On our first full day, J and I took our new bikes out for a spin. And by spin, I mean a 62km bike ride.
We headed in to Daylesford (all up hill, great start!) and to the information center hoping to get an idea about any bike paths/trails in the area. The guy there wasn’t that helpful and suggested we try St.Mel Cyclery and Cafe. So we rode over there and went into the small shop, where you can, as the name suggests, buy cycle gear, coffe and a sweet treat. There was a woman (St Mel?) behind the counter making coffees. She was also having a good ‘ol gossip with another woman who was waiting for her coffee. Now, I have no problem being patient or waiting my turn but we weren’t even acknowledged. No hello, no ‘be with you in a minute’, absolutely nothing. After being ignored for five minutes we left. Whether it was becasue we were tourists, not serious enough cyclists or whatever, it was a customer service fail. And she lost money, because not only were we after information, but we would have brought pumps, a couple of puncture kits and who knows what else.
So, we consulted our own little map and made our decision of where we would go, and that was to Glenlyon, around 12 kms north east of Daylesford. It was a relatively flat ride, along the Midland highway and then onto the Daylesford-Malmsbury road.
Glenlyon seems to consist of a few houses and the general store, which is also a cafe. Out the front is this tree, where someone has gone to a bit of effort to make the animals feel at home.
Excuse the cr*p shot of the front. I was in the car park and there were cars pulling in and wanting to park right where I was standing, so it was a rush job.
We had deliberately had a large breakfast so we only had a pot of tea each here, J had English Breakfast and I had apple.
After a bit more research and plotting on the iPhone, it was decided that we would head in the direction of Trentham, but instead of going on the main roads, we would cut through Wombat Forest. It was very pretty and a lot quieter.
About halfway we stopped for a snack.
We rode through Little Hampton and the decision was to turn right to go the 19kms back to Daylesford, or turn left and go the 4kms into Trentham. We thought it would be best if we went to Trentham so we could have lunch and a bit of a rest before the ride back to Daylesford.
We had a quick look at a local market before deciding on the Colliban Foodstore and Cafe for lunch.
We took a seat on the couches on the raised level and quickly ordered drinks and a salami baguette each.
The baguette was excellent, super fresh crusty bread with quality fillings. We were both happy. We had a wander up the main street and decided Trentham would warrant a longer visit on another occasion and it was back on the bikes and onwards to Daylesford. It felt like it took forever to get back to Daylesford and the last 15kms almost beat me (especially the long curving hills) but I am pleased to say I rode the whole way and did not get off and walk once!
Dinner that night was at Kazuki (review to follow).
The next morning (new year’s eve) we were back on the bikes again, and after having a potter around town we rode up to the botanic gardens to have lunch at Wombat Hill House, which is also owned and operated by Lake House owners Alla and Alan Wolf-Tasker.
We took a seat in the pretty courtyard.
Ordering is done at the counter and is a little awkward as there are no menus on the table, so you have to stand around the board and figure out what you want. Cold drinks are selected from the fridge.
We shared a salami pizza.
It was pretty average. The base was crispy on the outside but soggy in the middle and the topping didn’t have a lot of flavour.
Later on in the afternoon we went for a drink in one of the pubs in town (can’t remember its name). We did try the Farmer’s Arms but were surprised to see it closed. This is the beer garden where we ended up.
Completely empty on a beautiful warm day and on new year’s eve! If this was in Melbourne it would have been packed!
We celebrated the new year with an eight-course dinner at the Lake House before heading home on new year’s day.
On the way we stopped in Woodend and had lunch at the Holgate Brewery.
We weren’t the only ones waiting for it to open at 12pm and it quickly got busy.
J got the vegie burger, which he loved.
And I had a very flavoursome bruschetta.
And that completes the round up of our food adventures in and around Daylesford.