You can take the girl from the mountain,  but you can’t take the mountain from the girl. I grew up amongst the swaying ghost gums and muddy rushing creeks of the Dandenong Ranges, each afternoon walking my dogs up hill and down dale (no, really) and letting my imagination run free (there were lots of Faraway Tree and Magic Wishing Chair fantasies amongst the ferns). It was a singularly unique childhood, and one I’m blessed to have experienced – that sense of space, of wonder in nature and of freedom to be as eccentric as one liked.

Although I left ‘the mountain’ (as locals call it) when I was 19, its imprint on me is permanent. I prefer the city with its multitude of cultural offerings and opportunities for caffeination and chance meetings – but the mountain will always hold a special place in my psyche. Today Mother Ruby Assembly celebrated her birthday, and we journeyed up the mountain once again to sup on camp treats with Yiayia Ruby Assembly and Papa Ruby Assembly. Unfortunately the mountain hasn’t moved past the culinary annalls of twee, unlike Daylesford and the Yarra Valley. Twee can be good though – I’m a fan of campness (Eurovision is one of my favorite happenings of the year) – and camp it up we did at Miss Marple’s in Sassafras.

What to pick from the menu? Shepherd’s Pie? Welsh Rarebit? Fish n’ chips?

Miss Marple’s isn’t fine dining, but odd charm it has in buckets. It hasn’t seemed to have changed at all since my childhood visits with Mother Ruby Assembly – polished coppers and all.

Birthday Girl

If you like melted cheese (literally and figueratively) then you will also enjoy the journey to Miss Marple’s. I know that Papa Ruby Assembly and I did!

Accessories are go! Miss Marple’s cabbage rose tablecloth enhanced by Dinosaur Designs resin pieces (left) and Zabe Jewellery Swarovski pendant (right). I really love the faceted ‘flint’ quality to this gem – a mix of unassuming yet utterly glamorous. Zabe are a new Australian made and owned brand who have an AMAZING neon collection of bowerbird-worthy pieces. Click here for more details on Zabe.

Wearing Country Road tunic dress, Dolce & Gabbana glasses, Dinosaur Design resin pieces and Zabe pendant.

Yiayia Ruby Assembly looking dashing – look at her mad accessorizing skills with matching pearls and velvet scarf.

Rubi Shoes Ziggy Stardust boots. You need solid boots when returning back to a place you once called home.