One perfect day in Daylesford (and Hepburn Springs), Victoria

Cosy and charming: Cliffy's Emporium.
Cosy and charming: Cliffy's Emporium. Photo: Mark Chew/Visit Victoria

The Good Food team share their favourite places to eat and drink in their second homes.

I have lived in cities with fewer great food and drink options than Daylesford, the famously charming country town that punches ridiculously above its weight. It can be hard to know where to start, but coffee and brekkie are a wise idea – you're going to need all your strength for the copious grazing, scenic walks and fireside wines to follow. Cosy and colourful, Cliffy's Emporium is the quintessential Daylesford spot to kick off your day. Do not go past the Turkish eggs with haloumi. Equally fab is Pancho. Recently renovated, this cool little cafe cranks out fabulous coffee, breakfasts, and hot roast beef rolls.

A walk around Lake Daylesford is not just recommended, it's compulsory. Make sure the phone has enough battery for a #blessed Insta post. No filter required.

Steak frites at Bistro Terroir.
Steak frites at Bistro Terroir. Photo: Supplied

Morning tea, you say? It's down the road a couple of kilometres to less-hectic Hepburn Springs and the new Virgin Cafe garden (part of the dazzlingly refurbed Hotel Bellinzona) for an experience straight out of the Tuscan Hills. Also amazing: Wombat Hill House in the Botanic Gardens for salted caramel pastries and mushroom toasties from sister venue Dairy Flat Farm.

Spend the arvo rummaging through retro treasures at the Mill Market, browsing cool and interesting boutiques (as well as new gourmet food store Blake Family Grocers) along Howe Street, and pop into wonderful Winespeake for a glass of local wine and a grazing platter, or stock up on gooey cheeses and supplies in the deli before grabbing a wee rest before dinner.

Oh dinner, where to start? From the multi-hatted Lake House for a special occasion, to Hepburn Springs' cosy still-quite-secret wine bar The Surly Goat, to juicy burgers at the relaxed Daylesford Hotel, there's something for most.

High on my list is steak frites at smart Bistro Terroir – as good as any in Paris. But my perfect Daylesford dinner might just be at Beppe Kitchen and Bar. The welcoming candle-lit Italian eatery is sexy, sometimes loud, and always fun. And the prawn pizza is on my all-time list. Amore!

Insider's tip: Alla Wolf-Tasker, the queen of Daylesford and Lake House chef, loves the Sunday market every week at the old railway station. "Fill your boot with freshly harvested local produce, cheeses, beautiful pork and beef, freshly baked bread and pastries. Pick up a beautiful bottle or two of local wine from Passing Clouds cellar door just a few minutes further down the road."

Beppe Bar and Kitchen, 32 Raglan Street, Daylesford, beppe.com.au

Advertisement

Bistro Terroir shop 6, 8 Howe Street, Daylesford, bistroterroir.com.au

Blake Family Grocers, 1 Howe Street, Daylesford, blakefamilygrocers.com.au

Cliffy's Emporium, 30 Raglan Street, Daylesford, cliffysemporium.com.au

Daylesford Hotel, 2 Burke Square, Daylesford, daylesfordhotel.com.au

Daylesford Sunday Market, 18 Raglan Street, Daylesford, daylesfordsundaymarket.com.au

Pancho Cafe, 117 Vincent Street, Daylesford, panchocafe.com.au

Lake House, 4 King Street, Daylesford, lakehouse.com.au

The Surly Goat, 3 Tenth Street, Hepburn Springs, thesurlygoat.com.au

Virgin Cafe (at Bellinzona), 77 Main Road, Hepburn Springs, bellinzona.com.au

Wombat Hill House, Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, Daylesford, wombathillhouse.com.au

Winespeake, shop 4, 26 Vincent Street, Daylesford, winespeake.com.au