Lake House lies on the shores of picturesque Lake Daylesford in the heart of Victoria’s Spa Country just 90 minutes from Melbourne. The village like cluster of cream buildings nestle in amongst 6 acres of towering trees, country gardens and winding paths. These cascade to the foreshore providing guests with direct access to lake walks and the Wombat forest beyond.
DAYLESFORD IS A REGIONAL FOOD MECCA, A STATUS THAT HAS BEEN INSPIRED AND DEVELOPED BY THE CO-OWNER OF LAKE HOUSE ALLA WOLF-TASKER AM.
The iconic Lake House, Daylesford owned and operated by the Wolf-Tasker family since 1984 is a property full of art & life; a property in which to indulge, relax and cocoon. It’s a property whose beating heart is a restaurant where sense of place and the true essence of hospitality are of the utmost importance. In 1984 Alla & Allan Wolf Tasker (renowned chef & artist) dreaming a seemingly impossible dream, opened the doors of their house on the lake. It had taken four years of clearing; building and planting to open a restaurant which Alla hoped would be as the Michelin Guides call it “Worthy of a Journey” for foodies from around the world. More than 30 years later, Alla & Allan, their daughter Larissa and a dedicated “tribe” of industry professionals continue to spread joy and pleasure with their unique and timeless sense of hospitality across the Lake House Restaurant, Cellar, Hotel, Salus Spa, Cooking School and more.
Lake House is a tranquil retreat that includes thirty-four rooms and suites in either a waterfront or garden lodge setting. Six acres of country gardens extend down to the waters of Lake Daylesford and provide guests with immediate access to the lake shore and the Wombat State Forest beyond.
Exploring the property is in itself an adventure. Guests may like to have a hit of tennis followed by tea and refreshments in the tennis pavilion, a glass of wine by the fire in the Argyle Library Bar. Given the opportunity to explore the gardens guests will come upon the Kitchen Garden planted out with edible shoots and flowers, a myriad of sculptures and artwork from many of the region’s top artists, extensive outdoor terraces overlooking the lake shore and established country gardens with everything from koala loved stringy barks to lilac, Daphne, quince, plum and apple trees. There’s also the artist studio, Salus Spa, Cellar and Cooking School.
Daylesford - Australia’s ‘Spa Country’
The pretty as a picture village of Daylesford, hilly and replete with church spires and interesting heritage buildings, is a short walk from Lake House. Its eclectic mix of artists’ studios, cafes, galleries and interesting shops exudes a sophisticated bohemian vibe and reflects an interesting and creative local community. The village is surrounded almost on all sides by the flora and fauna rich Wombat Forest. Only a few minutes away from the hub of cafes and good bookstores of the main street, wallabies and wombats populate the pristine bush environment Kookaburras fly in to be fed and flocks of gang gangs and cockatoos circle overhead.
The local region, justifiably referred to as Australia’s ‘Spa Country’ boasts the largest concentration of natural mineral springs in Australia as well as the largest number of holistic therapists. “Wellness” is a serious preoccupation here, with an incredible variety of beauty and health treatments on offer. Lake House’s onsite Salus Spa flies the flag for indulgent treatments and pampering, its secluded location amongst tall trees, bubbling creeks and an outlook from its hot mineral spas over the lagoon and foreshore speaks of serenity and retreat.
An additional consequence of the abundant mineral springs are the very fertile volcanic soils of the area which now support the production of some of Australia’s most highly prized artisanal produce and premium wines.
There is a burgeoning local food culture here with regular farmer’s markets throughout the region and signs down every country lane, offering farm gate sales of organic or biodynamically grown berries, fruit and vegetables, chestnuts, honey and free range eggs. Rare breed lamb, beef and pork are sustainably farmed. Local olive oils, smallgoods and preserves have loyal followings throughout Australia.
In fact, you might find much of this award winning produce and wines on top tables around Australia and the world, but it is only here that you are likely to rub shoulders with some of their producers. Sitting in the café at that next table could be one of Australia’s foremost wagyu producers or the maker of one of Australia’s most lauded Pinot Noirs. Meeting the locals can be a truly enriching experience here.
The Artist Studio
Allan Wolf-Tasker, Lake House co-proprietor and renowned artist distributes his work to collectors worldwide. His studio is found onsite at Lake House. You will often find him in the studio; playing music from the vinyl collection and talking to guests about his inspiration of the region. A selection of his works are on display throughout the property and in each of the individual guest rooms. He’s current exhibition is entitled Landscapes of Daylesford.
The Salus Spa
The state-of-the-art Salus Spa designed with blond wood and splashes of Tiffany blue, is surrounded by waterfall fed streams with nine treatment areas offering the latest in spa treatments and technology. Walls are adorned with enormous paintings from renowned artist David Bromley’s nude series.
Idyllic tree top houses overlook the foreshore of the lake. Inside a deep tub is filled for each person with 100% pure mineral water sourced especially for Salus Spa. No additives or chemicals are added so guests receive the maximum benefit from these precious bubbling waters. A soak prior to a more extensive body treatment or massage is an ideal way to increase circulation, lymphatic systems as well as start the muscle easing process.
Signature treatments at Salus Spa capture some of the fragrances from each season found so abundantly in the surrounding Wombat State Forest and the local countryside. For example in Winter therapists source pine, eucalyptus, rosemary from the garden; in Autumn it may be a vintage & vine treatment using the antioxidants from the grape skins, Summer is fresh picked cucumber, mint and aloe vera; whilst spring offers old fashioned roses, citrus and violets.
These body treatments combine a soothing rhythmic massage utilising hot volcanic rocks and warm oil reducing tension and easing muscle aches. The body is then polished with fragrant mineral salts to remove rough skin. Whilst you are all wrapped up, a soothing face and scalp massage completes this nourishing experience. Finish off with a Hydrostorm where steam assists the absorption of essential oils whilst Vichy jets and waterfall showers rinse away the salt, exposing a beautiful soft skin – fresh, nourished and rejuvenated.
101 Best Hotels in the World - Tatler ( UK)
Two Chefs Hats - The Age Good Food Guide
Top 30 – The Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants
Hall of Fame – The Australian Winelist of the Year Awards
Top 50 Hotels – The Australian Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide
Australasias Best Spa Experience – ASPA Awards for Excellence
Australia’s Best Regional Property – The Luxury Travel Gold List
Australia’s Best Food & Wine Experience – The Luxury Travel Gold List