The Stables At Highbank
Kyneton is a surprisingly easy scoot up the Calder Freeway from the city, even in the Friday afternoon rush hour.
Macedon Ranges, Vic
152 Donelly Road, Kyneton
Phone: (03) 5422 2308
The Location Kyneton is a surprisingly easy scoot up the Calder Freeway from the city, even in the Friday afternoon rush hour. On first impression, the town appears unromantic, but a left turn onto beautifully preserved Piper Street reveals a goldrush past. It's also the backdrop to a burgeoning foodie scene.
The Place Owned by Tonia Todman, Australia's answer to Martha Stewart, the gorgeous bluestone stables and blacksmith's quarters have been restored with flair, and there's 160 years of history in their exposed stone walls and rugged beams. There are two bedrooms, one tucked into the old groom's attic, with views across the fields. The kitchen is well equipped and a deck hosts an outdoor setting with barbecue.
The Experience Chat to the Clydesdale that lumbers up to the fence before moving inside to explore. Cushions and throws encourage guests to snuggle up and relax and a generous basket of provisions has breakfast covered. For dinner, you can do no better than Annie Smithers' one-hatted Bistrot (03 5422 2039). There is a farmer's market on the second Saturday of each month.
Don't Miss Piper Street provides nourishment aplenty: you'll find great coffee at Little Swallow Cafe (03 5422 6241) and Turkish fare at Mr Carsisi (03 5422 3769). For a brush with nature, breathe deeply at Trentham Falls before heading to Lyonville and the Radio Springs Hotel (03 5348 5562), a live music hub. effie mann
Need to know
Cost: $125 a person a night.
Distance: 85km (1.5 hours' drive) north-west of Melbourne.