Gourmet Traveller

Alla Wolf-Tasker of Lake House shares her local knowledge.

I feel immensely privileged to live and work in Daylesford. We have the best of both urban and rural lifestyles - a mere 80 minutes from Melbourne, close enough for a theatre fix, but also surrounded by hundreds of hectares of lush rolling farmland and beautiful forest. The area is breathtakingly beautiful - lakes, watercourses, hills, pretty villages and distinctly felt seasons. If you\'re a dedicated cook or gardener, the rhythm of the seasons is palpable and splendidly manifested in our surroundings and beautiful local produce.
There are magnificent distant vistas and far horizons, beautiful sunsets and still, starry nights. Here, the Milky Way is really something to behold.
My house is five minutes from Lake House. In the mornings I\'ll often spot a pair of wallabies grazing below, but I can walk down the hill and a few minutes later be in our bustling village full of interesting shops and cafes.
The region attracts an interesting and diverse community of residents. If you\'re involved in design, media or the arts it\'s an easy place to run a business, thanks to online connectivity and easy access to Melbourne. There are a lot of tree-changers here, especially designers, writers and artists wanting some tranquillity, but not wanting to entirely give up the stimulation of the nearby city.
There are also many tree-changers among our suppliers - people fulfilling an ambition to raise organic poultry, make beautiful cheeses and olive oils or grow organic fruit and vegetables. There are many heirloom and \"lost\" varieties grown here and at least 30 kinds of potatoes.
Biodynamics, organics and generally best practise in animal husbandry and produce growing are pretty much the norm. We have a burgeoning industry in rare breed farming including ethically raised Wessex Saddleback and Black pigs, Shropshire and Dorper lambs, and British White and Belted Galloway cattle.
It\'s also a great area for some serious foraging. I\'ve been doing it since I was a young child at my mother\'s knee. There are plenty of wild herbs, elderflowers and berries, self-seeded fruit trees, wild mushrooms in spring and autumn, and quite a few indigenous edible plants.
And of course the region is home to plenty of \"characters\". A decent touch of eccentricity and creativity enlivens and enriches our community.
Alla Wolf-Tasker AM. Executive Chef Lake House.

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