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Signature Series: Coombe Yarra Valley's Peach Melba

Signature Series

The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges offer a huge range of award-winning wines and cocktails, quality multicultural dishes, restaurants and cafes showcasing local produce and culinary talent, creating the food we love to eat.

If you’re dining in our region, take the time to discover these incredible signature dishes and the unique stories behind what makes them some of the best bites and bevs.

Located in Coldstream, Coombe Yarra Valley is the home of Australia’s (arguably) most famous opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba. Known for her refined sense of style, her beautiful seven-acre garden home is today open to the public as a gallery space, providore and restaurant.

Visitors arrive here to enjoy a guided historical tour of the grounds and a high tea or dining experience, and a must-try dish at Coombe is their delicious Peach Melba.

The Signature Dish

The Peach Melba

What could be considered the world’s most famous dessert, the Peach Melba, was created in 1893 by Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel in London. Nellie Melba lived at the Savoy during the London opera season and regularly enjoyed Escoffier’s cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant.

Melba expressed her appreciation by giving the French chef tickets to the Covent Garden opera. Escoffier returned the favour with a special dessert. The dish combined poached peaches in vanilla syrup with a puree of strawberries laid on vanilla ice cream. The dessert immediately became one of the singer’s favourites. By the time it appeared on menus as Peach Melba, Escoffier had substituted the strawberries for raspberries, and the Peach Melba was born.

She returned to Australia regularly after she built Coombe Cottage in 1912 and was active in teaching singing at the Melbourne Conservatorium.

Today, this beautifully refreshing dessert is on the menu as a guest favourite and for a good reason. It’s just as stunning to look at as it is to devour. And while you’re visiting the home of Melba, there is no better place to enjoy it.

The restaurant is located within the restored motor house and historic clock tower. It is led by executive chef Neil Cunningham, with an inspiring selection of seasonal and predominantly estate-grown produce. Their estate-grown boutique wines have been awarded for their quality and pair beautifully with the menu.

You can enjoy a tasting of the full range of wines at the cellar door. Also located onsite, the providore stocks a range of Melba memorabilia and gourmet goods, including a Peach Melba Jam to enjoy after your dining experience at Coombe.

Want to discover more incredible signature dishes and the unique stories behind them?

See The Signature Series