Coombe Farm Yarra Valley

One of the highlights of my recent trip back to Australia was a visit to Coombe Farm, the former home of legendary opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, located in the beautiful wine region of Victoria.

Having grown up in the area, I ALWAYS wanted to see what was hiding behind the huge hedges

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the name, Melba was one of the most famous singers of the early 20th century. So famous she even had a number of dishes named after her – Peach Melba, Melba Sauce, and Melba Toast. 

Dame Nellie Melba in all her operatic glory
Melba playing with her pet cockatoo at Coombe – in the footage playing on a loop on the gallery wall

Melba was a thoroughly modern woman, and the first to bring our beloved luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Cartier, to Australia. She owned 14 L.V. travelling trunks!

The gallery features both Melba and Coombe Farm, along with her wonderful LV trunks
The tasting room with its stunning bench fashioned from Baltic pine

Coombe Farm was opened to the public in September 2014, after a three year period of renovations. The aim was to maintain the original character of the buildings, and as many original features as possible.

The old clock tower building used to house Melba’s fleet of luxury cars and pony jinkers

“Modern, but steeped in the past”, was how Estate Manager Daniel Johnson described it.

The restaurant opens up fully for alfresco dining, and boasts opera-worthy acoustics

The Providore Store is a perfect example of this, set in traditional 19th century stables. Take out the shopping totes, sun hats and sour dough, and you’d be left with a space that was exactly how it was hundreds of years ago.

My sis and Events Manager Georgia browsing the gorgeous goodies sold in the stables
The sourdough bread has become a favourite with the locals, and sells out fast

Coombe Farm offers daily tours around the glorious 7 acre gardens. You’ll pass by a 170 year old oak tree, through rose gardens, and between rows of cypress pines that resemble church steeples.

Bob the labradoodle cruising around the estate
And Biggy the bulldog pretending to be tough
Being lead up the garden path…
And climbing the stairway to heaven
Taking in the sweeping views of the Yarra Valley from the roof of the historic homestead
Every part of the garden is completely unique, and picture perfect

If you’re lucky (not), you might even find yourself head-down arse-up crawling into the secret tunnel in the giant hedge. Just like my sister.

OMG she’s going to kill me for posting these!
Coombe Farm’s homestead as seen from the rose gardens
Ornate Victorian wrought iron gates with the homestead in the distance
The oldest swimming pool in Victoria, enjoyed by iconic actresses Clara Bow and Gloria Swanson
Heading towards the vege garden – most of the produce can be found on the menu

And when you’ve had enough nature, follow your nose to the restaurant. Lunch like a lady, dine on truly fabulous food, and get completely sloshed. Just like my sister. Oh, and me. 🙂 I have a feeling that Dame Nellie would have approved.

The berry bellinis were berry delicious and berry strong!
My seared tuna with Coombe Farm grown sides, topped with a poached egg…
And my 2012 Coombe Farm POLO Chardonnay

Garden tours are offered twice daily at $25 per head, which includes afternoon tea. We paid $90 for 2 mains, 2 bellinis and 2 rather large glasses of vino.

Thank you to the lovely Coombe Team xx

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