Daylesford is my absolute favourite country town. Located 115 kilometres North West of Melbourne, it has everything I look for in a weekend escape destination. Quality food, a town nicely situated on a hill overlooking a lake, walking tracks, a sophisticated, yet relaxed atmosphere and proliferation of mineral spas for when you feel like a good soak. Freshly back from my umpteenth trip, I give you a list of the best Daylesford has to offer.
Food & drinks: Sakana (formerly Kazuki’s), The Farmers Arms, Pancho, Larder & L1, Cliffy’s Emporium, Wombat Hill Cafe, Boathouse, Liena’s Kitchen, Daylesford Chargrilled Chicken, Galley Diner, Daylesford Health & Organics, Himalaya Bakery & Cafe and Sweet Decadence at Locantro.
Best spas: Mineral Spa at Peppers or the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa.
Walks: take a stroll around the lake and up the steep hill to the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens or book one of the Secret Forest Walks, a GPS tour of the surrounding forest. There is so much nature to see all around Daylesford from the magnificent deciduous trees to the beautiful rosellas and black cockatoos.
Shopping: Manteau Noir, Bokeh, Harry & Me, Paradise Bookshop, Sister George Productions, Brick Lane Bazaar, Artedeco, DA Apothecary, French Brocante, Upstairs at Alpha, Creswick Natural Fibres and eCasa.
Live music: The Spa Bar in Daylesford or The Radio Springs Hotel in nearby Lyonville with live music Thursday to Sunday.
Sunday markets and vintage train ride or visit the model railway on Vincent Street North.
Accommodation: DayGet, a local accommodation booking service, manage most of the better accommodation options in Daylesford. Recommendations include Stag & Millie’s, Lake Daylesford Apartments and Montacute Pavilions.
You can read about the history of the Daylesford area here.