Yarra Glen Grand Hotel

13406857_10154885871848835_2259403765297766612_nDriving through Yarra Glen it is hard to miss the King of the town – The Yarra Glen Grand Hotel.  Sitting high above the skyline this National Trust listed building catches the eye when scanning the main street. A sense of pride washes over you as you sigh with relief to see some of Melbourne’s history preserved.  It is encouraging to see that this little town has decided to embrace the past and not hide it with modern development and architecture. 

Walking into the Yarra Glen Grand Hotel you can feel the history instantly.  You are greeted with the smallest reception desk I have ever seen.  If you turn to the right you will see a setting of great character (the lounge).  It may feel like you have stepped onto a movie set ready to shoot a scene from 1888.  Wallpaper adorns every wall and every room a different colour.  The rich texture of days past is evident in every room you enter.  With every foot step you will hear the past and every breath the scent of days gone by.  This is an experience you will feel with all 5 senses.

There is no denying this is a pub.  You will see all the hallmarks of a longstanding watering hole: The TAB, the sticky bar and the few members that have their favourite stool ready and waiting for them to warm on a regular basis.  However, as with most pubs in Melbourne, there is so much more to this establishment.  The family bistro is child friendly and the perfect place to find generous and hearty meals.  With a little play pen for the toddlers and plenty of activity sheets and pencils for the older children, it is definitely a place to take the entire family.  You will also be pleasantly surprised that there is a playground out in the beer garden – with very clear instructions on supervision!

On the day of my visit my little munchkin decided it was time to try out those vocal cords God has given him and practice his screaming.  I was a little (OK, a lot) embarrassed and stressed out.  You see I am a mother that thinks a lot about those around me and tends to get a bit wound up if my children’s behaviour may be impacting the experience of other guests.  So stressing out about the high pitched background music provided by my 1 ½ year old, I was pleasantly surprised by the attention and encouragement from the staff and management of the Bistro.  They were attentive and brought toys over for Munchkin to play with as well as some kind words for Mum.  If however, it is not your desire to dine with children there is also a ‘no children’ room located just before the main area of the bistro. As with every room it is full of character and also has a working fireplace.  This was an exciting discovery for me, as it provides a space for those who are not noise tolerant (although located next to the stage) and would like a quiet lunch without a screaming Munchkin interrupting it – everyone wins!!

This is an establishment that covers all bases. For those who enjoy a live set or two, weekends are full of live bands.  Depending on weather and attendance you will find them inside or out under the covered beer deck providing entertainment for the punters all year round. With private function rooms, a bistro, a bar, TAB, a beer garden and accommodation it really does provide something for everyone. 



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