Dinner The Stables at Stones and Staycation The Farmhouse at Meletos
Dinner at The Stables at Stones followed by accomodation at The Farmhouse at Meletos is the perfect premium Yarra Valley staycation. The Stables at Stones restaurant has been gaining acclaim with its degustation dinner menus; fine technique, bold flavours, with seasonal and local produce to the fore. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to experience the Stables degustation followed by a night in The Farmhouse at Meletos (exceptional Tuscan style luxury accomodation), capped off with a regional produce breakfast in the adjoining Meletos cafe.
Luxury accomodation in the Yarra valley at The Farmhouse by Meletos.
This was a staycation of note. We were super impressed with both the quality and the value of The Farmhouse packages for a premium Yarra Valley getaway. You don't even need to leave the property (although if you're there long enough you may want to do a wine tour). For us it was a romantic staycation and we felt we uncovered a Yarra Valley gem.
Arriving at reception at The Farmhouse we were struck by its rustic charm and finery; taking in the decor and sweeping views out to rolling hills. Within a short time we were starting to unwind from the city hustle and bustle; soaking in the best of the Yarra Valley. The views from your luxury accomodation are extraordinary and the rooms are well appointed with excellent luxury ensuites, wifi, and complimentary regional breakfast at Meletos. There's an intimacy with 22 boutique guest rooms and a Tuscan suite in the two story building.
Time for dinner and it's just a short stroll from the accomodation across the property to The Stables at Stones. The converted stables (once 19th century original stablehand quarters) are a highlight with high ceilings, attractive brick walls and eye catching decor pieces including flower arrangements. The phrase "little touches" comes to mind during our whole stay from the dinner experience to the accomodation.
Rustic charm meets modern dining.
Premium experience in the Yarra Valley.
Cocktail game is strong.
Service at The Stables at Stones is top notch with staff well trained and knowledgeable and passionate about the produce of the Yarra Valley. A feature of Stables is the local produce sourced from Timbarra Farm, some of which is exclusive supply, run by organic farmers Chris and Helen Brock. Produce includes pastured chickens (we enjoyed this extraordinary produce during our degustation), foraged mushrooms (we also heard about mushrooms cultivated out of a shipping container), seasonal vegetables and fruit and much more. Timbarra Farm are now the exclusive supplier of vegetables for The Stables at Stones kitchen. You will also find Chris and Helen at the Healesville Organic Farmers Market.
Amuse bouche; the little touches.
Jersey Tartare was the perfect start to our journey with a Central Otago Rose, and featured sustainable practices in using the whole cow.
The philosophy at Stables is about elevating local and seasonal produce and operating with sustainability. And promoting local heroes. They work with up and coming local winemakers. The long tables and sense of space are a feature (as opposed to some city venues where diners are crammed). A welcome cocktail on arrival revealed that the cocktail game here is strong. You can elect for the 5 course or 7 course degustation and we were blessed to experience the 7 courses with matching wines.
Mullet, Tomato, Basil hit the high notes with a memorable tomato consomme.
For a degustation this was top notch dining. The degustation was balanced across the dishes with seafood, chicken as well as highlighting vegetables and celebrating seasonal and sustainable local produce. Kudos to chef Nic Badehouse for his technique, bold flavours as well as superb presentation. The restaurant here needs to be premium in line with the accomodation and everything else, and it certainly delivers. In terms of a Yarra Valley dining experience we rate The Stables at Stones as "up there" on the culinary landscape. After dinner its a pleasure to simply stroll to your accomodation nearby.
Elevating the beetroot in this Beetroot Panisse. Excellent technique, bold taste and textures in a deconstructed presentation.
Bread served mid degustation was refreshing, along with local butter.
A highlight was the OraKing Salmon (a sustainable fish), Keiser, White Onion served with 2018 The Wanderer, Chardonnay, Upper Yarra Valley. We loved the crispy skin and flavour of the fish with excellent local vegetables to complement.
A dish of note was the Timbarra Chicken, Shiitake, Gribiche served with 2018 Rising, Gamay, Christmas Hills. The chicken itself is a flavoursome revelation and the accompaniments brought excellent taste and texture; the creamy and the crunch (crispy skin).
Nic Badehouse on fire in the kitchen and his presentation skills are sensational.
Desserts were stunning notably Chocolate, Hazelnut, Honeycomb was one of the best desserts we've had for a long time. The Apricot, Blackberry, Yoghurt was also a wonderful seasonal dessert.
The regional produce breakfast was another highlight of our stay. With perfect Melbourne weather, we took in once again the extraordinary views inside Meletos.
The breakfast selection included fresh fruit and we both chose the eggs with sides (Sam went for the poached eggs while I enjoyed creamy scrambled eggs). Without consulting with each other Sam chose 3 sides of spinach, salmon and cherry tomatoes while I chose the other 3 sides available of chorizo, dry cured bacon and mushrooms. We certainly compliment each other. Coffee here is excellent. The regional breakfast lived up to its name and was first class and a great way to cap off our visit.
We have always been fans of Meletos as it's a place where you can "build your own" experience and enjoy the best of local produce. You can experience all of this in a package and The Farmhouse packages with degustation at The Stables at Stones with breakfast are great value. Highly recommended.