Our plan – escape the city to the Yarra Valley with the sole reason to indulge in Hot Chocolate at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. What actually happened – after a rich and decadent hot chocolate plus a sample or two or three my body was on a massive sugar rush and required savoury subsistence to balance out the sugar. Thankfully the Yarra Valley is as picturesque as it is full of winery’s and there coincidentally happened to be one situated on the hill across from the Chocolaterie. Surrounded by grape vines on a rolling hill, the petit farmhouse estate of Yarrawood captures the essence of a romantic countryside cellar door and café with its peaked roof and a verandah out front to take in the surrounding hills and vineyard, complete with a low sweeping tree ideal for sitting under on summer picnics.
While we were no where near summer the sun was out and it was a bit warmer than it had been so we took advantage of the verandah to take our lunch. The place was fairly busy but not unpleasantly, with a hen and a few tables who had obviously had the same issue as us as I recognised them from the Chocolaterie. The next step was deciding what to get. Their soup and sandwiches all looked tempting as we spied what the other tables around us were brought and then Sarah mentioned the share platter – cheese, meats, a bit of antipasto and dips. I was slightly hesitant as at my last winery experience the portions hadn’t been the best for the price we paid. We had ended up with a plate over loaded with bread and having to go in search for the cheese. However, my doubts were immediately put to ease as our waiter showed us the platter on the table next to us and the three girls who were eating it confirmed its worth. Freshly made bread that crinkled on the outside when you picked it up, house made beetroot dip and hummus, and a selection of cheeses, meats and a touch of seafood. It was the perfect opposite to our morning coffee and went swimmingly with a glass of their Verdelho, from their Yarrawood Tall Tale Ranges.
By the end I was stuffed and felt I could probably roll all the way home. Not to mention be fine until the next morning after my shift, which gratefully includes running up and down stairs. Cravings satisfied and balance restored. The lunch and a few quick jaunts tied together with our hot chocolate experience gave me a great glimpse into the Yarra Valley while sampling some of the regions best food, chocolate and wine on offer.