Australia: Daylesford

This weekend we decided at the last minute to escape the city and head out in search of some country air. I’d heard good things about the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs region – an area about an hour and a half north-west of Melbourne, which is famous for its natural mineral springs and gold mining history – so we got a late booking for the night at Holyrood House, a guest house in a quiet street off the town centre.

We were very pleasantly surprised by what we found: a stunningly-restored Victorian guest house run by two lovely guys called Andrew and Keith (and not forgetting of course their gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog, Miss Koji). We settled in with a complimentary afternoon tea of homemade finger sandwiches, sausage rolls, Cornish pasties, scones with cream and jam, a selection of cakes and locally-sourced tea. After completely overindulging we chilled out by the fire and read our books – just the interlude we needed after a manic few weeks.

Due to a cancellation, Andrew and Keith kindly gave us a complimentary upgrade to a suite, which was spacious and beautifully decorated.

The bathroom even came complete a bubbling spa bath – heavenly on a cold winter’s evening!

Of course, I couldn’t resist trying out the gorgeous amenities including local Daylesford mineral bath salts.

The level of detail in the room was quite special, from the carefully-selected trinkets and fresh flowers down to the handy torch attached to the keychain so we could navigate the garden path in the dark. It’s clear that Andrew and Keith absolutely love what they do and think of every single detail to make sure their guests have a wonderful stay.

In the morning we were welcomed with a buffet spread of fresh and poached fruits, freshly-baked breads and croissants, muesli, cereal, jams and honey to nibble on as Andrew cooked up the dish of our choice from the menu on the Aga (potato rosti with slow-cooked ham hock and baked beans – yum). I could quite happily have set up home at Holyrood House for the next week!

Whilst exploring the town we popped into the Convent Gallery, a historic Victorian convent which has been thoughtfully converted into an art gallery, cafe, museum and gift shop.

Apparently the convent was built on a hill so it was closer to heaven, so the views over Daylesford and the surrounding region were stunning from the upper floors.

I saw plenty of pieces for my dream home!

Having fallen off the wagon completely over the weekend, we decided to stop by the Chocolate Mill on our way home; a factory and restaurant that creates hand-made chocolates.

Stick the truffles… I’d get my face right in that vat of melted chocolate 😍

We also went for a look around Trentham, a small town with a waterfall, a historic bakery and a few little gift shops to browse.

All too soon it was time to head back to Melbourne (and a torrential rainstorm, sad face). I’d love to revisit Daylesford again in the summer as I think it would be quite a different experience. Until the next time!

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