One of our favourite things to do when we first started coming to Daylesford was to drive. We would go on long, scenic drives around all of the old gold rush towns. We have been collecting antiques and curios for many many years, so stopping into small antique shops and markets was always a must.
Ballarat, Maldon, Glenlyon, Newlyn, Clunes and Creswick, just to name a few of the places we would stop in, or drive through. The landscape, during the winter months is always luscious and green. With old blue stone churches, stone walls and rugged, falling down miners cottages, it is picturesque.
There are signs of the original gold miners everywhere, particularly in the beautiful old cottages that are dotted around the area. Gold prospectors still come to the area, in hopes of finding treasure. Now that we have our little store, we don’t have the opportunity to drive around, and visit all these historical places.
Our love for our little ‘shack’ and garden in Daylesford has changed our habits. We would wine and dine to our heart's content when we first started coming to the area. Now we couldn’t think of anything better than lighting the fire, and snuggling into the oversized Victorian chairs in front of it.
The Village by day -
Whether you're here for the day, or the weekend, Hepburn Springs Village has so much to offer. From the scenic drives we've been harping on about, to some retail therapy and long lunches.
The area is famous for the mineral springs, so obviously having a soak in the Bathhouse is a must do! The Bathhouse, is a short walk up Main Road. There is a lovely old track, that goes past the springs and back up to Main road. If you're looking for a quick bite to eat The General Store will offer you beautiful hand made cakes and savoury food made from the best produce. Or if you're wanting a long leisurely lunch, try out Frank and Connie's. A beautiful menu of winter warmers and you can't go past their desserts, homemade sorbets, and other sweets inspired by Caliopi's grandmother. Frank and Connie's is the perfect spot to sit in the window and watch the world go by.
Across the road, Portal 108 is the go to destination for your winter wardrobe, with scarves, and knits to snuggle up in, and stop the bite of the winter air.
And course, we have to mention ourselves!
At Found. we are constantly hunting and gathering, so no two days are the same in store. If you're on the look out for a unique piece for home, or a gift for someone special, Found is a great place to start. The store is filled with one-off pieces for the kitchen, garden and the home. We have many beautiful winter textures coming into store from now, goats and cow hides, and eiderdowns for the end of the bed, just to name a couple.
Things to watch out for… More hides, and soft luxurious textures.
The Village does appear to be sleepy in the evening, if you're wanting to settle in and enjoy the food and wine of the region without leaving your accommodation. Our recommendation is to stop into The General Store to purchase some wine from the region, and order yourself in a home cooked meal from Daisy Dining. Miss Daisy creates beautiful meals, and drops them to your door, she takes requests, but we would suggest letting her work her own magic.
If you feel like braving the weather and stepping out, you can't go past dinner and a drink at The Surly Goat. Sit by the fire on one of their bar stools, and be taken care of by an industry expert, owner Simon. (Ask for a G&T with a dash of Campari, Delicious!).
Venturing further from The Village?
Our favourite spot outside of The Village for a cocktail and light meal is Belvedere Social in Daylesford.
Belvedere has a wonderful selection of wines, but if you want something a little stronger, go for a cocktail. Most of their ingredients are made or mixed in house. Think homemade rose water, cherry sangria, or a G&T mixed with the famous Natasha Morgan locally made cordials.
And last but not least, if the weather permits, make sure you go for a walk through Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens, there is a gorgeous café, and conservatory along with a lovely view at the top!
We hope you enjoy your next visit to the area!