December 1, 2009

Daylesford Getaway Day 2 - Breakfast & Beer; Chocolate Mill; Lucini's Pasta Cafe and Macaroni Factory

Saturday morning was spent shopping in the heart of Daylesford, buying gifts and lulling over the cute little trinkets and knick knacks on sale in the shops along Vincent Street. Coincidently, the annual Makers' Market was being held at Daylesford Town Hall, where unique hand-made gifts from local artists, designers and makers are sold. Gorgeous ceramics, homewares, accessories, and a wide range of toys made by hand from wood, felt and vintage fabric lined the tables, with a guitarist playing joyful acoustic music onstage and the mouth-watering smells from the BBQ outside wafting in.

  One of the stalls at Makers' Market

 I couldn't resist taking a photo of this!

Breakfast & Beer
117 Vincent Street,
Daylesford, VIC 3460
(03) 5348 1778
Food: Modern Australian and European, Beer 
Date visited: 28th November 2009

Lunch that afternoon was at Breakfast & Beer, a hip European beer cafe decorated with quirky ornaments and memorabilia. The menu is created with local, organic produce and dishes are vibrant, creative and very appealing!

B&B occupies one of the oldest free-standing buildings in Daylesford

Spiral staircase leads to a more spacious dining/function area

The kitchen is TINY! A single chef skilfully prepared all dishes to order

Istra Prosciutto, White Peach, Radish, Fennel and Watercress - A colourful play on flavours and textures

Paella of Braised Wild Shot Rabbit, Istra Chorizo, Tomato, Green Olives

Roast Field Mushroom & Toast, Saganaki Cheese, Lemon & Herbs - I added a poached egg to this dish!

I was very happy - a perfectly runny egg yolk, dense, salty saganaki and an ultra juicy mushroom!

Waddling back to the car, we decided to go for drive to explore the streets of Daylesford. Much to our contentment, we stumbled upon The Chocolate Mill (5451 Midland Hwy, Mt. Franklin, VIC 3461), where the finest Belgian couverture is used to make sinfully delicious chocolates.

5kg blocks of chocolate are imported from Belgium, melted in large vats and moulded into different shapes with fresh, local ingredients of fruit, nuts, honey and jams. This diverse selection of heavenly sweets, all hand-made on site (including the ganache and caramel), are sold straight from the kitchen  and contain no additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients. Thus, need to be consumed within 10 days - I don't think anybody would have a problem with that!

Through the viewing window into the kitchen, where the best-seller 'Caramel Supreme' is being made

From top centre, clockwise and into the middle:
Mocha Truffle (coffee ganache and belgian cream); 
Milk Chocolate Mouse (ganache and chestnut cream);
Car (solid milk chocolate);
Venus Nipples (cream and butter ganache);
Echidna (quince paste and white chocolate cream);
Caramel Supreme (real butter and cream caramel);
White Chocolate Mouse;
Hazel Addiction (fresh hazelnut in dark chocolate);
White Triangle (butterscotch vanilla cream)

 Affogato - from the adjoining Hot Chocolate Cafe

Satisfied with a new bag of goodies from the Chocolate Mill, it was time for our 120 minutes of pampering at Daylesford Day Spa (25 Albert Street, Daylesford, VIC 3460). Our 'Total Bliss' package included a relaxing back, shoulder, neck and scalp massage, an energising hand and foot exfoliation, and a refreshing mini-facial. I must have been pretty exhausted from all that eating and shopping because I apparently fell asleep for the most part of the session.....

Nibbles waiting for us in the guest lounge after our treatment!

Lucini's Historic Pasta Cafe
64 Main Road,
Hepburn Springs, VIC 3461
(03) 5348 4345
Food: Tradtional Italian, Pasta
Date visited: 28th November 2009

With only a Tourist Information Booklet as a guide on Daylesford's many eateries, we finally chose Lucini's Historic Pasta Cafe for dinner (the other places we visited were either fully booked or closed). It is owned and run by the great granddaughter of Giacomo Lucini, who founded the site and opened Australia's first macaroni manufacturing business. Brace yourself for their scrumptious, extra-large servings!

Lucini's was built in 1859

Cultural, learning experience - Antique artefacts, paintings, photos, pasta making tools, crockery, scales and kitchen appliances adourned the rustic dining room

The local creek stones and hand-made bricks used to construct the building have endured the wear of time

The view from the window beside our table, into the outside courtyard

Collection of dried pasta

Antipasto - Platter of marinated beetroot, zucchini, eggplant and capsicum with salami, olives, cheese and herbed toasts

Fettucine with Creamy Mushroom, Pinenut and White Wine Sauce

Penne with a magnificent 'Nonna's Secret Recipe' Bolognaise Sauce

Mediterranean Salad

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