Music at the Yarra Glen Grand Hotel

February 27, 2011

The Yarra Glen Grand Hotel

One of the great things in the Australian countryside is the many occasions live music can be enjoyed. From blues to country and western to blue grass and hilly billy as well as jazz and rock, all music styles are on offer.

The last Sunday before my departure I had the chance to listen to Broderick Smith, an icon figure in Australian music and well known for his involvement with the Dingoes, a country rock band from the 1970s. He played together with a guitar player in the Yarra Glen Grand Hotel.

The music was great and I had to buy a CD from Broderick. The atmosphere in the pub was good too. Friends drifted in an out. I missed Australia already before I even left it behind. I love these Sunday afternoons with live music at the pub.

Broderick Smith and his mate

A Sunday in April: Music at the Yarra Glen Hotel

April 28, 2010

The Yarra Glen Hotel

Sunday live music is one of the highlights in the Yarra Valley. We used the opportunity twice listening to music at the Yarra Glen Hotel. On April 11, it was the Detonators who entertained us.

The Detonators at the Yarra Glen Hotel

It’s something for young and old, and Sunday afternoon is just the right time. I just love it. Needless to say that you can taste local wines from the Yarra Valley.

Sunday live music at the Yarra Glen Hotel

April 14, 2010

Live music schedule at the Yarra Glen Hotel

We just love live music. Many places in the Australian countryside offer such occasions. The Yarra Glen Hotel is one of them. This time it was the Leslie Avril Band which stepped in because the Chorlie Owen Band could not make it. When we arrived they played a country piece which did not go well with us. But we were rewarded for our patience. The Leslie Avril Band could also play blues, rock and many other music styles. I loved the violinist, she was just great. It was a very pleasant Sunday afternoon.

The Leslie Avril Band

The Leslie Avril Band in jazz mood

In the glasses

PS: I needed to cleanse my palate and drank beer.

Sunday at the Yarra Glen Hotel

November 6, 2009

One of the great things to do on a weekend in the Yarra Valley is to attend one of the many life music events. I especially love the music on a Sunday afternoon at the Yarra Glen Grand Hotel. First of all the food is quite good and second the venue is very suitable for the occasion provided there is not too much wind rattling the tent in which the bands perform.

Moreover, the Yarra Glen Grand Hotel is a beautiful historic building, a landmark in Yarra Glen, with it’s tower which is visible from many parts of the valley, it really stands out.

We had lunch and eagerly awaited the Bob Starkie Band which was to play in the afternoon. Bob Starkie is well known in Melbourne. He used to be one of the members of the legendary Skyhooks in the 1970s, a cult band in Melbourne. One of their top hits was “Women in Uniform”.

But first came the food.



The food was hearty and very tasty, as the two pictures above show. The wines we had with it were excellent examples of the local wine culture.

We had a bottle of ‘2006 Mandala Chardonnay’ from the Yarra Valley and a bottle of ‘2005 Dal Zotto Barbera’ from Whitefield in the King Valley, a neighboring wine region with very good cool climate wines.

Both wines were excellent and very enjoyable. The 2003 vintage of the Dal Zotto Barbera was given 90 points. The Dal Zotto family with a proud Italian heritage is well known for their quality wines. Their Italian varietal wines made from Barbera, Arneis and Sangiovese grapes have won high acclaim. Also their prosecco is commendable. The high altitude of the King Valley and its cool climate seems to be very suitable for those Italian varietals.

Owned by the Smedly family, Mandala Wines is located just a few kilometers up the highway, north of Yarra Glen. The cellar door and restaurant (open for lunch Thursday to Sunday and dinner on Saturday evenings) used to be “Henkel Vineyard” but has been redone completely. I love the design of the label, a huge mandala, which changes colour on the website, and expresses the philosophy of the owner on life and wine-making.


Mandala Chardonnay


Dal Zotto Barbera

And then the music started. The Bob Starkie Band promised exciting entertainment. They did not disappoint playing many of the classical Skyhooks songs. It did not take long and the dance floor was crowded with rural folks moving and shaking. There is nothing better then a dance on a Sunday afternoon. It also makes sure that one is clear headed on a Monday morning. We had great fun. I can only highly recommend it to the accidental traveler. If in the Yarra Valley look out for live music events



Bob Starkie

Yarra Valley GRAND Hotel
Bell Street, Yarra Glen, VIC. 3775
Tel.: 03-9730 1230
int: +61 3 9730 2434
fax: 03 9730 2434

1568 Melba Highway Dixons Creek Yarra Valley Victoria 3775
Tel. +61 3 5965 2016
Fax: +61 3 5965 2589

Dal Zotto Wines
Main Rd, Whitfield,
King Valley, Vic 3733 Australia
Tel.: +61-3-57 298 321
Fax +61-3 57 298 490