Tatler - Travel Guide

Lake House in Tatler\'s 101 Best Hotels in the World

For 30 years the celebrated Lake House, and hour and a half inland from Melbourne, has never missed a trick. A rambling country queen, it has always been the place to stay and eat in this lovely region of Victoria, rich in mineral spas and organic food. Now it has a fit young cohort called the Retreat – a hideaway a short walk from the main building.

Open a stout metal gate, swing up a set of steps onto a white veranda that overlooks, through silver birches, the lake and throw open the double doors to revel a world of hushed comfort. Separateness has never been so delicious. The owners, he an artist and she a renowned chef of Russian decent, have created a wonderful spot: wander along narrow corridors and around unseen corners to reveal gorgeous bathrooms, plushly decorated bedrooms, dressing rooms and endless delightful flings like a chandelier of white doves and pieces of art full of movement and colour. Grab that book on Sophia Loren and sit in a small sun-drenched courtyard or under alpaca throws nears fires on huge sofas made for snoozing, until the quite tremendous restaurant – a sea of white linen – is open for smoked eel wrapped in pancetta followed by spiced roast duck breast with figs and honey. Some wake early and ask for a bag of bread then stroll down to the lake – the geese here are of a completely crazy variety.

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