Victoria Gears up for Winter

Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region continues to be a hot tourist destination this winter with some great new accommodation options available, as well as several exciting new initiatives by existing properties.

Kyneton’s burgeoning foodie scene has been joined by a glamorous new self-contained property aimed at giving up to eight gourmets an enticing accommodation option. Eat Sleep Kyneton is owned by Jenny Lamattina, author of Beautiful Accommodation and co-owner of SkyHouse Mount Macedon.

The house resembles a Victorian cottage from the outside but exudes contemporary glamour within. It features four bedrooms and a huge open-plan living, dining and kitchen area that opens onto an expansive outdoor entertaining deck and garden.

New accommodation has also just opened at Daylesford’s celebrated Convent Gallery. Called Monastiraki (meaning ‘little monastery’ in Greek) and sleeping up to eight people, this former 1920s private residence is described as ‘an eclectic mélange of 1920s Shanghai, French Moulin Rouge and Cirque Du Soleil’, displaying the impeccable style of the gallery’s owner, Tina Banitska. Centrally located, it is a great launching pad for enjoying the best of Daylesford.

The region has also been given an epicurean boost with the innovative creation of the Chef Collective for the restaurant at Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat in Hepburn Springs and the currently-in-development Birch Club in Clunes (due to open later in 2011). Reinventing the traditional executive chef model, the Chef Collective taps into the collective brains and skills of the most ambitious team of collaborative young chefs this side of Melbourne. One of the first initiatives of this highly creative environment has been the introduction of ‘High Tea Under the Arches’ at Peppers, designed to enhance the experience of staying at one of regional Victoria’s finest heritage country hotels. Settle into deep cane armchairs and relax over freshly brewed tea in fine bone china and decadent sweets, including baked scones with double-whipped cream and homemade jams. Guests are also encouraged to dress appropriately for a regal high tea experience.

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