Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide

Many come to Lake House for its award-winning restaurant alone, but staying overnight take the experience to the next level.

The luxuriously appointed rooms - waterfront suites, new Lodge studios and suites, and The Retreat with its sunken tub, firepit and private bar - are in a village-like cluster. All are linked by gravel paths that meander through lush landscaping, offering glimpses of the lake, tennis court, kitchen garden and the Salus Spa with its tree-house mineral baths. It\'s tempting to hunker down in-room and enjoy the private verandas, upholstered window seats, throw rugs and piles of scatter cushions. But only if you can resist the lure of a lake walk, a picnic (hampers arranged, blankets provided), a session at the cooking school, an aperitivo on the new terrace overlooking the lake, or dinner - included in the tariff - in one of the country\'s pioneering regional restaurants. 

We love Alla Wolf-Tasker\'s regional, seasonal approach in the 32-year-old Lake House restaurant. European technique, subtle Asian Influences and the finest local ingredients team beautifully with an award-winning wine list and exemplary service.

Thoughtful extras There\'s lovely attention to detail at Lake House, whether it\'s the availability of kites, fishing rods, walking-trail maps or bags of breadcrumbs to feed the lake\'s ducks and geese. Or the breakfast-to-go menu, for travellers checking out early.

Eating in Breakfast in the Lake House\'s light-filled dining room is a highlight. It combines a buffet - loaded with everything from muesli and poached fruit, sweet pastries and bagels to excellent smoked salmon - with a menu of cooked dishes. Fresh juice, a range of fine teas, well-made coffee and sharp service are included. There\'s limited room service, from noon to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm.

Stepping out Daylesford\'s mix of galleries, cafes, wine bars, and homewares and antique stores is perfect for low-key strolling and browsing. A heftier walk up the hill to the Botanic Gardens is rewarded with rural views and a coffee, drink or lunch at the Wombat Hill House Café. Near neighbours Kyneton, Hepburn Springs, Trentham and Woodend are worth a visit.

Drink up Aperitivo is from 5.30pm to 8.30pm daily, on the terrace or inside in the plush Argyle Library Bar. Spritzes and snacks (nuts, parmesan sable biscuits) are perfect primers for dinner. The minibar is light on the snacks (biscuits only) but good on the booze, with quality spirits and mixers alongside locally made Lake House beer and wine.

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