Extend your stay in the Macedon Ranges with these great places to eat and sleep.
Where to eat
For breakfast and coffee
Although this café has an extensive all-day breakfast menu that hits the right notes (eggs, smashed avo, pancakes and the Mr Big brekkie), it’s really all about the bagels. Go classic with bacon, cheese, tomato relish and an egg, sunny side up, or opt for beetroot- cured salmon, dill cream cheese, avocado and house pickles.
23 Victoria Street, Macedon; (03) 5426 1845
This new local favourite and its share plates are tailor-made for a long, lazy lunch. The smaller nibbles are salty, crunchy, fried morsels – of note are the haloumi chips and the fried olives stuffed with lamb or cheese – while the bigger plates feature hearty cuts of meat and fish, with sides such as sautéed brussels sprouts. The duck salad with goat’s curd, almonds, endive and satisfying bursts of pomegranate is a much- loved special.
37c Piper Street, Kyneton
A place where you can feel comfortable soaking up the last, creamy drops of cauliflower and fennel soup with your sourdough? Yes please. Expect to find greens fresh from the nearby kitchen garden slick with tangy dressing; duck, lamb or kangaroo sourced as locally as possible; and impressive, decadent desserts. Or simply enjoy the dégustation menu, where every course is matched with a regional wine.
72 Piper Street, Kyneton; (03) 5422 2039
For taking home
RedBeard Historic Bakery
Order coffee (full-cream and full-strength only, though soy is offered) and something to nibble from the kitchen at this specialist sourdough bakery. Take home a sourdough loaf (there are several styles) or choose from the bakery’s own muesli, biscuits (the almond and aniseed amaretti are especially delicious), jams and chutneys.
38a High Street, Trentham; (03) 5424 1002
Where to stay
The Old Rectory
Built for a parish priest in the 1850s, this charming three-bedroom bluestone house has been lovingly restored, from the floorboards to the walls and the chimneys. While the classic furnishings include antiques, this guesthouse isn’t without the trimmings of 21st-century life. There’s a Bose speaker in every room, heated towel racks and a kitchen stocked with all the goodies (olives, pickles, peppery crackers) you could want to accompany afternoon drinks. Just don’t spend all your time inside; walk down the tree- lined path, past manicured hedges, to discover the glorious 160-year-old walnut tree, which is lit up at night.
61 Ebden Street, Kyneton; 0439 867 480
Macedon Ranges Hotel & Spa
The view is king here. Each of the property’s 36 guestrooms has a spa bath set against a window overlooking the eucalypt-covered slopes of Mount Macedon. For something extra-special, book the Deluxe Starlight Suite, so named for the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer unparalleled views of the great outdoors and its colourful wildlife.
652 Black Forest Drive, Macedon; (03) 5426 4044
If you don’t want to drive: Hippo Tours
Hippo Tours only kicked off last September but host Kwabena Ansah has already built close relationships with the local wineries. Tours are available for groups of two to 12 and pick-up from your accommodation or one of the designated spots in Melbourne’s western suburbs can be arranged. Just don’t expect to drink and dash; these tours are about taking your time, relaxing over lunch (they often visit Mount Towrong Vineyard for an Italian feast), getting to know the producers and sharing your opinions.
Ann and John Ellis have carved a niche at Hanging Rock with their super-complex, Bollinger-style Macedon sparkling.
Drink now: The Jim Jim Sauvignon Blanc
Cellar: Macedon NV Cuvée XV
Graeme Leith relocated from the vineyard he planted at Bendigo in 1973 to Macedon in 1998, opening his cellar and dining room in 2012. A hands- on winery not to be missed.
Drink now: Passing Clouds Pinot Noir
Cellar: The Fools on the Hill Pinot Noir
Gisborne Peak Winery
Gisborne Peak has the lot: a picturesque vineyard and working winery next to cosy eco-cottages.
Drink now: Estate-grown Semillon
Cellar: Estate-grown Pinot Noir
Wine and the Country
Jen and Owen Latta run a bar and shop showcasing regional wines at nearby Daylesford.
Drink now: Silent Way Serpens semillon blend
Cellar: Joshua Cooper Doug’s Vineyard Pinot Noir
Top image: The Old Rectory