[kyneton soundtrack. marinade].
There are so many awesome little weekend getaways out of Melbourne, and the historic town of Kyneton in Victoria's Macedon Ranges is just one of them. Located 85km north-west of Melbourne, Kyneton is an easy hour (ish) drive from the centre of Melbourne, or an even easier train ride. If you are really organised, take your bikes on the train (catch the Bendigo Line) from Spencer Street station - because once in Kyneton, you will be able to bike almost everywhere, and its the perfect way to get around.
Like its neighbors (Castlemaine, Trentham, Daylesford and even Bendigo), Kyneton is a hub for good living - with access to fresh and seasonal produce, local farmers markets, great coffee, impressive dining options, and an inspiring art scene. These small towns seem to attract a whole host of makers, creators and innovators, and the vibe here is friendly and welcoming. You will love wandering along its pretty streets, surrounded by impressive 19th century bluestone architecture.
We recently had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Kyneton - courtesy of the wonderful team at the Flop House. Genevieve and the Flop House crew look after a number of beautiful vacation rentals in and around Kyneton, and their HQ can be found tucked away at the top of some stairs off the main street in a gorgeous interiors store.
I had had my eye on the Flop House’s Harpsichord Housefor some time (it was the Scandi-inspired design that got me!), but given the house was already booked over the weekend I was going to be there, Genevieve instead recommended the brand new and luxe River Houseinstead. We were in for a serious treat.
The River House is Flop House’s latest venture and offers a new level of luxury for the Macedon Ranges. Opening in April 2016, we were one of the River House's first set of guests and were lucky enough to spend a weekend relaxing in this modern home situated on 2 acres of bushland, with private river access. The house, located in the little town of Lauriston, is just five minutes from Kyneton, and twenty minutes from Daylesford.
With a large infinity pool, tennis court, fishing rods, bikes, picnic baskets, wood-fired pizza oven, and an awe-inspiring veggie garden, it's the perfect place for a group getaway. There were only four of us this time, but the house can accommodate up to six. To make guest’s feel grounded Flop House provide their signature summer breakfast hamper with locally made preserves, Grist sourdough, bircher muesli, yoghurt and poached fruits. A heartier breakfast of locally produced, McIvor free-range bacon and Hand to Ground eggs can also be arranged. Not only that, a complimentary bottle of local sparkling was waiting for us on arrival.
It was tempting not to leave the house all weekend, but when we did, we managed to find a few wonderful little things in town we can happily recommend for your next weekend away in Kyneton.
Coffee and breakfast from Little Swallow Cafe.
Lunch (or to grab supplies for your picnic) from Monsieur Pierre food store (coffee by Allpress).
Pre-dinner drink at Midnight Starling.
Dinner (or lunch) at Source - an incredible local and seasonal menu (the beef fillet was a stand-out).
Dinner at La Bonta (for something a little more formal).
A pub meal at the New Keynote Hotel (formerly the Newmarket) - bar at the front, restaurant out the back.
Or a drink and pub meal at the historic Royal George Hotel.
Grab a bottle of wine from Banks Fine Wine in Mollison Street.
kabinett: our favourite shop of all. A perfect mix of vintage pieces, taxidermy, art, Indian textiles and ceramics. This store is made for foraging.
mulch: new to kyneton, this little store is home to locally made ceramics, letterpress stationary, homewares and fashion. You can also find an awesome selection of Aesop products as well.
stockroom: an impressive and unique space that is part real (showcasing local artists and makers), and part gallery space as well.
upstairs with grandfathers axe and flop house: home to the flop house HQ and an impressive range of antiques and interiors as well.
lauriston press: home to sarah gabriel’s original drawings, prints and art supplies.
rundell & rundell chairmakers: for lovers of handmade chairs and other furniture classices, as well as handmade leather bags.
Ride bikes (Flop House can recommend some great biking trails).
Wander along historic Piper Street - checking out all the stores mentioned above.
Check out the Farmers Market (2nd Saturday of the month from 8am-1pm).
Picnic in the Kyneton Botanical Gardens.
Wander or bike along the Campaspe River trail.
Visit the Black-Hill Reserve - for a lovely nature experience (you are almost guaranteed to see kangaroos, and the giant granite rocks make for a spectacular picnic location).
Visit the Flop House’s communal vegetable plot that is part of a new initiative by A Plot in Common (contact Flop House to arrange a visit).
Take side trips to:
daylesford (guide to follow)
castlemaine (guide to follow)
trentham (guide to follow) - but don't miss coffee and breakfast at our favourite, The Trentham Collective.