WHERE I EAT: Alla Wolf-Tasker
Industry pacesetter and founder of Daylesford's Lake House, Alla Wolf-Tasker, reveals some of her favourite restaurants and cafes across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
I am a bit spoilt as we do have the beautiful little Wombat Hill House perched high on a hill overlooking our village of Daylesford. It’s the end point of a three kilometre walk that I try and do most mornings. It’s surrounded by the magnificent old trees of Daylesford’s Botanic Gardens. The food is simple, super fresh and the produce comes from the same growers and suppliers that we use at Lake House. Sitting amongst the prolific vegetable garden on a warm day is magic.
Again – I’m very spoilt, surrounded by great coffee and excellent baristas. I have to say that a favourite has to be the coffee we make at home, delivered by the glorious Legend machine given to me by Vittoria Coffee when I was anointed 'Legend' by The Age Good Food Guide. This beautiful iconic machine, first launched by Faema in 1961 has pride of place on my marble bench in the kitchen. That first daily espresso is as good as it gets – especially enjoyed with a view over the rolling hills and valley below.
It's bound to be a mid-week lunch or dinner – that’s when we might all be free at the same time. The Surly Goat just down the road is a great, casual locals hangout. The Cellar door at Passing Clouds vineyard, just a few kilometres out of town is wonderful for a casual lunch.
Every great gastronomic capital needs an icon. Where better to enjoy Melbourne than from the salubrious surrounds of Shannon Bennet’s Lui Bar eyrie. Dinner to follow in Vue De Monde is equally spectacular. On the ground, I’ll often take guests to Estelle by Scott Pickett for the beautiful and clever food.
Well it’s been my life’s work – so I’m going to have to say Lake House. Developed and opened when destination regional restaurants were not something we did in Australia.
Nowadays I am privileged to be able to occasionally sit back and enjoy the patina of the place and the stellar service of our team. The aperitivo hour on our terrace overlooking the lake is often host to quite a gathering, before we slip into the cocooned surrounds of the beautiful dining room to enjoy the pleasures of our seasonal table.
Shane Delia did a great recent birthday celebration for me at Maha. The shared style of food is perfect and delicious. The cocktails are wonderful and they understand the true meaning of hospitality.
For further information, please visit lakehouse.com.au.