Qantas Magazine

The Victorian village of Daylesford is famous for its spas - But there\'s no shortage of quality eating and drinking.

Having Dead Skin removed with a horsehair brush may not sound like penance, but the treatment at the Hepburn Bath House and Spa is anything but. The application of warm clay and massage make sure of that. The real punishment comes with the suggestions of eschewing alcohol to consolidate the work.

In Victoria\'s Daylesford - Hepburn Springs region, that\'s a big ask when trying to fit in as much as possible on a weekend break, and a Degustation Dinner with Matching Wines at Lake House is on the itinerary. Food and wine are as essential to a stay here as the spa treatments. The Mineral Springs discovered in 1836 by Captain John. S. Hepburn, Made the area famous (around 80% of the nautrally occurring mineral spring water in Australia is located here). However, These days its not just the Spa\'s and the Springs that attract the crowds.

Award winning restaurants, art galleries and tree-change views are all on the agenda. And while there aren\'t any wineries in the Daylesford Hepburn Springs area, the Hanging Rock / Macedon Ranges Vineyards are just a 30 minute drive away. At just over an hour\'s drive from Melbourne, its obvious why Daylesford (www.vistdaylesford.com) has been a favorite weekend destination for Victorians for more than a century.

EAT - Lake House

Executive chef Alla Wolf Tasker pioneered the Daylesford foodie movement when she opened her award winning restaurant in 1894. Today it is one of the best restaurants in the Country (Winning 2 chefs hats in the Age Good Food Guide and country wine list of the year in 2010 at the Australian wine list of the year awards.)

The seasonal menu, which could include a pork trio (brined loin, crisped rolled belly. trotter croquette) finished with a light smoke, and a braise of savory cabbage and peas, is sourced from regional suppliers and there\'s a dynamic 10,000 bottle wine list to take the gastronomic experience to another level. With 180 degree views of the sparkling lake as a backdrop, its easy to settle in for an entire day or night.


STAY - Lake House

The 2.4ha property on the shores of Lake Daylesford in one of Australia\'s top boutique hotels. The high end country house hotel encompasses 33 beautifully appointed rooms, most of which overlook the lake and the flock of geese that waddle over to be feed by owner Alla Wolf Tasker each day. Artist Allan Wolf Takser studio is opposite the upmarket Spa (Salus Spa, which has 10 treatment rooms, including 2 tree-houses) and he\'s happy for guests to drop in to see his paintings, which also adorn the walls of the restaurant. A new, 2 bedroom, self contained country house, The Retreat, will open after Christmas. 


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