Our three night package at the Lake House in Daylesford included breakfast each morning, an eight course degustation on new years’ eve and a three course dinner on one other night.
We chose to have the three course dinner on our first night, as this meant we wouldn’t be dining in the restaurant two nights in a row.
The restaurant is located down the stairs after you enter the reception area.
We were seated in the middle of the room, between the fireplace and the bread table.
The amuse bouche was olive crackers with a garlic mayonnaise.
These were awesome and I could have had a bowl full. So much better than prawn crackers!
For entree J had the Mt Mercer pig croustillant, octopus, morcilla, chorizo dressing, white bean.
I had the charcuterie, which consisted of duck parfait, rillettes, and crisp tongue, and pig trotter, black pudding and pancetta. It was all served with apple, elderberry and walnts.
I was a little concerned before I ordered this as I had had the charcuterie when we dined at Lake House for lunch the previous winter. That plate had been quite large and I didn’t want anything that big this time.
I need not have worried, this dish was the perfect size. It was a lot of meat, but with the different textures and flavours it was very easy to eat. Everything on it was amazing, icluding the black pudding. This was my first time trying black pudding and I really liked it. It wasn’t as strong in flavour as I expected it to be.
For main course J had the seared duck with carrot, fig, grain, shoots, elderflowers.
I had the summer lamb nicoise (loin, shoulder, tongue, sweetbreads).
The shoulder was some of the best lamb I have ever eaten and I loved the little salad in the middle.
As I write up a heap of blog posts I am really noticing how much animal sweetbreads/organs/offal I have eaten in the last few months. And I have liked most of it! Is it just that I am ordering more dishes that have it when I would not have done this in the past? Or is it becoming more prevalent? I think it is a bit of both. I am braver in my food choices, and chefs are more willing to use all parts of the animals, whether it be for ethical, cost or other reasons.
A bowl of salad leaves was also brought out with the mains, which was appreciated.
It can be interesting when you overhear other diner’s request, and the woman next to us was quite adamant about what style of white wine she liked. She told the waiter, then the sommelier, roughly 20 characteristics that she liked in a wine, some of which contradicted each other. She also wanted a smokey wine. Huh? Not something you normally see in a wine, unless the fruit was affected by bush fire, and then you probably wouldn’t want to drink it anyway. What I found even more amusing was the guy at the table on the other side of this lady’s table leant over with his glass and told her she could have a taste of what he and his wife were drinking. I have no idea what she ended up ordering but the staff did a great job listening to her needs.
Before our desserts we were offered a palate clenser of vanilla pannacotta with a raspberry sauce on top.
Everyone around us seemed to be enjoying this small morsel but both J and I thought the pannacotta tasted sour or curdled.
For his dessert, J chose the peanut butter parfait, black sesame ice cream and tuile, caramel banana.
This dessert sounded good on paper, but I didn’t think the flavours worked well together on the plate.
I had the cherry ripe, which was a chocolate and cherry flavour combination.
A very good dish but J found it too sweet, though he does say that might be because he tried it after having his own dessert, which wasn’t on the sweet side.
An after dinner treat of vanilla marshmallow and caramel popcorn was served.
J loved the popcorn and depsite saying he was full, polished it all off.
Breakfast is served between 8 and 10 each morning, and the first morning we were seated on one end of the bench seats.
You can help yourself to toast, pastries, yoghurt and fruit from one table. While the one behind it holds bain maries with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and hot tomato.
A selection of teas and juices are also ready for pouring. Coffee is served by the wait staff. Each morning a different juice mocktail is also offered. I think when we were there it was apple and watermelon, and it is served in a glass flask so you can pour your own at your table. We tried it on the second and third days and it was crisp and refreshing.
You can also order eggs from the kitchen if you don’t want them scrambled.
The first morning I toasted myself a bagel and topped it with scrambled eggs and sausgaes.
A totally delish breakfast that set me up for a 62km bike ride! I should find out where they get their sausages from as these were no run of the mill snags, they were packed full of flavour.
The second morning we were seated at the other end of the bench seating.
No food photos from that day, as I am sure you don’t need to see photos of cereal and vegemite on toast.
The last day we were down the side of the restaurant.
I like it how they mix the seatings up so everyone has a chance to sit in different areas of the restaurant.
This morning we both had poached eggs from the kitchen, which are served on one slice of toast.
J added tomato to his and I had two of those yummy sausages.
Service at both dinner and all breakfasts was exemplary.
I love the food at the Lake House and would encourage everyone to try it at least once.
We also had dinner there on new year’s eve.