part of the reasonable tariff. (But beware: the showers are a tight fit.)
Healesville is only an hour’s drive north-east from Melbourne Airport. You’ll never never know if you never never go.
French brasserie meets Outback woolshed : Dining-room Healesville Hotel
Open wood fire-place
Duck and mushroom ragu with homemade hand-cut papardelle pasta
Duck breast with local wild blackberries
Black Angus steak with roasted marrow bone and celeriac remoulade
Apple gratin with blackberry sorbet