The Epicurean Emu Bottom Homestead

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Tell us how the Emu Bottom Homestead came about.

Emu Bottom is the oldest homestead in Victoria, and is located at the foot of the stunning Macedon Ranges, just half an hour from Melbourne’s CBD. The Story of The Epicurean Emu Bottom Homestead begins on August 30 1936 when the Schooner Enterprize sailed up Port Phillip Bay. On Board was the first party of settlers who built the huts of the banks of the Yarra from which the City of Melbourne then grew.

Among that group was George Evans, who after exploring the area, chose to settle 40kms from the city, in a picturesque valley. It was here, in 1836, that he built the handsome stone building now known as Emu Bottom Homestead.

George Evans named his homestead ‘Emu Bottom’ because he had settled in the low lying ground of the valley well frequented by large flocks of emus.

The beauty, history and significance of this heritage listed property is immediately palpable. Just being on site you can feel past and present collide. It is a truly special place our brides and grooms fall in love with it at first sight, just as we did!

 

Why did you decide to offer weddings at Emu Bottom?

The Epicurean Group select regional venues rich in history, atmosphere, authenticity and charm. Emu Bottom fit the bill on every level. The experience of driving through the old farm gates, the beauty and comforts of the original homestead, the rustic charm of the old Woolshed, the magic of stepping back in time through the doors of the historic slab hut, not to mention the majesty of the land itself; make Emu Bottom quintessentially, unmistakably Australian. The spaces we have to work with at Emu Bottom create picture-book settings in which our couples marry and celebrate.

 

How long have you been hosting weddings at Emu Bottom?

Emu Bottom Homestead has a long history as a wedding and events venue. We, The Epicurean Group, have now been hosting weddings at Emu Bottom for two years now. We have seen countless magnificent weddings take place on the property, and encourage our couples to be as creative as they may desire when maximising the potential of the property to personalise their special day.

 

What sort of services do you offer couples?

We offer couples private guided tours on site, the services of our experienced team in wedding planning, coordination and liaison, menu and beverage advice, contacts for local suppliers of all kinds from flowers to stationary to props to photography. We pride ourselves on our high standards of communication and our attention to detail and we love seeing couples coming back after they have booked their wedding with us, some having a picnic on the lawn or some bring a bottle of champagne to show around the bridal party to get excited for their special day ahead.

 

Take us through your team’s process of helping couples plan their wedding at Emu Bottom.

When an enquiry is placed with our team, the couple is then to meet on site for a private tour and inspection of the property. Our charismatic, dedicated team members Leah and Kevin know the ins and outs of all aspects of wedding planning and coordination, and are happy to answer any questions, assist with inspirations and ideas, and discuss various options for dates, numbers, spaces, menus and more.

Each wedding at Emu Bottom is completely unique, and is treated as such. Some couples prefer the atmosphere of the Homestead, others the Woolshed including the historic slab hut. Each space has a unique personality and tends to speak to our couples differently. Some brides and grooms choose to marry on the lawn in stunning outdoor ceremonies, often in the shade of the old gum tree, sometimes with a chorus of happy paddock members cheering on! Others marry by candlelight in the historic slab hut, embracing the sublime, moody appeal of this intimate space.

Once a date has been chosen and a guestimate of numbers received, the wedding is ‘locked in’ with the payment of a deposit, and the process of liaison commences. While we provide detailed, comprehensive notes on our packages for our couples’ convenience, brides and grooms may call or email anytime to discuss details with our team. Ten weeks before the wedding our wedding specialist Kate will contact the bride to touch base on all aspects of their day as it draws near. At this time any adjustments can be made and accommodated to ensure the smooth and streamlined order of events on the day. A final meeting will take place two weeks before the special day to lock in final numbers and timings of the day/night.

 

Describe the ceremony and reception locations you have on offer.

Emu Bottom offers several distinct locations on site in which couples may marry and celebrate their wedding reception. The homestead boasts a magnificent, large dining room with open fires and white-washed, exposed stone walls. Its doors open wide out onto a generous old wooden Verandah, with sweeping views over verdant lawn, endless paddocks and the Macedon Ranges in the distance. The old Woolshed is a truly rustic and historic location for couples seeking to embrace the charms and pleasures of yesteryear. Similarly, the slab hut offers a truly atmospheric space ideal for intimate ceremonies. All venues are carefully temperate controlled for comfort, making them ideal venues for weddings all year round. Each venue comes with its own outdoor ceremony space where the ceremonies will be held and pre-dinner drinks and canapés will be served while the couple is off taking photos in and around this magnificent property.

 

What are the catering options that you have available?

The Epicurean Group are famous for their ‘cucina’ style cuisine – fresh, regional, seasonal, delicious produce prepared with rustic, authentic flair. Our menus marry modern Australian inspirations with fresh, bountiful Italian influences. Sophisticated yet relaxed, colourful, generous share platters are recommended to get guests mingling and connect with the food and each other. Some of our favourite options include a slow roasted lamb oyster blade or baked barramundi as mains accompanied by rustic roasted vegetables and bread freshly baked in our own bake house. Special dietary requests from gluten and/or dairy-free options, fructose friendly, vegetarian and/or vegan are of course taken care of by our kitchen staff. We offer several packages for our couples to select from including all beverages. We receive the most wonderful feedback about our food, and we take enormous pride in both its deliciousness and presentation.

 

Do you offer accommodation options for weddings?

While Emu Bottom does not offer accommodation on site at present, the Macedon Ranges are renowned for a weekend away and there are plenty of Air BnB’s, Hotels, Motels and self-contained options situated in close proximity to the venue.

 

What type of couples are attracted to a ‘homestead’ wedding?

We love our Emu Bottom Couples. They are seeking intimate, joyous and unforgettable weddings amidst the beauty of regional Australia. They have an appreciation for history, for our land, and for the authenticity and charm that defines Emu Bottom. We find our Emu Bottom couples are down to earth brides and grooms, still wanting a truly magnificent and seamless day but hoping for a relaxing and heartfelt experience from initial inspection to wedding reception.

 

Describe the other functions you host at Emu Bottom Homestead.

Emu Bottom is such a unique venue, it is sought after for other special events including corporate gatherings, film and photo shoots, conferences, seminars, birthdays, engagement parties, christenings and more. The expansive land available makes it a wonderful outdoor cinema or al fresco ‘showroom’ for PR and marketing.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

 We look forward to each new enquiry we receive, and we cannot wait to assist you as you plan a breathtakingly beautiful wedding day.

Adriana Watson
Carly Tia

Credits

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Tomek Photography
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