The real purpose of this post is to make you all immensely jealous, as I feel when reading such posts or updates on blogs or from friends. I rarely go away anywhere and even more rarely do so without two little girls. While I do love holidays or getaways as a family, this weekend was just for me and was totally indulgent…. if you’re into relaxing mineral springs and world class food (and who isn’t it?). This getaway wasn’t far from home, under forty minutes actually, to the gorgeous Daylesford/Hepburn and I’ll be plugging some local businesses, but only because I thought they were great.
The weekend was a bit of a reunion with four other girlfriends, all school friends, and something we’ve done for a couple of years. We stayed at Linga Longa in Hepburn Springs. Ours was a four bedroom/eight bed cottage with kitchenette, two bathrooms, a lovely sitting room and an open fireplace. It was very reasonably priced for the area and on a weekend and the owners were lovely and very helpful. Highly recommended.
Our timing happened to coincide with the Daylesford Farmer’s Market, how I love a farmer’s market. I bought some herb and parmesan walnuts (there will be a recipe featuring those very soon), a couple of amazing chocolate orange truffles, some hot peperoni for Mr Good and a wonderful Berry Bomb jam. I was restrained knowing there was more on the foodie front to come.
And I didn’t have to wait long. After the market and a wander through the shops (so much temptation) we went to Alla Wolf Tasker’s Wombat Hill House. We sat it the sunny conservatory-style section off the side of the cafe to take advantage of the warmth and the garden surroundings. My pick was the ploughman’s lunch which came with a small cup of mushroom soup, lovely bread, hummus, salami, a swiss-style cheese, the house pickles and a rocket salad. It may have taken me three times as long as everyone else to finish it (I am a slow eater at the best of times), but every mouthful was delicious. I did have my eye on a couple of other things from the menu, so there will definitely be a second visit at some point.
To recover from such a lunch we decided that a long swim at the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa was in order. The mineral spring waters were hot and so, so relaxing. The aches and pains vanished leaving me in a state of complete relaxation. We didn’t get out until we were entirely pruned and our limbs were heavy and sleepy.
Because we hadn’t really indulged our senses enough that day we headed to the Farmers Arms for dinner. This was a meal worthy of my top ten, and definitely my top five for desserts. There were lots of options I would have been happy with for mains, but in the end I opted for the slow braised lamb shanks with mash potatoes. It was true winter warming food and only something I could enjoy for perhaps a couple more weeks before the weather warms up and something else appeals to me. It was falling-off-the-bone tender and very tasty, but the serving size was far too large (and you know how I feel about waste). What tipped a good meal over into the great category was a killer dessert, nougat and pistachio bombe with orange caramel sauce. There are no words for this one, it was all sound effects and facial expressions. So, so good as shown in the photo below.
We finished the weekend with a wander around the trash and treasure Sunday market, brunch (yes more food) and a few more of the shops. I found a very unique present for my soon-to-be-nephew, which I’ll reveal once the little tyke arrives.
As well as spoiling ourselves with spas and lots of amazing food, I did get that uninterrupted sleep I was anticipating. And it was just as good as I thought it would be, blissful and long, waking on my own schedule and not sharing the bed with any small, wriggly bodies.
I’m not sure a weekend away with great friends could get any better. Now tell me, do you dream about child/husband free getaways or do you prefer the hustle and bustle of the family holiday. For me it’s both, in equal portions, but given how much of my time it spent with the girls at the moment, this was a great break.