Australian Traveller

Guide to Daylesford & Surrounds

Excerpt from Australian Traveller - Out & About Daylesford.

Why Come Here?
Church spires, smoking chimneys, gabled roofs, intricate flower beds...the region of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs is often referred to as a slice of Europe in rural Victoria, and its easy to see why.....

What\'s it Known For?
The brochures aren\'t lying - this is Australia\'s spa country. There\'s also a thriving local food culture and it\'s these two factors, along with the area\'s picturesque charm, that draws Victorians here in search of an escape from civilisation. A civilised escape, that is.

What To Do
The Daylesford and Hepburn Springs region isn\'t really the kind of place where you come to \'do\'; it\'s more the sort of spot where you come to be. Stress-heads fear not; there is a surprising amount to keep you occupied here - just don\'t say we didn\'t warn you when, after a couple of days, you realise you\'ve seen and done nothing that you meant to....and don\'t care.

Salus Spa at Lake House, a light, white, traditional spa set amongst various David Bromley paintings with Stringybark treetops out the window. We had the Salus Bliss signature body treatment, but we\'d only recommend it if you\'ve got time for a nap afterwards, as you\'ll be blissfully wobbly.

Where to Stay
Brand queens and cashed up kings will feel most comfortable at The Lake House, a member of the Luxury Lodges of Australia. Set on the lake amidst stringybark gums, it\'s not trashy or flashy but rather an easy laidback country-style bolthole, where everything has been thought of before you\'ve lifted a finger. The in-suite styling is lovely - think art, bookshelves and comfy throw rugs.....

Where to Eat
It\'s hard to have a bad meal here - even the less pretty (shall we say) eateries have beautiful offerings, thanks to a highly involved community and the local food initiative, Daylesford Macedon Produce (DMP). DMP is a collaboration between all kinds of members including restauranteurs, publicans, vignerons, fromageres, chefs, provodores, suppliers and growers. Not bad.
If you\'re planning to eat your way around town, the obvious place to start is The Lake House restaurant. This mainstay of Australian regional dining has earned every award in the fine food book, and deservedly so - founder Alla Wolf-Tasker (something of a patron saint for the area\'s food culture) and her team have been serving up brag -worthy food here for three decades. The menu is seasonal, but if \'mushi\' is on the menu, don\'t miss it. This dish of classic Japanese custard with miso broth is served with herbs, shallots, edible flowers, tempura onion rings and shiitake mushrooms grown on eucalyptus logs in the Otway ranges (of course) and makes for a show-stopping symphony of flavours.

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