Widely credited as a pioneer of regional destination dining in Australia, Alla Wolf-Tasker is a passionate advocate for Victoria’s Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region and the incredible producers who call it home. Her pursuit of excellence at Lake House has led it to be acclaimed as one of the country’s premier restaurants, with a strong focus on championing local seasonal cuisine.
Naturally, Alla knows the region inside out and has been kind enough to provide us with the ultimate insider’s guide of how to get the most out of a visit. Foodies look no further – this is the road trip read you need.
Putting together a picnic or a sumptuous feast is easy here. There’s at least one farmer’s market operating somewhere in the region each weekend. The Daylesford Sunday Market at the old Railway station has the likes of Brooklands Free Range Farm; beautiful vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers from Adsum Farm House; Mt Franklin Organics and our own Dairy Flat Farm. The latter and Two Fold Bake House also provide sour dough loaves, baguettes and delicious Viennoiserie. Goldfields cheeses offer an excellent range. And Istra (traditional European style small goods) just a few kilometres down the road will help top up that picnic basket. Go the back way and you’ll pass The Fermentary for absolutely outstanding Kimchi and Krauts.
Fancy a beverage or two? While you’re on the outskirts of town picking up that local salami, Copacollo or proper two-year aged prosciutto at Istra, consider driving on a couple of kilometres, turning right and stopping off at Passing Clouds Cellar Door for a bottle of great cool-climate red to finish off your purchases.
Or, turn left and head to the Daylesford Cidery for a paddle-tasting of ten sensational ciders. You might also be tempted to stay for a wood-fired pizza for lunch. Drive on through Musk to the pretty village of Trentham where more beautiful bread is to be had from the magnificent Century old Scotch oven at John Reid’s Red Beard Bakery.
Yearning for the country welcome of an open fire and a good front bar? Head direct for The Cosmopolitan. In fact, we’re spoilt for choice with good pubs here. The Farmer’s Arms, the Daylesford Hotel and the historic Swiss Mountain Inn in Blampied, are favourites in our family. And while you’re in the vicinity of the latter, drive on to Captain’s Creek Organics, just a few clicks down the road – for a bite or just some beautiful wine. That’s how it is here – one thing leads to another. And you will have only just begun to scratch the surface.
Did I say it was special…?
By Alla Wolf-Tasker AM – Culinary Director Lake House and Dairy Flat Farm, Daylesford
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