International travel and those long-missed Euro-trips may be back on the cards. But why fork out all your money on an international airfare when you can get a little taste of France right here in central Victoria?

The Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region is home to an impressive selection of French restaurants, retail outlets and patisseries. Let us take you on a French inspired journey, just over an hour from Melbourne.

Le Péché Gourmand Boulangerie and Patisserie is the perfect place to start. Owners Marie (French herself) and Paul (who has worked in Michelin starred restaurants) want you to have a uniquely French experience. Choose a canelé or a macaron, simply close your eyes and you will be transported to a café in the heart of Paris.

At Dairy Flat Farm’s bakehouse, they create French pastries supporting the growers and millers of the region, topped with fruit picked straight from their own garden. Pick up a pastry at sister café Wombat Hill House or at the Daylesford Sunday Market. Be quick, they sell out fast.

A new addition to the baking scene is Woodend Bakery. They serve up freshly baked baguettes and pastries at farmers’ markets throughout the region, as well as at pop-up stalls in Woodend (on select weekends). In Woodend, you’ll also find Café Paysanne where the focus is on hearty and classic French-inspired home cooking. If in Kyneton, Monsieur Pierre is a must visit; a coffee and freshly made nutella filled doughnut or chocolate éclair is a perfect start to your day.

Eating your way around the region is a completely acceptable thing to do and one we encourage. However, between meals take the time to find that petit trinket to remind you of your French adventure in Le Daylesford Macedon region. At the top of Vincent Street in Daylesford, immerse yourself in the finest French delights in eCasa. Walk through the vintage mesh swinging doors and your senses come alive with melodic French music and the instant aroma of beautiful French beauty products. You will find parfum with signature scents of tobacco, rose and gardenia and treasures that have been found in Parisian markets.

Wander further down the street and come across Manteau Noir. A moody and peaceful escape from busy Vincent Street, this exquisitely curated shop has a very French feel. Think beautiful linens, vintage perfume bottles and woven hats. Whilst not French, owner Victoria Varrasso designs her own shoes and clothing under the same name, inspired by French and European design. Head around the corner and you will find sister store aptly named ‘Around the Corner’, with treasures that have been hand sourced by owner Victoria. Think eighteenth century grandfather clocks, antique paintings, French preserving jars and mannequins, a melange of goodies.

Bistro Terroir. Photo by Inkd Fotogrfa
Bistro Terroir. Photo by Inkd Fotogrfa

By this stage you’ve likely worked your appetite back up. Something light? Head to Winespeake. Sommelier Jeremy will select a glass or bottle of French champagne, matched with French cheese and charcuterie.

A meander up the street will see you at Bistro Terroir. A French bistro that celebrates the food and provenance of our region. Enter through a narrow set of antique French doors and be greeted by the warm smile of owner Mathew Carnell. Mathew has worked in some of the best Michelin starred restaurants in France, meaning you’re in good hands here. Beef tartare with lattice potato crisps or perhaps a pâté en croûte for starters. The classic French fare is beautifully predictable and will fill that Parisian shaped hole in your heart.

Back in Kyneton, Piper Street’s Midnight Starling is the perfect place for dinner. Try the tomato tarte tartin, and be sure to leave room for dessert. It’s impossible to choose between the mousse au chocolat or the crème caramel.

Last but certainly not least, Trentham is home to du Fermier, with Annie Smithers at the helm you will be treated to a French farmhouse feast that will leave you feeling like you’ve had a warm hug. (Check out our interview with Annie). There is even accommodation called ‘The French House’ where you can stay (bookable via Daylesford Country Retreats). Whatever route you take, France won’t feel far away. Until next time, au revoir!


Hero Image: eCasa Daylesford. Photo by Marnie Hawson

The French House by Inkd Foto
The French House by Inkd Foto

About the author

Michelle Symes
Michelle Symes
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Michelle Symes is a marketing specialist in the fields of food, wine and gastronomy. A Daylesford local Michelle loves nothing better than sharing the culinary secrets of our region. A perfect day consists of visiting a local farmers market, filling her basket to the brim with local produce and heading back to the kitchen to spend the afternoon, wine glass in hand cooking for friends.