Sun, fun, food and only a 90 minute drive from Melbourne.
On a glorious sunny Sunday we headed off on the 1.5 hour journey to Daylesford to our very favourite 'home away from home', Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm just 10 minutes north of Daylesford and swapped some City life for a little bit of Country.
We adore it there as it sums up everything we want from a country escape. Relaxation, fresh air, nature, a picturesque vista, somewhere to eat and if you watch your little one's face....it really says it all....Freedom!
Lavandula is positively beautiful in all seasons. With Winter being our most recent visit we were greeted with vibrant red, orange and yellow vines and leaves, bare branches and the daffodills were just beginning to bloom.
Get back to nature with the farm animals, there's lots of friendly faces here. Theodora the Donkey is keen for a pat or get amongst the geese, to add to the punch you'll also find Emu's, Pascal the black pony, chooks, llamas, Flora the terrier and a cat.
On the way out you'll pass through the barn where you can shop for all sorts of products that are good for the body and soul and edible treats include jams, relishes, chutneys, biscuits and honey, while artworks, gifts and homewares add to the rustic charm of this little shop. As well as offering a top day out, Lavandula caters for Weddings and parties, private functions or stay put with Accommodation on offer (sorry, Grown-ups only), festivals and of course the lavender harvest come Christmas time. Bring on Harvest Festival, we'll see you there...
Lavandula is as easy going as it gets! So enjoy the space, explore, picnic on a rug, take in the view and relax.
La Trattoria Cafe
Is there nothing better than al fresco dining? Nestle under the Ash trees, take in the view of the rolling hills and olive trees, the kids can chase the butterflies and the grown-ups can indulge in a vino as La Trattoria is fully licensed and lavender lemonade for the little people. If outside doesn't seem inviting enough snuggle up in the warmth inside the timber room or the stone loggia. The kids can grab one of the numerous books from the pile then tuck into lavender scones with a dusting of icing sugar made on-site with a side of fresh cream and homemade jam. Truly the best. Our family shared the lavender scones, lemon polenta cake and fresh bread, olives and oil. Healthier options are available and they serve up fresh, seasonal European fare. There's also a kids menu. For take home treats or a gift for someone special you can purchase Lavandula's own lavender cordial or lavender honey.
The vegetable gardens and fruit orchards throughout the property are used to supply the cafe with fresh, seasonal produce and the food is fresh, simple and generous.
What we love about this cafe is the kids can be free to wander. Our little ones were in safe distance while we watched them play boules and have a run around on the grass. Just be mindful there is a lake within distance.To Visit...
Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm
350 Hepburn-Newstead Road
Shepherds Flat via Daylesford
Lavandula is open daily 10.30am-5.30pm until the end of May. In wintry June, July and August the farm is open weekends, Victorian school holidays and Queens Birthday holiday.
The cafe is closed right through August and is closed 24, 25 & 26 December.
Admission: Adults $3.50, school-age students $1.00, annual membership $10
Leashed dogs are welcome.