Saturday in Daylesford

Our little holiday is properly over now and we’re back into the swing of regular life. I didn’t think a week was very long but actually it is a decent amount of time to be away from home and living somewhere else. Sometime I’d like to try longer to see how we adjust, being such homebodies.

I’ve gathered together just a few photos and stories to show. This series is all from the Saturday which was my favourite day. Daylesford was at its autumnal best. Clear and bright, not overly hot and we indulged in a nearly three hour lunch at the town’s signature restaurant, the Lake House. We ate there six years ago, remembered it as a true high point and so scheduled that for our holiday indulgence. At three hours and nearly $200 each, it was about as indulgent a lunch as you can get.

We walked into town from our cottage, and settled in for an eight course degustation lunch that will remain unbeaten for some time, I’m sure. Each delicious, tiny course seemed more amazing than the last. They really were miniature courses. The details were spectacular. The tiniest mint leaves adorned the speck of jelly in our dessert.

Miniature dessert

It’s a Raspberry and white chocolate parfait and I adored the detail!

Over the course of three hours, you can imagine that even with all that good food and wine, even I’d have been twitchy to knit. We decided that no matter how fancy a place is they could cope with a bit of surreptitious sock knitting.

Proof. Note the text on the glass, although the glass does obscure the sock a little. But it’s there. Don’t my hands look mid-stitch?

Knitting at the Lake House

The dessert course we took out onto the deck, dining under dappled sunlight, the lake just a few short steps away. The light falling on the dessert wine and sugar bowl made me happy.

wine and sugar bowl

After lunch, as is now our custom (if doing something twice can be called a custom!) we walked around Lake Daylesford in the late afternoon sunlight. Locals and holidaymakers were out in full force and there was a great sense of life and activity all around. Although not in this photo.

Lake Daylesford

I had an Enid Blyton moment when we stumbled up on a few fairy tale mushrooms! Alas they weren’t in a fairy ring, but to find them at all was thrilling!

Fairytale mushroom

Sean filled me in on the pretty things, telling me they are the poisonous Amanita Muscaria or Fly Agaric and that they are also used for hallucinogenic purposes. I thought they were only found in the Northern Hemisphere but apparently they were introduced here with pine trees and are now considered locals. Poisonous they might be, but oh so pretty!

What a day. The walk really did help. I think we walked around the lake for an hour then walked all the way back to the cottage and I’m sure that had an impact on how well we were able to recover from such a rich and indulgent meal, wine with every course.

We loved our visit to Daylesford and there were many, many things we loved (including the natural springs I’ll save for another post) but I think one of the reasons we’ll continue to go back there is the lunches at The Lake House. Amazing service, which was both posh and friendly all at once in perfect balance, and delicate, exquisite food that left a vivid impression. If, two weeks after a meal, you can still remember elements of the various courses, they’ve done their job well.



21 thoughts on “Saturday in Daylesford

  1. I remember being mesmerised by toadstools like that where we lived in South Gippsland as a kid. They are beautiful to look at.

  2. Daylesford’s a really lovely place, isn’t it? The mushroom is cool, but I’m sad to hear you didn’t see any gnomes or fairies hanging out around it.

  3. The lunch sounds delicious and Daylesford looks like a really nice place. I can’t believe that the mushroom is real & I have never seen one like that.

  4. Oh, yum! Sounds like a great way to spend a vacation day – and you set the scene so well, I felt like I was there. LOVE that little mushroom, too – way too cool. I didn’t know they REALLY looked like that – I thought it was just in fairy tales!

  5. I agree with Sarah — your day and your incredibly evocative pictures do make it seem like a fairytale trip. Personally, I think you should frame your toadstool picture at actual size and keep it on a sunny table so you can “discover” it again and again. I absolutely love it. 🙂

  6. We have fly agarics here under our pines, but in Michigan we mostly see the yellow-capped Amanita muscaria var. formosa. (My DH and I used to belong to a local mycological club, so I still have a lot of these things stuffed in my head.)

  7. Oh it is picture perfect isn’t it?? Oh your dessert is so beautiful and presented in such a careful and detailed way. Degustation is the way to go!!

  8. It seems you had a wonderful afternoon eating all that wonderful food! Your photos look lovely. I have seen those little red toadstools/mushrooms too and they do look very pretty. We found some in the pine forest at Ballan once whilst fishing there.

  9. That’s a real mushroom? I’ve only ever seen brown/white ones. It’s so pretty and looks unreal.

    The meal sounds heavenly. I’d pay for a really memorable meal, too. There are only a few meals in my life that so stood out that I remember them well.

  10. Mmmmm, degustation menu is usually always a great choice!! Looks fantastic. Next time you want a fancy meal we’ll have to go to Berowra Waters Inn – very similar. Just fantastic. Definitely worth it.

  11. i love daylesford, and you’ve got me itching to get back there! so beautiful near the lake – did you get to the second-hand bookshop near there? glad you enjoyed the lakehouse – that sort of expense is worth it when the experience is so uncommonly good.

  12. I have been waiting for some daylesford stories and this is a fantastic start. A good degustation is hard to beat, and I’m glad it wasn’t so posh you couldn’t knit! Or take photos! And I’m amazed by that mushroom, I had no idea they really existed. Its great to see you making new traditions, and look forward to more from daylesford soon.

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