Posted: 28 Apr 2015

5 tasty reasons to check out Marysville

Vibe Hotel MarysvilleBlack Saturday looms large at Marysville, but the people who live and work in this beautiful town in foothills of Victoria’s Great Dividing Range want to be remembered for more than the devastating blaze in 2009.

They’ve rebuilt the homes and businesses. That’s old news. Now they’re fighting back the best way they know – making visitors feel welcome with genuine warmth, hospitality and tasty food.

High Street MarysvilleFive of the Best was invited to stay in Marysville for the weekend as a guest of the Vibe Hotel, a brand new accommodation and conference centre bringing a buzz back to the town’s main street (check out the pool, right). The ultra-modern accommodation, dining areas
and relaxation zones are a fabulous asset, with a design taking inspiration from the surrounding Yarra Ranges National Park and Cathedral Ranges.

But there are many more reasons to visit this part of the world, especially when the autumn leaves are falling. Marysville is perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway, just 90-minutes east of Melbourne. Jump on the Eastern Freeway to Ringwood, then follow the Maroondah Hwy to Lilydale and Healesville before winding your way along the spectacular Black Spur to Marysville. Remember to pack warm clothes. When we visited in April, it snowed on Lake Mountain – an easy 30 min drive from Marysville.

Here are my five tastiest reasons to visit Marysville.

Leigh Colville Radius Marisville1. Radius Bar & Grill

32-34 Murchison St, Marysville, 5957 7750

Marysville’s newest restaurant sources at least 85 per cent of its food from producers in a 100km radius of the venue, tucked in the new Vibe Hotel development. Executive chef Leigh Colville (Chateau Yering, The Press Club, Maha) delivers a thoughtful, generous menu, with a focus on slow-cooked meats over a wood flame. The 12-hour roasted lamb shoulder is a fantastic dish to share, as is Leigh’s marinated Ranges Valley Scotch Fillet and whole Buxton trout. The breakfast at Vibe’s cafe is also delicious – especially the house-made muesli and yoghurt.

Banofee Pie at Fraga's Cafe, Marysville2. Fraga’s Cafe

19 Murchison St, Marysville, 5963 3216

Banoffee Pie. That’s all I need to say. Of course there’s a menu chock full of fresh, tasty food at Fraga’s (all prepared on premises by Jane and James Fraga and their friendly team), but don’t leave without a slice of Banoffee Pie. It’s a ridiculously smooth banana/coffee/caramel concoction, best paired with a cup of locally-roasted fair trade coffee or a strong pot of tea. We also tried the slow-cooked pot pies – a perfect tummy warmer on a chilly day.

3. Buxton Trout & Salmon Farm

Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm2118 Maroondah Hwy, Buxton, 5774 7370

A weekend in Marysville is not complete without a 10-min drive up the road to the Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm. Catch your own fish (from $15.90/kg) and let the Buxton team do all the hard work, gutting, cleaning and packing the haul on ice for the trip home. Bring your own picnic gear and whack your fish on a farm barbecue or take your haul 500m up the road to the Buxton Hotel, where experts will cook and serve your fish with a side of chips and salad or vegies (when the kitchen’s open from noon-2pm and 6-8pm). But don’t leave the fish farm without a serve of the famous mountain ash smoked trout, hand-milked caviar and smoked trout pâté. If you go in mid-May, you might even see hand-milking caviar in action.

4. Marysville Patisserie

7 Falls Rd, Marysville, 5963 3368

Choosing a home-made treat from the patisserie’s cake cabinet is the toughest decision you’ll make in Marysville. Ashram and Christine Doos are famous for their country hospitality – and their European patisserie skills. They also cook delicious meals with a focus on local produce. Local connections are important to this couple. They rebuilt their business after losing the lot on Black Saturday, adding bed-and-breakfast accommodation to the mix.

5. Marysville Lolly Shop

8 Murchison St, Marysville, 5963 3644

This gorgeous little shop was one of the first to reopen after Black Saturday, selling all the old favourites from a shipping container for several years before reopening in a new timber chalet-style building. The welcoming space still offers huge lolly collection, but also local fresh produce and other goodies. It’s easy to while away an hour in this pretty space, made even better with such friendly staff.

While you’re there, check out….

BRUNO’S ART & SCULPTURE GARDEN

Bruno's Sculpture Garden MarysvilleBruno Torfs is an inspirational bloke, rebuilding his amazing art and sculpture garden after the whole thing was wiped out on Black Saturday. His gallery building and gardens are both surprising and beautiful. “The bushfires deeply touched us all in many ways,” Bruno says. “It allowed me to see that people had a heart for each other… that when things really got dark, the best in us comes out. We have lost a lot, but life also provides us opportunities to gain a new vision, lots of new friends and a blank canvas to play.”

STEAVENSON FALLS

3km from Marysville on Falls Rd

Steavenson FallsAfter a big rain, the 84-metre drop at Steavenson Falls are a stunning reminder of of the power of nature in this part of the Victoria. Every night, the falls are lit up with flood lighting until 11pm. It’s worth taking the easy 700m walk from the car park to see the falls in an entirely different light. There’s also a 3.4km return walk from the heart of town along the Tree Fern Gully Trail to the base of the falls.

Five of the Best was a guest of Marysville’s Vibe Hotel for accommodation, dinner and breakfast. Packages start at $159 for overnight accommodation in a Woodland Guest Room, breakfast daily for two and a bottle of Yarra Valley wine on arrival. For bookings, go here.


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