I seriously think the Yarra Valley in Winter is spectacular.
Why? The hills are green, the leafless vineyards are haunting and the sun breaking through the clouds remains fixed to your brain.
We went to a couple of wineries. I think you should avoid the big ones like Yering Station and Fergusons. Try the less commercial ones like Allinda which has no people and the best riesling and chardonnay in the region.
Once again I was lucky enough to choose the place of lunch - funny that, I always seem to land that role. So I chose Tea Rooms at Yarck, the same owners as my favourite restaurant Da Noi.
It is a bit of a drive from Yarra Glen but the scenery is so fantastic, it really doesn't matter.
Yarck is a small town which is now made famous by this little house-like restaurant near the corner store and the local bottle-e-o. Well famous by the food lovers of Melbourne (I hate the word foodie, hate being called a foodie, hate hearing the word foodie and hate saying the word foodie - enough said).
We went for the chef's menu which for $89 per person is not cheap. Alternatively you can eat a la carte or some pizza and vino, I hear they even do take away. There is also apparently a nice place to stay for a romantic getaway should you so choose (I also cringe at the word romantic - but that's another story).
We started with a taster of scallops, with some fine green beans and some lemon and black garlic which was just heaven.
Next came the stream of mezzedes - pork meatballs, eggplant parmigiano, cuttlefish in a red wine sauce and marinated vegetables. All very good.
The best however was the house-made pasta filled with mascarpone and topped with a delicate porcini mushroom sauce. We all felt that this could be out last dying dish.
Main was a simple pork wrapped in prosciutto on top of barley and crispy bacon in a sweet red sauce. All sorts of textures, although my pork was very tender another on the table said theres was a bit dry.
We also got an additional main of duck which we think was a bit of a leftover. It was topped with pistachio crumbs. Very tender but not a taste sensation.
Desserts started with goat's yoghurt on a base of rhubarb and topped with sugared pistachio - almost as good as Da Noi's panna cotta which is pretty bloody good.
Next course of dessert included a chocolate brownie/mousse/I'm not sure with some aerated chocolate crumbs and a side of pear sorbet. And next to that coffee parfait topped with a cinnamon macaroon. All pretty mind blowing.
Cost was about $100 each. Only two of us had a glass of wine each. So not cheap but for me worth every penny.