Our week in the Yarra Valley began with an hour-long drive from Melbourne airport to the town of Healesville to pick up some basic groceries (and the last two pies from the bakery) before heading to our home for the week, Gracedale.
Healesville is located 60km north-east of Melbourne, and has a population of around 10,000. It’s one of the main tourist destinations in the Yarra Valley, and as you can see, it’s a lovely place – there’s even an amazing view behind the local Coles (which is open until midnight every day – take note, Perth!)
We had a light dinner in our accommodation on the first night, followed by a good night’s sleep – three hour time difference aside – and headed to Healesville Harvest for our first Yarra Valley breakfast.
Healesville Harvest is open from 8am seven days a week for breakfast & lunch, specialising in dishes that feature local & seasonal produce.
It’s a friendly place that is popular with locals and tourists alike.
Coffee to start, of course. This wasn’t the best coffee I’ve ever had, but it was hot & wet which was the main requirement of the day. Takeaway coffee seemed to be very popular with the locals, however it’s not the only place in Healesville where you can get good coffee.
I was in the mood for something fairly simple, and went for this generous portion of scrambled eggs & “thick cut country bacon” on sourdough toast ($17). This might look plain, but it didn’t taste that way – I think there was some kind of cheese in the eggs, and the bacon was the kind that reminds you what bacon should taste like.
I was tempted to try the parmesan, gruyere & dijon toast with smoked ham, poached eggs & baby spinach ($16) although I thought it sounded a bit dry and my suspicions were confirmed when I saw another diner eating it. I also saw well-over poached eggs on a couple of plates which was disappointing.
Renay chose a ham & cheese croissant, which was soft & buttery, and filled with quality ingredients. Nothing particularly special, but certainly no disappointment.
Other breakfast choices included apricot granola with poached fruits & yoghurt ($10), blackberry & almond milk porridge with cacao buckinis, apple, organic coconut & seeds ($15) and the “Harvest super breakfast” with poached eggs, kale, sweet potato & quinoa hash, beetroot relish & hazelnut dukkah ($18)
The sandwich cabinet was being stocked as we finished breakfast, and what was there looked pretty good.
Something we saw in a few cafes during our holiday was a great selection of sweet treats at the front counter.
I couldn’t resist the massive chocolate-hazelnut meringues, and bought one to eat / inhale later.
Where was the chocolate? Baked inside, with plenty of whole hazelnuts! I haven’t had a meringue this good in a long time.
Healesville Harvest is grouped with the Healesville Hotel and “Kitchen & Butcher”, a shop that contains all sorts of gourmet goodies.
The locally made Kennedy & Wilson chocolate was excellent – but then again, at $9.30 a bar it bloody well should be…
After breakfast we went for a walk through the picturesque town centre.
There was plenty of fresh produce on offer from local merchants…
…plus some words of wisdom from a local gift shop.
We enjoyed our breakfast at Healesville Harvest – it wasn’t the best we had in the Yarra Valley although it was one of the friendliest places we visited, which no doubt explains the number of locals we saw come and go. The cake selection was quite spectacular, and I expect the sandwiches and other lunch dishes are of a similar quality.
If you’re travelling to the Yarra Valley, Healesville Harvest should definitely be on your list of places to visit. Recommended.