The couple behind the award-winning Lake House in Daylesford is about to put a small Victorian town you’ve likely never heard of on the travel map.
The Wolf-Tasker family is synonymous with Daylesford; for more than 35 years a stay at their Lake House guesthouse and a meal at its innovative restaurant have been the must-not-miss experiences of any visit to the charming Victorian spa town. Now, with the opening this month of Dairy Flat Lodge and Farm in the tiny hamlet of Musk, the family’s hospitality empire is expanding. Seven kilometres from central Daylesford, the 15-hectacre working farm supplies Lake House with fresh produce and will include a luxury lodge available for exclusive bookings with six ensuite rooms for up to 14 guests, serviced by two live-in concierges. If the vegetable garden, orchard, vineyard, beehives and olive grove don’t give you enough of a sense of rustic escape, the smell of freshly baked sourdough baguettes and croissants pulled each morning from the ovens of Bake House, the property’s onsite artisan bakery, should do the trick. While you’re there, here are some ideas for exploring the region.
Tiny Pancho Cafe in Daylesford is the spot for a cosy brunch of free-range eggs or apple and buckwheat fritters. They also sell local ceramics and gifts. For fine dining, country-style, Sault in nearby Sailors Falls is housed inside a sandstone manor and serves three- to seven-course meals crafted from local produce and the bounty of its own garden.
Musk’s Passing Clouds winery has been creating elegant cool-climate wines since 1974 and its cellar door is open daily for tastings. Specialty wine shop and bar Wine and the Country in Daylesford stocks about 500 local and international wines and pours a rotating selection by the glass. They’ll even organise food delivery from nearby restaurants to enjoy with your chosen drop.
Perched high on a hillside, the circa 1860s Convent Gallery in Daylesford is an extraordinary building in its own right – browsing its rotating exhibitions from Australian and international artists is an ideal way to spend an afternoon. Also in town, Bowen & Kenneth is the place to pick up homewares, from luxe bath products to local handmade Pride Furniture and leather cushions.