Kyneton, located on the banks of the Campaspe River in the Macedon Ranges, still reflects the wealth of former gold rush days with grand blue stone buildings and quaint shop fronts.
Almost in the shadows of Hanging Rock, it is close to some outstanding cool climate wineries including Cobaw Ridge, Granite Hills and Curly Flat.
Newly renovated, the iconic red brick and weatherboard three-bedroom house with two bathrooms, oozes charm from the 1930s. It has star position on historic Piper Street that is home to eclectic cafes and boutique shopping.
The slick makeover has retained the metal ceilings, leadlight windows and polished timber floors and added a modern kitchen, free standing bath, en suite, quality furnishings with thoughtful touches such as Molten Brown toiletries, fresh flowers and magazines. There’s a laundry and a mud room for kicking off your boots.
The master bedroom has a queen-size bed and en suite, while the second bedroom with an Oriental theme, has a king bed that converts to twin beds and the third bedroom has a queen sized bed. The lounge features a leather couch, comfy arm chairs, dining room table and chairs and the well equipped kitchen comes with a dishwasher, full stove and microwave.
Snuggle on the leather couch or upholstered armchairs fireside and read or watch telly. Indulge in a bubble bath in the freestanding bath then sink into the comfy bed with fine linen after a glass of bubbles or wine on the veranda that’s perfect for watching the passing parade.
Kyneton is a gourmet wonderland with many eateries given the nod in respected food guides.
Arriving late we pre- order dinner via the Piper Street Food Co (piperfoodco.com) where Damian Sandercock – formerly of Kyneton’s Pizza Verde fame – now specialises in charcuterie with terrines, rillettes, pates, pies and sausage.
We dine on tasty pate and terrine, followed by duck and celeriac pie along with a bottle of Williams Crossing Pinot Noir that we picked up at Banks Fine Wine (134 Mollison Street) that has a great wine selection.
For breakfast we head across the street to Little Swallow Cafe (58A Piper Street) for breakfast trifle with layers of muesli, fruit and yoghurt and indulgent Eggs Florentine. The cafe is known for its great coffee as well as lunches.
Next door its sibling, Midnight Starling, opens as a cosy wine bar on weekends.
Other stand outs includeAnnie Smothers Bistort (72 Piper Street) where new owner and chef Tim Foster formerly of the Healesville Hotel is making his mark and the award-winning Mr Carissa – with its Middle Eastern inspired all day menus ( 37c Piper Street).
Worth stepping out for
Temptations are rife as soon as you close the front door and take a stroll down Piper Street with its cobbled footpaths and gas lamps that were once powered by crushed eucalyptus leaves.
You will find everything from embroidered linen to tractors, ice-creams and even gravestones.
An exotic rug fan, I head for The Persian Room (54 Piper Street) where there’s a great collection of oriental rugs that spans three centuries. Owner Margaret Jasper has many tales to tell about her purchases in Iran.
Another interesting find is Rendell and Rendell (29 Piper Street) where Glen Rendell makes Windsor chairs and other furniture- his shop morphs into a bar on Friday nights.
Book lovers will enjoy the Long Story Short – (58 Piper Street)
where Matt Sagely specialises in rare and popular books and vintage vinyl records – weekends only.
For a step back in time head to the Kyneton Museum (67 Piper Street) housed in the beautiful bluestone Bank of NSW that was built in 1856.
Pick up a brochure from the Kyneton Visitor Information Centre for a self-guided walk and visit the Botanic Gardens with National Trust-classified trees surviving from the 1870s.
The gardens are also an ideal starting point for the Campaspe River Walk that winds its way along the river to the Kyneton Racecourse or Piper Street.
Cosy haven that pays tribute to the 1930s with all the trimmings.
How to get there
Kyneton is 85 kilometres north-west of Melbourne or one hour’s drive from the city, just off the Calder Highway.
Piper & Powlett, 63 Piper Street,Kyneton, accommodates up to six guests.
Two night minimum stay- weekends – 1-bedroom $560, 2-bedroom $720 and 3- bedrooms $850.
Weekdays – 1- bedroom $460, 2- bedroom $620 and 3- bedroom $750 – includes breakfast provisions. Phone 0409 157 857. See piperandpowlett.com.au
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