Things have changed in town since the days when we set off on adventures to the golf course to make cubbies in the treed areas and then pooled our money to buy a plate of nachos on the High Street. Now the historic Piper Street is the hub of the town on weekends, attracting foodies as proprietors and customers alike. There are no charcoal chicken shops in sight along the cobbled footpaths of this charming strip nor are there any multinational corporations or franchises screaming for your attention with expensive graphics and neon. The historic surrounds provide a more relaxed environment to showcase slow living and some of the finer things in life, mostly top-notch food with homewares, antiques and nurseries thrown in to pass time between courses.
Kyneton is located 87km north west of Melbourne, just off the Calder Highway. We pass the exit quite often when driving up and down the Calder, yet it's taken until the long weekend just gone to make the tiny detour off the highway and into the town (well, we did stop in late last year but we ended up eating an uninspiring pie at one of the only places open due to the local cup day). It's so easy to neglect a town once a bypass goes in, leading to a slow death of a community in some cases. Kyneton has survived and if you look at Piper Street, you could say that the town is stronger than ever.
Pizza Verde was the obvious choice for lunch and the cheery triangle flags strung between the verandah posts greeted us and set the muted green colour theme from the street.
We deliberately chose to leave at this point and have coffee at another venue to extend the experience. Inner Biscuit, an organic patisserie and cafe had caught the eye earlier with its quirky blackboard display with rolling pins and teapots bursting with succulents.
I would recommend a trip to Piper Street to all who enjoy good food and a dose of fresh country air, and I give a tick of approval to both Pizza Verde and Inner Biscuit. It would seem remiss though to leave out my one disappointment with both venues, that being the demeanour of staff. I expected cheery folk pleased to welcome customers as they enjoy a booming trade in an otherwise sleepy town. Instead I found both staff that served us to be aloof and disinterested as though we had interrupted their weekend siesta. You would be forgiven for thinking that they were wishing they were working on High Street, Armadale instead. No country welcome here but I'll be back for the food and the lovely streetscape.