Eat with art in the Daylesford Macedon Ranges.

Feast your eyes on more than a meal, and discover an array of fine art, dressing the walls of the region’s restaurants. If you’re lucky, a piece of art could be going home with you; many local artists sell their works straight off the walls.

Stepping inside the warm interior of Beppe on a stormy evening in Daylesford, I get the feeling that I’m being watched. It’s not the gloriously attentive waiters who have me seated and wined and dined in the fabulous Italian eatery; it’s the curious-looking portraits hanging on the walls, suspiciously eyeing off my sneaky second glass of wine and my stealing of a deliciously crunchy marguerita pizza crust off my partner’s plate.

The work of Daylesford-based Kim Barter is iconic in central Victoria. Her portraits capture character and wit and in some paintings, a twinkle of cheekiness in a set of eyes that could follow you around a room. Whilst Beppe has commissioned Kim to create a series of conversation-starting portraits for their space, you can leave the restaurant inspired to delve deep into the work of Kim and perhaps commission a piece to keep an eye on you at home.

A sunny afternoon at Botanik in Kyneton can easily have me sitting on the upstairs veranda of the Royal George Hotel overlooking Piper Street, under the shade of enormous palms, ficus’, monstera and fruit salad plants. A glass of bubbles and a delectable plate of cheese and olives in the jungle-like setting puts me in the position of the explorer as I adventure downstairs to Kabinett, home to a collection of interior art and design, hand-picked and beautifully curated by owners Melissa Macfarlane and Frank Moylan.

Beppe 2 uai
Beppe Kitchen & Bar. Photo by Chris Turner

Come for the safari of delicious cocktails and share plates and leave with objects of desire from vintage-sourced goods, original artwork, unique furniture pieces, exquisite bedding and hand-picked fragrances. All the indoor plants are available for purchase ready for you to recreate a jungle scene in your own nest.

Deep within central Victoria’s renowned art trail lies Trentham, a cool town known as a hot spot for art lovers to visit, and artists to live. Trentham’s Cosmopolitan Hotel is the central meeting place for art and food to come together. Dining in this family-friendly and award-winning pub, you are consumed by warmth, sound, laughter, a beaming menu and an-ever changing display of local artworks on the wall. With each visit, the display changes, likely due to the works selling so quickly!

The cheerful sight of a kookaburra on the wall captures my attention as we relax in the dining room, taking in a local Holgate beer and snacking on a regional tasting plate. Prolific Victorian artist Helen Cottle lives within the Macedon Ranges, and her work is clearly inspired by the landscape, wildlife, flora, fauna and people of the region. It’s such a treat to see her works up so close in this restaurant space. I’m so tempted by the painting of the kookaburra watching over our table, but the drawing of the blue wren in the front bar steals my attention as I head towards the enormous beer garden. We discuss the works in the outdoor area, surrounded by birds and beautiful native plants and I’m THIS close to making a purchase. Upon enquiry, I’m told that the works have been sold. You’ve got to get in quick! Lucky for me, Helen does commissions.

Let art play the part when planning your next dining experience.



Beppe is located at 32 Raglan Street, Daylesford
The Cosmopolitan Hotel is located at 21 High Street, Trentham
Botanik is located at 22 Piper Street, Kyneton


Kim Barter
Helen Cottle
Kabinett (downstairs from Botanik)

About the author

Ali Webb House of Webb
Ali Webb, House of Webb

Kyneton-based Ali Webb adventures the state as a tiny tourist, exploring the littlest to the largest corners of our sweet slice of Victorian heaven.

A writer, a publicist, an artist manager and a downright good human being, Ali’s a curious cat, always on the hunt for a tale to share, especially if it involves digging for treasure in a local secondhand haven, scouring the seasonal delights of our favourite kitchens or simply finding a golden spot to pitch her tent after a day of bushwalking. Follow her tiny tourist tracks across the state at @houseofwebb.