This grand Victorian house, 8km (5 miles) from the city center, is worth a visit to get a feel for old-money Melbourne. Socialite Sir Frederick Thomas Sargood built Rippon Lea House between 1868 and 1903; a pool and ballroom were added in the 1930s. Though the Romanesque architecture is interesting (note the stained glass and polychrome brickwork), the downside is that entry to the house is by guided tour only. (I prefer to wander at my own pace.) The real attraction is the 5.3 hectares (13 acres) of landscaped gardens, which include a conservatory, lake, and lookout tower. The tearoom is open on weekends, public holidays, and during school vacations, from 11am to 4pm. Allow 2 hours.