Coombe – The Melba Estate

EveLovelle was invited to dine as guest at Coombe – The Melba Estate

Coombe was bought over by Dame Nellie Melba, one of if not, the most coveted Australian operatic soprano in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Melba Estate features her house she built, a spacious garden, an art gallery, a cellar door and a spacious restaurant. The estate can house opera performances and private events such as wedding ceremonies or community gatherings.

On behalf of Two Hands Agency, Jan and I had the privilege to have morning tea and attend a tour around the estate. The cottage manager, Daniel Johnson, explained to us Dame Nellie Melba’s life story, and how Yarra Valley was a sentimental area that lead to her purchasing a plot of land and designed her own house. For the love of fashion, she has her personal collections on display, from vintage Hermez and Cartier, and paintings she bought from renowned artists. You could already imagine she was one classy lady. After her passing, her estate is finally open to the public for display and to luxuriate in. What’s over all that surrounding hedge, all secrets are unraveled and her legacy is to be continued.

The first glance from the entrance features a restaurant on the right, a minimalistic and modern cellar door towards the left, and an art gallery right up front.

The cellar door

Art gallery


The restaurant display is down to earth and has a modern cottage styled interior, where guests get to see views of high rise elm trees out the windows. Classy and intimate. There is plenty of space from tables to tables and the high ceiling made it all the more commodious. I could free my shoulders out and enjoy mirthful conversations comfortably.

Fresh flowers taken from the The Melba Garden


Coombe Restaurant does morning or evening high tea, brunch and dinner options. For brunch, they have a selection of sweet and savouries from Fromage Blanc Pancakes to grungy Yarra Valley Beef Burger or something lighter such as Pork, Crab and Chilli Folded Omelette. Lunch or dinner is more fancy and you could fine dine and have Duck Leg, Slow Cooked Goat, Seafood Risotto, Atlantic Salmon, or even a Whole Grilled Garfish.

If you want something to share, they do Charcuterie Plate that comes with sugar cured kangaroo and smoked duck meat in it, mini Happy Valley Pork Sliders, Prawn And Scallop Mosaic, and many more. Don’t forget to end your meal with desserts. They serve decadent Dark Chocolate Fondant, opt for a signature with Peach Melba Magnum that would be perfect for the summertime, or Limoncello Tart for a tangy finish.

Take a breath of fresh air outside before or after you dine. I could smell the earth from here, the fresh air is especially therapeutic.

Before indulging on morning tea, Daniel gave us a tour on the estate’s garden, one that Nellie Melba was proud to own.

Thankfully its only the beginning of summer and we still get to enjoy fresh blooms of different colours.
This swimming pool was built in 1913. You could see how the tall hedges surrounding the estate covering up the private pool from the public. The hedge was initially bought over with the idea of preventing strong winds that would wipe out Nellie Melba’s fresh grown foods and flowers. Across the pool there was farm grown fresh citruses and figs. It was nice to pretend that life was carefree for a moment.

A cool side of the hedge that fell over, ha ha, if the world could laugh along..

Nellie Melba’s house


Staircase to the rooftop
View from the rooftop. They intend to grow more flowers so that it would surround the whole plot. I mean, imagine walking down the aisle when sunnier skies are shining against a bed full of flowers.

And as mythical as it looks, this is the largest and most beautiful oak tree in the estate.

Back to the restaurant and now the eating begins..

Head chef describing to us what’s on the menu

Top Tier: Fresh Baked Scones

Middle Tier: Peached Melba Jam Clotted Cream + Lemon Meringue Tartlet + Strawberry tartlet + Dark Chocolate Truffle + White Chocolate Truffle + Light Shortbread With Icing

Bottom Tier: Pork And Apple Sausage Rolls + Asparagus Dill Cream Cheese Pinwheel + Smoked Salmon Ribbon Sandwiches + Leek And Persian Feta Quiche + Coombe Farm Pate, Melba toast
Both Jan and I loved the whole eating experience, the ambiance, the food, the music and how kind and chatty everyone was. The scones were one of the best I have ever had, and it was the head chef’s recipe that was passed down by his grandmother. What made it even more spectacular was the restaurant’s signature Peach Melba Jam. I know once I finished the jar I received, I would be back to get another. Everything from the second tier was tasty as well, particularly the Lemon Meringue Tartlet, which was tangy, creamy and light. The chocolate truffles were to die for, and yes oh lord he had bestowed my tongue. Jan and my favourite part from the bottom tier was the Pork And Apple Sausage Rolls. We did not know what to expect, but it turned out to be extremely scrumptious, meaty, moist and we wished we could have more of it. It all sounds like I am merely pulling out descriptive words to entice you readers, but I assure you that we stepped both feet into food heaven.

Dame Nellie Melba Blanc De Blanc 2011
The signature sparkling wine above is made at Coombe Farm Wines. It was a fruity infusion with strong effervescence exploding on my tongue, very refreshing indeed.

Peony Tea
Peony Tea was Dame Nellie Melba’s favourite tea, and it tasted a lot like chamomile tea.

Soy Cappuccino
I couldn’t decide if I love desserts with coffee or tea better.
The Peach Melba Jam on the biscuit tasted exactly like one of my favourite biscuits of all time from Marks & Spencer, the Raspberry Viennese. Ah, memories..! I am definitely coming back here for more jam.

And a mandatory touristy shot with the boyfriend. Thank you Two Hands Agency for inviting us and the people behind Coombe – The Melba Estate, for being such great hosts.

The Melba Estate is a great sightseeing location to visit. Tackle lunch or dinner at the same time by dining in at Coombe. If you want a weekend off the city, or when friends of yours from out of town come by Melbourne, I suggest to make a tour to Yarra Valley and visit The Melba Estate. It will be worth it.

Coombe – The Melba Estate
673-675 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream
Melbourne, Victoria 3770
Tel: +(61) 03 9739 0173

Mon to Sun: 9am-5pm

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