If you have ever been to Daylesford you will know that it is a bit of a mecca for groups of woman on their girls’ weekend aways.
Depsite having been to Daylesford three times before, this was my first visit with friends. We rented a stunning house in Smith street and spent the weekend eating, drinking, reading magazines, talking and being pampered.
Let’s have a look at some of the food we enjoyed.
On the first night, we dragged ourselves away from drinks and nibbles in the sunny courtyard and moseyed on up to the Farmer’s Arms pub. This place has a reputation for doing good gastro-pub food, and was pretty busy. They do not take bookings but we were able to snare a table in the very back corner, looking back over the other diners to the bar.
All food and drink orders are done at the bar, and you can start a tab or pay as you go. I am pretty sure there are no menus, everything is written on a blackboard above the bar, which does cause some congestion as people stand and read and make up their minds from a lot of great sounding dishes.
Afte much deliberation and discussion I had a Spanish style chicken dish which was fantastic.
Others had pork belly (below), lamb shanks and a salmon(?) salad. Everyone loved their food.
Desserts were shared, and they included a chocolate pudding…
a peanut butter and honeycomb parfait…
cinnamon doughnuts with chocolate sauce…
and hot chips. (yes, dessert chips are totally a thing)
All the staff behind the bar were lovely, but I did notice staff walk past our table, look at our empty plates and keep walking. Also, we have reason to believe the raffle is rigged towards locals (don’t ask my friend RD about this!). LOL!
The next mornng we breakfasted at the house before heading over to Hepburn Springs for our spa treatments. We were booked in for the Girls’ Day Out package at The Mineral Spa, part of the Peppers complex. Our package included an hour in the mineral water therapy zone followed by a half an hour massage each. We also decided to add a two course lunch for an extra $35.
I loved the water therapy zone, with its different saunas and spas, however my massage (and one of the others) wasn’t that great. Ah well, I was still relaxed.
When we booked, I thought our lunch was in The Conservatory, and this is what is advertised on the website, however, we were directed to the Argus dining room. We did feel a little under dressed in this smarter establishment but what could we do?
We got settled in and were given the menu with the choices we could have with the package we had booked. We could do entree and main, or main and dessert and there were three choices for each course. If nothing appealed we could order off the a la carte menu for an additional cost.
We started with a lemon flavoured amuse bouche.
Bread was also provided (but not as quickly as the hungry pregnant member of our group would have liked!)
Three of us went with an entree and main, and the other two had main and dessert.
Two of us had the house-made pastrami, toasted rye, mustard and oickled onion. Simple, but superb.
The other entree enjoyed by our group was the mushroom soup, creme fraiche, truffle oil.
We all had the same main course, the Southern Highland beef rump, green salad, fried potato cake, red wine jus.
One of the desserts ordered was a buttermilk panna cotta with rhubarb syrup strawberries and mint, and was selected because this person had never tried panna cotta before. The other dessert was a mango pudding with passion fruit sorbet and chantilly cream.
The food was great and very good value for what we paid. I am not sure if we got lucky by being in the Argus Dining room, or all the meals have been moved over there.
The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging around the house.
We finally dragged ourselves up off the couches around 7:30 and went into the main street of Daylesford for dinner at Cafe Koukla. We shared two pizzas and a bowl of chips.
Before heading home the next morning, we went to Bocconcini for breakfast. I had the eggs benedict on a bagel. Nice but I have had better.