97 School Lane, Healesville, Vic
phone: (03) 5962 2890
Three cottages sit overlooking a gentle Yarra Valley panorama of vineyard, grazing country, bush and hills.
The Chocolate Cottage, so named for its decor (and not the complimentary Lindt), is tasteful and comfortable. A vaulted ceiling, french doors and lots of glass on the valley side give it a feeling of space, the bathroom is impeccable and the bench kitchen well stocked.
To one end lies the home vineyard, producing wines that have picked up awards since their first vintage in 2003, and the restaurant. It will deliver, but you'd miss out on encountering the theatrical maître d' who takes every order with a flourish.
At first glance, the relaxed air, cafe-style tables and reasonable prices suggest a casual meal is in the offing, but the food - big on local produce - is splendid. The TarraWarra Museum of Art (311-315 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville; 03 5957 3100; twma.com.au) is a short walk away, but you could easily spend a weekend at Outlook Hill without venturing out.
Cost: Pinot and Lime cottages, $520 a weekend (two nights) for two adults (extra adults, $35 each); Premium Chocolate Spa Cottage, $560 a weekend; Gallery suites (two), $580 a weekend.
Distance: 65km (1 hour's drive) east of Melbourne.
- Good Weekend