Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Staying in Daylesford

It's not difficult to find serenity close to home in Melbourne. It only takes a tram ride to the beach or to the many parks that are found all over the city and you'll feel it, fleetingly. Before it's interrupted by other people and their own intersecting lives, as well as the traffic that's coupled with living in a major city. 

Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens
True calmness, that feeling of having your own personal space and quiet for an indefinite amount of time isn't something easily achieved within a short distance from the city. If you want to escape the unceasing movement that can be both energising and draining, sometimes it's necessary to travel into the countryside for a slower, more relaxed way of living. 

Daylesford, located in the Macedon Ranges takes about three hours to get to by public transport or an hour and thirty minutes by car. It's a small town that you can walk from one side to the other of in about twenty minutes. Once you've left the cluster of beautiful victorian houses around the city centre, there are sprawling green fields that fade into the distance of hilly countryside. The air feels fresher there. There are less cars than the city and people seem so much more relaxed. 

View from Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens
There is the Wombat Hill Botanical gardens if you feel like a dose of well-curated nature during your trip. Bring a picnic blanket and some food and have lunch surrounded by the surrounds of Daylesford in the distance. As well as Daylesford Lake which is surrounded by parkland and local wildlife, namely ducks and the occasional kookaburra.

Daylesford Lake
Chillin' by the rocks at Daylesford Lake

Despite its size, Daylesford has a lot to offer food and drink wise. We visited Muffins & More Cafe, having a coffee (but no muffin) reading the newspaper and waiting to check into our accommodation. We also had a very American dinner at the Galley Diner, spending way too much on their moonshine cocktails. 

Less cultured but still delicious we had fish and chips by Daylesford Lake from Daylesford Sea Food Bar. Nothing beats battered whiting, chips and some dim sims when you're feeling like something greasy. There is also Cliffy's Cafe, located a ten minute walk from the centre of town with fresh food made locally, coffee and a warm aesthetic. As well as the Belvedere Social if you feel like a drink on the main street. 

There's something special about being surrounded by nature, even if it's just for a day or two. It grounds you, gives you space and time to think, as well as making you feel so much calmer. 

Staying in Daylesford is a great way to experience this without missing out on the coffee and food culture that is offered in Melbourne.

Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens