Melly Beilby’s wonderful country kitchen!  The framed painting on the wall is a personal favourite possession of Melly’s – it’s by David Larwill.  All photos – Sean Fennessy, styling – Lucy Feagins.

Kitchen details and lots of home-grown fruit and veg! All photos – Sean Fennessy, styling – Lucy Feagins.

From garden to table – home grown cucumbers and zucchinis! All photos – Sean Fennessy, styling – Lucy Feagins.

AMAZING fig, beetroot and pistachio salad for lunch!  Thankyou Melly! All photos – Sean Fennessy, styling – Lucy Feagins.

In continuing with our food and wine inspired content this week, today I’m super excited to introduce the Kyneton home of one of Melbourne’s much-loved foodies – Melly Beilby!

Melly is a veteran of Melbourne’s culinary community – she’s the proprietor and matriarch of fabulous Melbourne cafes Spoonful and Teaspoon in High st, Prahran East, and sweet Sardine in Armadale!  (She also co-owns Hut 13, right next to Sardine).  Melly’s cafes and catering are immensely popular and much respected by locals for their fresh, seasonal  flavours – she always has the best of the best when it comes to robust, colourful salads and delicious savoury tarts and pies.  SO SO Good.

It was an absolute pleasure to pay Melly a little visit recently at her rambling country home just outside of Kyneton, in Victoria’s spa region. After a relatively recent tree-change (Melly and husband Peter have been here only two years) Melly has taken to country life like a duck to water!   No surprise of course, given she and Peter now have space for a gaggle of healthy chickens, plus Oona the dog, and the most impressive vegie garden you’ve ever laid eyes on!  It is truly amazing, bursting with shiny produce – and so neat and tidy!

In addition to the amazing garden, Melly says she loves the solitude here and the sense of space, as well as the bird life – despite their affection for her fruit trees!  Of course another major drawcard for Melly and Peter was the fantastic produce in this area and the foodie culture in and around Kyneton. ‘On Saturday night we arrive home late and always stop off at Annie Smithers for a simple meal with a really good glass of wine – it almost feels like home as the staff are so welcoming & the food delicious.  It is a very food oriented area – lots of good eating to be done here.  The Lancefield farmers market is wonderful – real farmers with real food’ – says Melly.

Another favourite local business for Melly is Prunella - a gorgeous little shop in Kyneton for flowers and other bits and pieces.  Melly often uses Prunella for flowers for her catering jobs in Melbourne.  (Actually I spotted such retail / gallery / junk shop goodness in Kyneton whilst passing through, I really must go back and do a proper shopping guide for this region very soon!).

A final word of thanks to Melly and Peter for their incredible hospitality during our visit.  Not surprisingly, Melly has an effortlessly impressive culinary repertoire and fed Sean and I SO MUCH during our visit. We started with tea and homemade scones around 11.00am, followed by lunch (Syrian chicken with apricots, plus 3 amazing salads using home grown veg!) AND we each left with a hunk of delectable soft spongecake for afternoon tea! What a woman.

If this post has made you a little peckish, do pop in soon for a dose of Beilby hospitality at Spoonful, Teaspoon or Sardine… you won’t be disappointed!

Melly’s kitchen!  Painting by David Larwill. All photos – Sean Fennessy, styling – Lucy Feagins.

Sunroom looking out to vegie patch beyond

Sweet details in the sunroom – check out those pumpkins!

Entrance hall – table piled high with mostly food-related books!

Entrance hall details – foodie books on the table, crazy 70′s woollen wall hanging.

Details from the spare bedroom (love that crazy colourful Mexican blanket).  Chair-back cushion from Hut 13.

Loungeroom details.  Love that bold printed cushion, and all Melly’s beautiful colourful rugs.

Bedroom with views across the property.  Soft sculpture I think by Mirka Mora (this one not entirely fact-checked… I could be wrong…!)

Formal dining room – set out for what looks like Christmas lunch!  Thanks Melly!

A few of Melly’s most treasured possessions – her Peter Cole sculptures (right).  Peter is an incredible sculpture also based in Kyneton… we were very lucky to meet him during out visit!

Another corner of the amazing gardens, looking out to the tomato patch.

Garden details!  Melly loves her chatterbox chooks!  Also, home grown tomatoes overflowing on the table, perfect green vegies and lettuce, and marigolds to keep the pests away.

Now that’s a vegie patch.  With NETTING.  Serious stuff.

The winding driveway which leads to Melly’s home