Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens (entry off Central Spring Road)
Daylesford VIC 3460
“Melbourne: a town of fireworks, surprises, sports, trams and flat whites. While New York is apparently first discovering the concept of espresso coffee with milk, we can clearly say “that was so last year darling”. After losing count of the number of coffees one consumes, however, a getaway starts to look good. The first preference would be Europe given the favourable exchange, but a good substitute is Daylesford. It’s the town of romance within Victoria with its gorgeous lake, water springs and green parks. There are also notable restaurants and cafes and it’s one of the reasons Brunch Addict had taken the trip. We had visited Wombat Botanic Gardens to visit Wombat House Hill.
Wombat House Hill is located within the back drop of an alluring garden scenery with no detail left out. On the outside it looks like an old cottage/house on the hill which can be found by following the walking track. The grass is lusciously green and there are tall pine trees in the back drop, making a superb landscape. Inside is very much the same theme with ample space and comfortable seating arrangements. The entrance room has long dining tables and couches with the barista station in the corner. This is followed by two outside eating areas, both being different but bring an inviting feel with the outside decor.
It was a thirst quenching moment and given the lovely summer day, I had broke section 17 of the Brunch Addict Act- not ordering a coffee (Miss SL lives on the edge, constantly breaking our rules). Instead with all the traveling and site seeing I wanted a beer. Correction, I deserved a beer and had selected Duvel [$11]. It was a Belgian Golden Ale with a strong wheaty taste which initially was off putting. Once becoming used to the taste it turned out to be a lovely smooth single beer with a powerful flavour. My palate could only handle the single bottle and could never be my partner in crime during a big night out.
My belly was keen for country food delights and I selected an unch meal. The Moroccan Duck Pastie, chickpea & baby spinach salad [$18] seemed to be a fantastic first option and secondly, I am a sucker for duck. The flavour of the short crust pastry was a winner. It was easily identifiable as being made from scratch as it was crunchy but also dissolved into a lovely crummy state once it entered my mouth. The duck filling had a good tender texture with the right levels of saltiness and middle eastern/aniseed flavour which rightfully complemented the duck. The chickpea salad was a nice cleansing side, but Ms SL had innocently stolen a good portion.
The presentation and taste of my meal was outstanding and would be a winner for most. However, I was disappointed with the portion size. The meal isn’t suited as a main and I fully appreciate this notion, however at the price point one may think to be a little more generous. With that said we had noticed that a lot of cafe goers were ordering pizzas. The various pizzas look deliciously appealing and we waddled like a wombat to order the Prosciutto & Rocket pizza [~$18]. The pizza had complemented our previous thoughts as it certainly was a delight. The prosciutto was possible the best I have had – it wasn’t too salty but also had a lovely tender bite. The crust was cooked to perfection and had that lovely crunch. The sauce had brought the right combination flavours. A winner for both of us!
We shouldn’t get caught up with inner Melbourne. Country Victoria is as important and impressive as the city. Daylesford is one of those towns which can equally bring fireworks and surprise to the tourist and the local visitor. Wombat House Hill is a new addition to the excitement of Daylesford to which if you are near needs to be try. For an extremely good pizza you don’t have to look far.”
“Summer holidays are meant for relaxing and spending time with loved ones. As work consumes our lives, it would seem that taking time off for the Christmas and early New Year period is becoming less and less common. Unfortunately, we were no different. While I (unusually) had weeks off, Mr LB only had the few days between our most loved public holiday crazy season.
I managed to twist Mr LB’s arm into coming on a series of day trips with me, including a trip to the Sunnyridge Strawberry Farm and Daylesford, which is where our tale today begins. We arrived late in the day (around 2pm) and made our way immediately to Wombat Hill House – a gorgeous cafe perched on the top of the Wombat Hill botanics.
We arrived to the sound to bagpipes, realizing that a wedding reception was taking place nearby. As the bagpipes blared on the perfect day that it was, we walked up from the carpark to find to find the most picturesque cafe you would ever see – with a gorgeous green garden, a cottage perched behind a white courtyard and butterflies dancing in the sunlight, almost beckoning us to go inside.
As we walked in, the interior revealed a quirky, modern interior that looked like it was once someones home. We grabbed a menu and after snooping around, ordered some beers (or cider in my case). I ordered a Henry of Hardcourt – Duck & Bill cider [$12]. I was so surprised how huge my beer was! I ended up getting about two and a half glasses out of it and definitely did not need another. Being a draught cider meant that the flavours were not so sweet and that the cider was more beer-like in nature.
For my mains, I ordered the Lamb pot pie with polenta [$18]. I was famished and was looking for a big country-style pie. What came out was tiny. My stomach grumbled. Really? This was all? There was no time to worry about portion sizes as I shoved some chickpeas down my mouth.
Mr LB had started to dig into his meal and quickly realized that the waiter had swapped our meals around! I sheepishly handed Mr LB his meal and looked a bit more satisfied with the portion size of mine.
It was a small but deep ceramic bowl layered with polenta topping hiding the lamb filling. The lamb was chunky and juicy and the potato salty. The salad was a nice break from the top layer of polenta, which became a bit much as I got about half way through my meal.
Strangely enough I was satisfied with my pie by the end it. Greed and a need to please Mr LB led us to ordering a pizza to fill his aching belly. Overall I really enjoyed Wombat Hill House – the atmosphere was cool and relaxed. The portion sizes were small but the meat was fresh and tender, cooked well. Wombat Hill House made for a wonderfully relaxed afternoon and I’d do it all again.”
Final thought: “Known for great pizza and boutique beers”