Dine from Melbas Garden estate facadeThe restaurant facade


Dine from Melbas Garden gardenThe Coombe Cottage

During her lifetime, Dame Nellie Melba was renowned for putting on a good show, both on and off stage. She was the first Australian musician to achieve international recognition and is considered by some one of Australia’s most famous and talented opera singers of all time. Born in a time before voice recordings, it’s a travesty that we will never have the pleasure of hearing her voice. What she did leave behind, however, is her stunning home Coombe Cottage.


Dine in Melbas Garden gardenThe Cottage garden

Hidden by a large hedge, many of you will have driven past this property on the intersection of Maroondah Highway and Melba Highway, never realising what lay behind it. Since its purchase in 1909, it has continued to serve as the family home and still does so today. The home is surrounded by a stunning cottage garden, vegetable patch and heirloom orchard.


Dine in Melbas Garden seatingRestaurant details

Recently, the family restored the old motor house and historic clock tower, transforming it into a simply stunning restaurant: Coombe – The Melba Estate. The dining space is enclosed in glass and upon entering is immediately warm and inviting – exposed brick walls, beautiful timber tables, modern light fittings, and simple flower arrangements set it off.

Dine in Melbas Garden CheersCheers!


Dine in Melbas Garden Quail close upStuffed fig quail in hand (though not for long!)

Our evening at the Dine from Melba’s Garden event for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival started off with a tour of the impressive vegetable patch hosted by Executive Chef, Tony Milton, followed by canapés and sparkling – 2012 Coombe Farm Nellie Melba Blanc de blancs, by the oldest swimming pool in Victoria. Entrée of quail stuffed with fig, wrapped in prosciutto and served on a bed of ancient grain herb salad was also served poolside with the fig tree itself in arm’s reach. En route back to the restaurant, we wandered through the orchard full of lemons, limes, grapefruits, apples and “Poor Man’s” oranges, interspersed with small herb gardens. The plans for these gardens were devised by William Guilfoyle, also designer of the Royal Botanic Gardens. We took our seats alongside 22 new friends and waited in anticipation for the remainder of the feast.

Dine from Melbas Garden insideThe stunning setting for our meal


Dine from Melbas Garden MFWF MenuOur menu for the evening


Dine in Melbas Garden entreeHomemade sourdough bread with salted ricotta and hand churned butter

We tucked into some homemade sourdough bread with salted ricotta and hand churned butter before the arrival of a delicious second course; confit Harpuka, Yarra Valley Bulls eye cheese, encased in a delicately fine folded lasagna sheet topped with roasted tomato and rocket pesto, matched with a 2013 Coombe Farm Pinot Noir. The palate cleanser was a Nellie Melba Blanc de blancs sparkling granita, before moving on to third course. An incredible smoked 36 day dry aged porterhouse matched with a 2013 Coombe Farm Cabernet Merlot. The steak was perfectly cooked, requiring only a butter knife and the smokey flavour was mouthwatering.


Dine from Melbas Garden Smoked 36 day dry aged PorterhouseSmoked 36 day dry aged Porterhouse


Dine From Melbas Garden Peach MelbaThe Coombe Farm Peach Melba


By this point we were well and truly full but the lure of something sweet to end the meal was far too good to refuse. The Peach Melba was invented in the early 1890s by French chef then celebrity chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel in London in honour of Dame Nellie Melba. The Coombe Farm Peach Melba certainly does both Escoffier and Melba justice. The dish came exquisitely plated, including caramelized peach, sour peach jelly, raspberry sorbet, vanilla bean ice cream and Melba sauce. We nearly licked the plates clean!


Dine in Melbas Garden space detailsGorgeous details

Thus ended our first Melbourne Food & Wine Festival event of 2015 and what a sheer delight it was. The surroundings were peaceful, the service excellent and the monogrammed plates added a luxurious and special touch. We can’t wait to come back to relish the gardens and food again in the very near future, whether it be for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a tour of the gardens followed by high tea.


Trading hrs: Monday – Thursday 10am – 5pm, Friday – Sunday 9am – 5pm. Open for dinner when advertised for special gourmet evenings.

Menu link: Coombe Yarra Valley Menu  


Address: 673-675 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream

Ph: 03 9739 0173

Website: www.coombeyarravalley.com.au

Twitter: @CoombeYV

Facebook: Coombe Yarra Valley 

Instagram: @coombeyarravalley

Notes: Coombe Farm also houses a Cellar Door, open 7 days 10am to 5pm and a Providore selling estate-grown, house made produce and other Melba memorabilia. The restaurant is suited for both small and large groups and functions and a private dining room is available. Garden tours are available twice daily Monday to Saturday and include morning or afternoon tea. Bookings are essential.  

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