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This month we hit the road to explore one of Melbourne's favourite weekend destinations, Daylesford. Just 90 minutes from the city and renowned as the spa capital of Australia, this gorgeous little part of the Victorian countryside is home to spectacular forests, natural mineral springs and the most picturesque historic villages.


Lake Daylesford via Lake HouseLake Daylesford via Lake House.


If it's pampering you're after, this is the place for you. There are around 100 therapies and health-related activities available within the Daylesford region.  You name it, you can book it: from a relaxing spa and massage, to acupuncture and herbal medicines.  See here for a full listing of venues & treatments available


Salus Spa located within the grounds of Lake House. Surrounded by waterfall fed streams and with nine treatment rooms Salus is the perfect space to unwind. ASPA Awards 'Best Spa Experience'Salus Spa located within the grounds of Lake House - ASPA Awards 'Best Spa Experience'.


If you're anything like us, good food and wine are an integral part of any getaway. The Daylesford area has an abundance of restaurants, wineries and country pubs that please even the most hard core Melbourne foodie (and we know they're used to the best).  Here's just a couple of options we've tried and love:

LARDER: A stay in Daylesford is not complete without breakky at Larder. Great coffee, fab food and right on the main street. Perfect way to get your day of exploring started. Location: 57A Vincent Street, Daylesford. Open 7 Days, 8am - 5pm.


The best baked beans ever at Larder!The best baked beans ever at Larder!


DU FERMIER - Technically not in Daylesford, but 15 minutes down the road in the historic village of Trentham (we could do a whole separate post on this gorgeous place!), Du Fermier is a wonderful French farmhouse style kitchen created by renowned chef Annie Smithers.  Each week, Annie creates a unique menu based on what is fresh from the garden. Book early for this little gem, it's a crowd favourite. Located at 42 High Street, Trentham. Open for Lunch Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon.

THE FARMERS ARMS - A glorious country pub facade, full of gastronomic goodness in an unpretentious setting. Enjoy a cheeky wine or two in the beer garden or in front of the fire at Daylesford's oldest pub. Located at 1 East Street, Daylesford. Open 11:30am-11pm, 7 days a week with lunch from 12-3pm and dinner orders from 5:30-9pm.


The Farmer's Arms blends country charm with a sophisticated menu & an extensive wine list. It's the perfect mix of locals and weekend visitors (image via Visit Victoria)The Farmer's Arms blends country charm with a sophisticated menu & an extensive wine list. It's the perfect mix of locals and weekend visitors (image via Visit Victoria)


LAKE HOUSE - Two Chefs Hats and Australia's Wine List of the Year. If it's a weekend of indulgence you're after, a booking at Alla Wolf Tasker's Lake House is a must.


Lake House is an absolute must for fine dining lovers Lake House is an absolute must for fine dining lovers


DAISY DINING - For something a little different, why not make the most of that bespoke accommodation you've booked for the family and have breakky, lunch or dinner brought to you? Daisy Dining is a Daylesford based private caterer specialising in small groups of 2-18 people, for private dinner parties, small events and private lunches and dinners. A warning though... following Daisy Dining on Instagram can be a curse, as every single dish causes a serious case of food envy.


There's a myriad of places to lay your hat in Daylesford and it's surrounds, from charming B&B's to stately manors. Of course, it depends on your situation and your budget, but here are our three top choices:


Staying at The White House is a must for any interior design enthusiast. Owned and styled by renowned interior designer, stylist and all round style queen Lynda Gardener. From $390 per nightA quirky, character filled country home, staying at The White House is a must for any interiors enthusiast. Owned by renowned interior designer, stylist and all round style queen Lynda Gardener. From $390 per night.



Pure luxury at it's best at The Lake House, combining stunning accommodation with a two hatted restaurant for the ultimate weekend escape. From $664 per night. Pure luxury at it's best at Lake House, combining stunning accommodation with a two hatted restaurant for the ultimate weekend escape. From $664 per night.



Bespoke 1860's miners cottage The Vintage House, by interior designer Kali Cavanagh. From $710 for two nights.Bespoke 1860's miners cottage The Vintage House, by interior designer Kali Cavanagh. From $710 for two nights.



How about a spot of vintage & antique shopping?  From cute little boutiques to sprawling markets, you are definitely not limited for choice. If it's a one stop shop you're after, give the Amazing Mill Markets a run. Choose from clothes, furniture, memorabilia, homewares, fine china, coins, jewellery and books, just to name a few.  Located at 105 Central Springs Road, Daylesford. Open 10am to 6pm, 7 days a week, every day of the year except Christmas day.

If it's a more curated selection you're after, visit Helen & Alexandra at Found in Hepburn Springs. A gorgeous little shop in the old village post office, no rummaging is necessary here, as only the best pieces (with the best back stories!) are available. Located at 108A Main Road, Hepburn Springs. Open 11am to 5pm, Thursday to Sunday.


Found - the sweetest little vintage shop in Hepburn Springs, a five minute drive from the main street of Daylesford. Found - the sweetest little vintage shop in Hepburn Springs, a five minute drive from the main street of Daylesford.


The main street of Daylesford holds a huge assortment of shops, cafes, galleries and restaurants. It's easy to lose an hour or two wandering up one side of the street and back down the other, with something for everyone dotted the entire way. We do, however, have a couple of 'must visit' shops that get a good run every visit:

MANTEAU NOIR - It's like stepping into a different world the moment you enter this gorgeous little shop. The heady scent of Cire Trudon & french parfums stacked in old apothecary shelves; vintage collectibles hidden in amongst shelves stocked full of lust worthy silk and linen garments, walls of bespoke art and cupboards crammed full of handcrafted homewares.


A collection of treasures, both old and new at Manteau Noir A collection of treasures, both old and new at Manteau Noir in the main street of Daylesford



HARRY & ME - chic country style at this gorgeous fashion and accessories boutique, carrying cult Melbourne labels Eva's Sunday & Fiorina Jewellery amongst many, many more.


Country style has never been so chic - Harry & Me, DaylesfordCountry style has never been so chic - Harry & Me, Daylesford



OK, so maybe there is more to life than just shopping. So we've heard.  If you need a few options that are not of the retail therapy kind, how about...

A WALK THROUGH WOMBAT HILL BOTANIC GARDENS - over 150 years old, the gardens sit atop an extinct volcano, with gorgeous views out over the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs area.


Wombat Hill Wombat Hill


LOSE THE KIDS - at the Maze House. Set them loose in the 25 year old hedge maze and enjoy a quiet cuppa for as long as it takes them to re-emerge, plus play a few carnival games afterwards in the garden. Open weekends and school holidays. Located at 3155 Midland Hwy Newlyn North (12 km from Daylesford).

THE CONVENT GALLERY - Described as ‘the most beautiful gallery in Australia’, the Convent Gallery shows a diverse range of local, national and international artists. Check here for upcoming exhibitions. With more than eight exhibition spaces, the gallery has something for everyone, along with a bar, cafe, shops and accommodation.


The stunning Convent complex as shot by @dandelion_daylesford Nestled on the crest of Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens, over-looking Daylesford, boasting expansive views of the countryside and township belowThe Convent (pic by @dandelion_daylesford) is nestled into the side of Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens, overlooking Daylesford, with beautiful views of the countryside and township below


Clearly, we've only just scratched the surface of this amazing destination. After several visits, we're still discovering something new each time. Let us know if you have anything to add, or that we should put on our list for our next trip to Daylesford?

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