When you’re on a weekend away in the wellbeing region, a lie-in can be the best medicine for a restful stay.

But an indulgent morning of lounging around need not spoil your favourite big brekkie.  Here are some of our go-to spots for beautiful brekkies at all hours.

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We’ll start in the far corner of our region, Maldon. This little town is charming beyond words and it’s not just the preserved buildings; it’s the people who have filled the shops with goodness. Take ‘Le Sel’ for example, (which means ‘Salt’ in French) they have brought the best flavours of France to our doorstep. You can dine on their delicious freshly baked croissants all day – or at least until they run out! – or feast on omelette with cherry tomatoes, gruyere cheese and baguette or even croque monsieur. Their service is exceptional; they truly are the ‘salt of the earth’!

12 Main Street, Maldon

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Head now to another place full of good people, The Social Foundry. They mentor and share life-skills with young people who have had limited opportunities. The result is wholesome tasty food served with love. On their current all-day breakfast menu, choose from waffles, pancake stacks, eggs on toast, brekkie wrap and more. You’ll enter feeling welcome and leave feeling wholesome.

86 Mollison Street, Kyneton

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Harry’s Hepburn is the smaller brother of established foodie haven, Frank & Connie’s Kitchen. Owners Cara and Caliopi were up for a challenge, launching in the throes of COVID lockdown in March 2020. The result has been an ‘in house’ made bakery heroing local ingredients from our bountiful region. Their brunch menu has a mix of dishes. You’ll find avocado on sourdough and Dr Marty’s Crumpets, as well as more elaborate nourishment in the likes of blue swimmer crab omelettes and salmon and potato croquettes, for example. Sit in the leafy outdoor courtyard, and feel free to bring your fur friend. Speaking of the hair of the dog…with their ‘brunchtails’ available all day, you’ll be as happy as…Harry.

115 Main Road, Hepburn Springs

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If you’re coming from Melbourne, and you’re used to sampling some of Melbourne’s finest brunch spots, then Pancho will no doubt meet your expectations and more. Their entire menu is available all day, and changes with the seasons. At the time of writing this, owner Tom was making the most of bountiful autumn produce. Their most popular dish, a roast cauliflower and hummus bowl, is brought to life by local Adsum Farmhouse fresh vegetables and herbs. So, if you’re looking for fresh, this is the spot to get your fix.

117 Vincent Street, Daylesford

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Because of their proximity to the airport, and the gateway to our region, Verdure in Romsey is one of the first spots to grab a coffee and a bite to eat, or the last stop en-route to the airport or back to the city. Much of their menu features small batch regional producers including the Meat Room, Azzuri Cheese, Dreaming Goat Dairy and coffee roasted from MotoBean. Owner Cassy Borthwick and her team are passionate about sustainability and before COVID they had trained 50% of their coffee drinkers to use reusable cups, and they want to see this rise to the same levels again, if not more!

106a Main Street, Romsey

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The Virgin café, at Hotel Bellinzona, is fresh as a daisy, having only opened December 2020. The menu has evolved and will continue to be finessed by seasoned operators. They champion local organic produce, supporting some of our finest producers like Mt Franklin Organics, Enki, Adsum Farmhouse, Istra Smallgoods and The Cottage Herbalist. Their brunch menu is available 7 days with hearty classics like egg and bacon roll, French toast and crushed avo. For something different try their acai bowl or crispy melon salad. On a fine day, make sure you bask in the beauty of their established gardens. This is a nod to classic European style, with huge shady trees. You’ll feel as though you have been transported to Bellinzona itself, on the Swiss Italian border.

77 Main Rd, Hepburn Springs

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The iconic old Woodend Council Chamber building has never had so many foxy visitors. The reason? Scrumptious dishes served up in a warm inviting space. It’s where all the cool kids hang out. Dive into their chai pudding morning bowl (featuring their signature blend of Anushka Chai, made on premises), pulled beef brisket roll, or slow roasted tomatoes on toast. Owners, Bonnie and Remy are big supporters of local produce and release seasonal menus on a regular basis.

90 High St, Woodend

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This bustling place, part way down the mount, has a very big all-day menu. They will fill your belly after a morning exploring our regional park or one of our manicured open gardens like Forest Glade. The servings are generous and tasty. It also acts as a general store with house-made treats (tempting cakes and bikkies) and a rotating selection of ready-made meals. It is simple, rustic, comfort food, all available for takeaway.

686 Mt Macedon Rd, Mt Macedon

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Saffs Café has near-perfect reviews on Google and TripAdvisor, a testament to its popularity with both locals and visitors. Their meticulous approach to preparing vegetarian and gluten-free options has ensured a cult-like following. Expect comfy surrounds, both indoor and out, moreish dishes and effortless service.

64 Mostyn St, Castlemaine

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Entering Cliffy’s Emporium is a feast for the eyes. You’ll find produce and wares from our little corner of the world from the historic floor, to the ceiling. Owners Liam and Sam have chosen everything with great care for their quality and uniqueness, and to support rare trades. Their scrumptious brunch menu is served all day, featuring things like mushroom bruschetta, daily baguette, Turkish eggs and Cliffy’s very own Benedict. On a sunny day, sit outside under the iconic grape vine and enjoy the very best of times.

30 Raglan Street, Daylesford

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For those who have kids, this place will ‘blow’ you away…pun intended. Not only do they provide the sleep deprived mums and dads a caffeine fix, but they also give them a break. You’ll find a wide variety of kid friendly meals, highchairs, nappy change table, coloured pencils and a ‘Pig Pen’ corner where children can play with toys, watch TV and write on the blackboard walls. So don’t be a ‘big bad wolf’ and get out and about with your littlies.

Shop 1/30A Aitken Street, Gisborne

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Our final recommendation is within stomping distance of our office, so we can attest to all the delicious things we have for brunch each day. When asked about her food, Kate cheekily said everything is made with ‘love’. I happen to agree. They are extremely popular, welcoming locals by name and treating visitors to some traditional hospitality. For those keen to be out and about, not sitting in a café for hours, you’ll be thrilled to find a range of portable options made with local ingredients where possible – breakfast rolls, breakfast wraps, muffins, fruit salads and even picnic supplies.

102 Main Road, Hepburn Springs

Featured image: Cliffy’s Emporium, Daylesford. Photography by Chris Turner, InkdFotogrfa.

About the author

Narenna Bloomfield
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Narenna is a country girl at heart, growing up on a dairy farm north of Bendigo. Now living in Kyneton, (her husband’s hometown) she is a busy mum of three littlies. She loves gardening, baking, photography and getting out and about in the area. A favourite day in the region would be a weekly shop at a farmers’ market, meandering through an open garden and finishing with a dinner in one of the acclaimed restaurants along Piper Street, Kyneton.