"Its a story of tough beginnings and romantically rustic dreams" Gourmet Traveller

AWTS for history pageHistory 2

Co-Owner Allan Wolf-Tasker speaks about the early days ....

"When I was first introduced to the site upon which Lake House now sits, I was speechless. A horse met my wife and I at the fence and followed us as we negotiated our way through the gorse, blackberries and sparse native grass, the seven Redback-infested car wrecks and the lone, dying eucalyptus tree at the edge of the steep slope, that fell to the waters of the swamp below. My wife asked, "Is it do-able Al?", I responded, "Of course". An hour later the ex-mine site was ours; a piece of earth that had been turned completely inside-out in the search of gold. It's little wonder the site had been on the market for 10 years without an offer."

Allan Wolf Tasker

Driving into Lake House it's hard to imagine the resilience, energy and stubborn determination that was needed three decades ago, to undertake the building of a destination restaurant in rural Australia - especially on a gorse infested paddock in a down at heel and largely forgotten little town.

"Two youngsters with barely a bob between us and not being able to take no for an answer" is how Alla portrays her and husband co-owner Allan Wolf-Tasker, as they launched into their dream project that everyone told them was doomed to fail.

The successful development of Lake House and the resurrection of Daylesford, the village that the Wolf-Taskers put on the global culinary map, has been the subject of many magazine articles, documentaries and also Alla's book "Lake House - A Culinary Journey in Country Australia".

Nowadays Allan frequently entertains long term guests with a tale or two over a glass of something in his studio, surrounded by whatever canvasses he has on the go. An artist in great demand, his works hang in public and private collections all over the world. Allan also overseas development of the many new Lake House projects.

Alla remains in the thick of things, the driving force behind the house on the lake, shaping successive generations of Lake House teams with her own uncompromising ideal of hospitality and excellence in service. She still oversees the food, unwavering in her philosophy of seasonal and wherever possible - local. A mantra for many nowadays, a firm philosophy always for the kitchens at Lake House.

Over the years Lake House has prospered and reinvented itself. Scarcely a year goes by without some enhancement or change. And according to Alla "It remains always, a work in progress".