House & Garden
Eat, Stay, Love - House & Garden
My idea of the perfect break is staying a country house so well decorated that my heart sings when i step inside. I imagine a place set n lush gardens with pretty walkways and water views. Top it all off with delicious food and fine wine and my wish list is complete.
I discover all of these things in one place, at the restaurant and boutique hotel, Lake House. Id always wanted to visit owner and executive chef Alla Wolf Taskers restaurant and im charmed when my sister and i arrive to find the property features a mix of birch, pine and gum trees that lead down to a dreamy spring fed lake. We are greeted by Alla and husbands Allan\'s daughter Larissa, who tells us about her parents commitment to the region since they opened the Lake House in 1984. In the early 90\'s, Alla helped launch Daylesford Macedon produce, a network of local growers and suppliers. Five farms now supply her kitchen with organic and bio-dynamic produce. Alla is the patron of the Daylesford primary school garden project and they run regular fundraisers to further this cause.
The latest addition to the Lake House estate in The Retreat, a beautiful home with its own private entrance and gardens. Its a fully self contained 2 bedroom country house for people who want privacy. With a verandah overlooking the lake, sun drenched courtyards and a heated out door tub, its paradise. The interior designed by Co Co Republic is a masterclass on how to achieve the modern country look.
As part of the stay, a butler serves up pre-dinner drinks and canapes \'at home\' before we head to the restaurant for dinner. Here Allan\'s joyous art fills the walls, setting the scene for the celebration of the seasonal menu. Its a pleasure knowing that much of the food cooked is from \'our\' garden as well as regionally produced. The highlight is the entree \' A plate of summer harvest\' - a fragrant, hickory-smoked tomato broth with zucchini blossom, madeleine, goats curd and tomato relish. Local produce shines again in the main courses with dishes of trout, lamb and figs and a truffled pecorino tart. Lake House is renowned for its 10,000 bottle cellar and the sommelier recommends a 2008 Curly Flat Pinot Noir from Macedon Ranges. Fruits and berries from the garden contribute to the dessert. We indulge in a fromage frais mousse, blueberry sorbet, served with a bouquet of summer fruits and a tarragon honey gelee.
When we depart, Larissa loads us up with jars of Alla\'s jams and jellies so friends can share in the pleasures of our stay - the Wolf-Taksers are generous with their bounty to the very end.
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