Did I even really go away if I didn’t share a spending diary with you!? Obviously not.

Last weekend my boyfriend and I had a night away in the Yarra Valley, as we’d been invited back to a restaurant we’d been to around New Year. We had a pretty bad experience there and the manager offered us a complimentary meal to apologise. Never one to turn down free food (duh), back we went. We decided to make another weekend of it, too, so we booked a night at the Yarra Valley Lodge

Here’s what we spent:

Day 1:

We left Melbourne about 11.30am and stopped at Chemist Warehouse on the way down as I needed some more vitamins and hand sanitiser (ahem Coronavirus). Here I spent $47.50.

Back in the car we went and our first stop was Helen and Joey’s Estate winery. We did a wine tasting which is usually $5 per person, but as we purchased wines to take home, the fee was waived.

We bought a bottle of their Pinot Gris for $25, a bottle of the dessert wine for $25, a glass of wine to have there, and a cheese plate. The view was amazing, so we sat out in the sun and indulged in wine and cheese overlooking the vineyard. Our total spend here incl. the take home wines was $94.

Our next stop was Dominique Portet, which was one of my favourite wineries everrrrrr. I did a tasting here, but Mr TBG was driving so he just stood by and watched me sniff and guzzle the wines like a faux pro. I had an other glass here of their rosé, Mr TBG had a soft drink, and we had YES another cheese plate. No shame. Total spend here was $66 – but then I went back to the bathroom and on my way out ended up buying a mini bottle of a rosé + ale hybrid they’d created. I was curious, so I parted with my $18 and got one. I’m yet to try it, but you bet I’ll be sharing my thoughts on IG stories when I do!

Then we went to the hotel to check in. The room was $319 and that included breakfast. Score.

Since our full dinner was comped by management after our experience last time, we didn’t spend anything else that day – except a $10 minibar charge as I insisted on having a glass of prosecco while I watched YouTube in the bath. 

Day 2:

We started the day with the included breakfast, which was actually one of the best hotel breakfasts I’ve ever had. I’m usually not a fan of buffets, except in a breakfast setting, because I feel like quality places actually do them really well. 

The one mistake I made here was that last time we came, barista coffee was included. So I guzzled down 2 almond cappuccinos on the trot, and Mr TBG had a latte – but on checkout we were charged $14 for them. OOPS. Since we’d got our dinner for free, we weren’t fussed.

After we’d checked out, we headed to Coldstream Brewery to sample some beers, as we were all wined out after yesterday. We spent $80 here on two tasting paddles, a beer each, and a 6 pack of our two favourites to take home. Safe to say our alcohol shelf is replenished!

Then we went over to Gateway Estate to pick some fresh strawberries. It’s free to pick and you just pay for what you take. We got a fairly decent sized punnet which cost us $7.50.

A quick stop at Woolworths on the way home to get some $2 cream to have with the strawberries, and we were done for spending. 

Total spend: $658

I guess it might seem excessive for one night away, but bear in mind a fair chunk of that was accommodation, and wines/beers to take home. I said on Instagram recently that one thing I really value is buying nice wines direct from the wineries, so when I go I tend to buy a few and keep them in our cupboard until a special occasion.