Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day Trip to the Yarra Valley

Back in January, I was a guest at a blogger's lunch at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. It was fabulous, so we went back this past weekend for another visit. We love the Yarra Valley, especially in the cooler months, and it is only a 40 minute drive from where we live in Melbourne. Now that the girls are a bit older, we can be more flexible with going out for day trips and making last minute plans. We go to the Healesville Sanctuary often because we are Zoo Members, then we love to make a few other stops to make the most of the trip.

Melbourne had it's first taste of wintery weather for the year over this past weekend. Hot chocolates were the perfect antidote, so our first stop was to the Chocolaterie for some sweet treats. This amazing place was only opened in December last year, and is the Yarra Valley's answer to Willy Wonka's factory.

This was MY hot chocolate. I barely got any of it! *stamps foot* The hot chocolates are so decadent - they are made the proper way - no powder in sight! Melted chocolate and hot milk. YES. With an extra cup of melted chocolate on the side and a little whisk so you can adjust it to your liking. I added ALL THE CHOCOLATE.

Such a lovely way to spend some time together. Hot choccies on a cold day! The Chocolaterie itself is a huge custom built place, at one end are the kitchens where the Chocolatiers weave their magic, with huge glass windows allowing everyone to see them at work. While we were there, they were hosting a kid's birthday party - how awesome! The kids were clearly having a ball decorating their chocolates.

Now I'm wondering if they take bookings for 33rd birthdays?

In the middle of the building are the huge displays of every chocolate product imaginable, and their packaging is a riot of colour.

The other end is the cafe area where you can get everything from ice cream, hot chocolates and coffees, cakes and they have a lovely lunch menu as well.

Before we left we bought some lovely treats for Easter. The Chocolaterie will be having  Easter Egg hunts and other fun activities for kids over the Easter weekend, so if you are in Melbourne and looking for something fun to do over the Easter break, this place is a winner.

Our next stop was down the road at the Farmer's Market at Yering Station. This place is a bit of a landmark in the Yarra Valley - it's a stunning winery and a popular place for weddings. I'd never been there before but now I can see why people would choose it as their wedding location - it is beautiful, and the buildings are a lovely mix of rustic and modern.

Unfortunately, this time we were disappointed. We arrived expecting a farmer's market. In my mind, I think of stalls of local people selling fresh fruit and veggies, herbs, eggs and maybe some local meat and smallgoods producers. This market was mainly gourmet oils, preserves and confectionary.

There was about three stalls selling produce, and lovely stuff too as you can see from my pics. Most of the other stall holders sold packaged products and the prices were premium.

Which is fine if that is what you are looking for, but that type of stuff isn't really of interest to us (or within our budget).

So we breezed through the market pretty quickly, hopped in the car and came home for some home made pizzas. Yum!

Do you take day trips with your family? Where are your favourite places?


  1. Awesome! We've never made any stops on the way to Healesville Sanctuary (apart from the mandatory Beechworth Bakery) but I will definitely be scheduling a stop at that Chocalaterie! I want one of those hot chocolates!!!

  2. I'd love explore the Yarra Valley sometime... eventually I'll get down that way! lol. Looks like you all had a great day xo

  3. The only time I went to the Yarra Valley there wasn't a chocolate or market in sight. Just a lot of wineries! Love it. My favourite wine of all time is from Coldstream Hills winery. A cheeky little merlot. It certainly is a lovely area. I love day trips with the kids too but they're still at that "are we there yet?" stage which drives me insane. LOL

    Anne xx

  4. Oh wow, it looks amazing I haven't been down that way in years, think ill have to rectify that! I think lots of our farmers markets are a bit like that lovely stuff though, Julian is addicted to relishes.

  5. This sounds like a lovely day trip! Just the sort of thing we would enjoy. :-) Maybe someday if we ever make it to Australia....

  6. By the way, I think the packaging for the chocolates would make a great inspiration for a modern quilt! I can see it in my imagination! :-)

  7. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)


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