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Lake House, Daylesford 

King Street
Australia 3460
Tel: 61 3 5348 3329
view web site ›'s insider take:

About 90 minutes west of Melbourne by car, the rural town of Daylesford sits atop a celebrated hot spring. Of the many lodgings that have cropped up in recent years to take advantage of these "healing waters," the best—by leaps and bounds—is the Lake House.

A major favorite among foodies, the six-acre lakefront property is centered on its restaurant, an airy space with picture windows, a wood-burning fireplace, and wall murals by co-owner Allan Wolf-Tasker. His partner and wife, Alla, oversees the kitchen, which turns out rustic, seasonally driven food showcasing the region's best and freshest. Everyone lingers at the table here, whether it's over country-style breakfasts, long lunches, languid afternoon teas, cocktails and canapés, or extravagant dinners with wines from the 750-strong list. Between meals, guests can shoot clay pigeons, take cooking classes, unwind in the spa's treetop mineral-water tubs, or browse through the galleries and new-age shops in Daylesford town. All 33 rooms and suites are elegantly appointed, with cream-colored linens, recessed lighting, and marble baths—but ask for a waterfront unit with inspiring views over the lake.

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