Our weekend in Olinda started and ended with the b&b we found on Stayz.com.au, The Folly Farm Cottage for two. The property is on 10 acres of pure natural bliss including gardens, a blueberry farm, alpacas, a chicken coup and a shepherd’s hut for being amongst it all.
The cottage itself is the loveliest though. Everything is perfectly set up to ‘set the mood’. So much so that you don’t want to set your bags down anywhere. We walked in to the fire/heater already on, the four poster bed looking as comfortable as ever, small chocolate treats strategically placed around the room and Nora Jones blasting on the old school stereo.
I can’t tell you how exciting it is so see breakfast-for-two already laid out for the morning (bakers delight bread included) and the corner spa with two swanky champagne glasses next to it. That’s when you make the mental note to actually go out and buy some champagne.
Our hosts only added to the experience. Rob and Belinda were just the nicest people; they greeted us, helped us with our things, introduced us to Flame, Heidi and Gizbo (all Alpacas) and most importantly, helped us with food recommendations. It was quite simple really, they said. Avoid anywhere for dinner except the Pig and Whistle.
We listened and what a pay off! As far as pubs go, it was really the best we could have asked for. Especially since they had my all time favorite beer, Old Speckled Hen, on tap. Off their Christmas in July menu I had the pork belly in entree size and Jack had ‘the best chicken parma I’ve had, and I mean ever’. The dessert, which doubled as a birthday cake, was a banana, honeycomb, and Nutella bread and butter pudding with caramel fudge and ice cream. Tell me that doesn’t get you drooling all over your uniqlo down vest.
On Sunday we did the Sherbrooke trail walk and unknowingly ended up at the Burnham Beeches. Oh, you know, just the location of Shannon Bennet’s new and very exciting project. No, it’s okay if you don’t know. We had no idea. But we couldn’t very well pass up an opportunity to try the Piggery Cafe so we got coffees, shared lobster rolls and chips, and made a promise to return.
Oh, and they have emus. The ridiculously short hour drive from Melbourne to the Dandenong Ranges is well worth the trip.
Pig and Whistle
1429 Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd, Olinda VIC 3788, Australia
Book a table: 3 9751 2366
The Piggery Cafe
1 Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke VIC 3789
No booking or reservations. Get there early!