Recently, when my Mum came down to visit from the Sunshine State, we ventured out of the City to (spa) Country.
I love Daylesford because it combines all of the things I love about the country – fresh produce, plenty of greenery and Fernleigh Farm free range bacon – with all of my city creature comforts – good coffee, day spas and bookshops.
We ended up having lunch at Lavandula’s, La Trattoria Cafe.
Lavandula could not be a more picturesque setting. Rolling fields of fragrant purple lavender surround the property.
There are also productive vegetable gardens and fruit orchards throughout the property, which are used to supply La Trattoria Cafe with fresh, seasonal produce.
The Brooding Architect was also interested in the historic farmhouse, which is built in the traditional stone architecture style.
Now for the food. The food at Lavandula is simple, fresh and generous. Where possible produce grown on site, or grown in the local area is used.
My meal choice was duck with field mushrooms and an orange sauce.
The field mushrooms had a rich, earthy texture – nothing like the shriveled up, or (even worse) damp mushrooms that you find on a Sunday night at your local Coles or Woolworths. The subtle orange sauce matched the rich flavor of the roast, juicy duck perfectly and the creamy rosemary baby potatoes were straight from ‘carb heaven’.
Although my meal was sensational, I got complete meal envy when I saw the chef pull out a side of roasted lamb from the outdoor wood fired oven and carve off slices for The Brooding Architect’s meal.
The fruity cous cous with lemon zest and tangy yoghurt sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the smoky, wood fired lamb. The salad greens were incredibly fresh and tender – straight from Lavandula’s vegie patch to the table.
Unfortunately I was drinking too many glasses to the signature lavender infused sparkling to take a photo of my Mum’s meal. She feasted on the duck pate and an antipasto plate, which consisted of local smoked meats, marinated vegetables and balsamic infused olives. Simple, but very delicious.
It is hard to think of a better way to spend a sunny afternoon.