Thursday, November 10, 2011


So how come nobody has ever told me about Daylesford? The beautiful spa town. The foodie haven. The best kept secret in rural Victoria. Just a ninety minute drive from Melbourne, Daylesford was a complete revelation. There are few places in the whole of Australia that offer more pampering or better food.  A big thank you to Tourism Victoria for introducing me to such a great find and for organising our fantastic trip.

After a very hectic couple of weeks of travelling to New York and Melbourne for the races, I was very happy to have a relaxing few days with my husband, Nick and our son, Billy, in what can only be described as absolute heaven.

First dinner was at our cottage, Lakeleigh, which as the name suggests, overlooks the lovely lake. It’s a real picture postcard residence, with a lovely warm glow.  Our chef, who came courtesy of Tourism Victoria, was Christian Reuther of Ego Cakes and Catering.  He’s one of Victoria’s top chefs, and has just opened up a terrific café in Daylesford with the snappy name of Culinaria. His slow-roasted pork was to die for.


Daylesford became a foodie haven after the chef Alla Wolf- Tasker opened up The Lake House in the mid-eighties.  It put the town on the global culinary map. Dinner in the two-hatted restaurant overlooking the lake is an absolute must.

The Lake House

The Wolf-Tasker’s latest venture, the Wombat Hill café in the beautiful Wombat Hill botanic gardens, is another treat. They call it their ‘house in the gardens.’ The décor is beautiful and so is the food. Alla’s daughter, Larissa, has done an exquisite job.
Make sure to try the local spring water, as well.

Lunch at Lavandula, a beautiful Swiss Italian farm surrounded by stunning lavender fields, as the name suggests, is another must-do.  It is also a great place for kids.

No trip to Daylesford is complete without a spa treatment.  I was lucky enough to squeeze in two, in between my busy schedule of meals and more meals.  Both of the main spa retreats in town have been recently renovated, and are both very stylish. At Peppers I got an amazing relaxing and revitalising mud wrap.
 At Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, I got a fantastic massage and minerals spa.
On our last night we had dinner at Kazuki’s, a fabulous new restaurant in the old Raglan hotel. It was set up by chef Kazuki Tsuya, who used to work at the Lake House, and is a Japanese inspired modern bistro. The night we were there it was full of chefs, which is always a good sign.  Nick and I both agreed it was the best meal we’ve had this year, worth travelling to Daylesford, alone.

Peppers Mineral Spa

So for a weekend break or a longer holiday, Daylesford is one of the most restful and relaxing locations I have come across in Australia, only risk is that you might come back a couple of kilos heavier.

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