The former Isabella's Restaurant within Rochford Winery has undergone a renovation and a change of name. The kitchen of the new Rochford Restaurant is now helmed by Head Chef Raki Andriana, who is no stranger to winery restaurants having done his apprenticeship at De Bortoli Winery. Returning to his roots in the Yarra Valley, he is combining French style techniques and Italian and Middle Eastern influences to create a new menu, working with the wine experts at Rochford to match dishes with their award-winning wines. The central, open kitchen...

A changing of the seasons often means a changing of the menu. Ciaran Butler, the executive chef at Rochford Wine's Isabella's restaurant, puts together a menu that utilises local Yarra Valley produce and I was invited to try the new Autumn menu. It turned out to be a beautiful time of year to visit the area, with all the vineyards and trees displaying their Autumn foliage. Tables in the spacious dining area looked out into the vast landscape of the surrounding area. Mains ranged from roasted chicken and suckling...

Coombe: The Melba Estate is the former residence of Dame Nellie Melba, consisting of seven acres of beautiful gardens and buildings and first purchased in 1909. Madame Melba (born Helen Porter Mitchell) was the first Australian opera singer to gain international recognition. For $25, visitors can embark on a guided tour around the gardens followed by morning or afternoon tea. All proceeds go towards maintenance of the estate. Our tour was led by Daniel Johnson, the manager of Coombe Cottage. Well-maintained cypress hedges enclose terraced lawns,...