Good in Beds - An Ato Z of luxe Australian sleepovers
The Lake House
4 King Street, Daylesford, Victoria. (03) 5348 3329. lakehouse.com.au
Being led up the garden path is a good thing at Lake House, the landmark restaurant and luxury hotel in Daylesford, the Victorian spa go minutes\' drive from Melbourne. The buddleia- and rose-scented trail running past the hotel\'s elegant waterfront suites leads to Lake House\'s secluded Retreat. An elevated weather board cottage with views over 2.5ha of rambling gardens, The Retreat contains two villas. Each has its attractions; the spa villa\'s private courtyard encloses a daybed and sunken hot tub beneath the birches; the loft villa\'s conservatory style living area has direct access to the lake and a private gazebo that is perfect for daydreaming. Common to both are stylish but relaxed interiors featuring works by ceramicist Bern Emmerich s and local glass artist Don Wreford, and plush, textured finishes in leather, timber and marble. The decor is eclectic. Whimsical side tables with animal feet and a chandelier of moulded birds bring nature indoors and chime well with The Retreat\'s woodland inspired interiors of cut-log side tables and lamp stands shaped like tree limbs. Fireplaces, honor bars and a well-thumbed library encourage house guests to idle away the hours until their butler arrives in the evening to prepare cocktails and grazing platters. The energetic can plot excursions to cellar doors, antique stores and farm gates, or immerse themselves in the vibrant spa culture of the district. Equally, guests can stay put beside Lake Dayles ford and while away the hours with tennis, billiards and bocce- and a nice glass of Burgundy from the 10,000- bottle cellar. Pilgrimages to sample Alia Wolf-Tasker\'s superb regional cuisine at the celebrated Lake House restaurant, and to the mineral springs sanctuary of the split-level spa, are mandatory.
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