Summer dining is made even more delicious by the destination. The Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region invites you out of the baking-hot city streets this summer, to experience some of the most breathtaking food experiences in Victoria.

Let’s face it, food always tastes better with a view, and we’ve created a list of some of our favourite places, serving plates and platters with a generous side of ‘wow’.

The Wine Collective is within the grounds of the Macedon Ranges Hotel and Spa. The restaurant is in a beautiful bush setting, and your meal is served with incredible panoramic views looking over the ranges towards Melbourne. It’s a truly spectacular way to enjoy their menu of seasonal, local and unique Australian produce, with a glass of wine of course.

The Daylesford Hotel is well known by locals as having the best balcony in town. The fantastic wide timber balcony is a brilliant place for a family lunch, or relaxed drinks on a warm summer evening. Sink into a deck chair and watch the sunset with friends over a local ale or wine, and enjoy the fantastic bar menu serving up fave pub meals and tasty bar bites to share.

Don’t battle bayside traffic for a cool afternoon breeze, the Boathouse Restaurant at Lake Daylesford is the perfect spot to cool down on a scorcher. Wherever you sit (inside or out) you’re spoilt with stellar views of our favourite lake. Enjoy lunch or dinner with a sparkling wine, sparkling water and sparkling company, food and service and while away a few hours at one of the most popular spots in town.

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The Wine Collective, Macedon

The Guildford Winery offers alfresco long lunches and occasional dinners in their unique bush grotto setting right up next to the vines. Their grape growing philosophy is based on biodynamic principles and respect for the environment. The menu is locally sourced and the winery’s generous and leisurely long lunches are specially created to be enjoyed with friends.

In Trentham, The Cosmopolitan Hotel welcomes you to their historic pub. ‘The Cosmo’, as it is affectionately known by the locals, is set on an acre of established gardens. This is no poky inner-city beer garden; it features century-old elm trees and winding, shaded pathways. Dog and kid friendly, it’s the perfect escape from the city heat with family and friends. The Cosmo welcomes diners for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Sunday.

Sault Restaurant, on Daylesford’s doorstep, is nestled amongst rows of fragrant purple lavender. Sit on the deck and admire the thriving kitchen garden, with over fifty garden beds growing the most beautiful vegies for their sumptuous summer menu. Take a stroll to the picturesque lake and look beyond to Wombat Forest. It’s a perfect setting for a special lunch or dinner in the country.

At Tuki, just outside of Smeaton, the dining experience is unique, the menu features freshly caught trout from Tuki’s own ponds, and lamb and beef grazed on the property. It’s a great experience for families, with a catch guaranteed. You can even have your bounty prepared for your lunch. This much-loved working farm has won many awards, and is just 20 minutes from Daylesford and a whole world away from the city.

Martin St. Coffee, in Blackwood, is a real find, on the scenic back road to Daylesford. Take the Blackwood exit off the Western Freeway and you’ll find yourself in coffee nirvana in a picture-perfect slice of paradise. They are mighty fine roasters, in fact they’ve been named one of the best in Victoria, so you’re in safe hands, coffee lovers! Hit the café at the roastery Monday to Friday, they also do a cracking pizza on a Friday night.

Tucked away in a beautiful valley in Pastoria in the Macedon wine region, Cloud 9 Farm creates some wonderful estate grown wine varietals and serves them from the cellar door with a stunning view across the valley. Indulge in a delicious platter loaded with their own and locally sourced cheeses, preserves, pickles, small goods and deliciousness. Team a platter with a wine (or two) and you’ll be sitting on Cloud 9 indeed.

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Cloud 9 Farm, Pipers Creek

One of the most loved destinations in the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region is Lavandula. This restored historic Swiss Italian property shines in summer with abundant lavender and fragrant manicured gardens. Their café, La Trattoria, serves simple and seasonal rustic European fare. Share a pizza in the cool shade of the trees, then spend a lazy afternoon wandering the gardens.  Entry $4. It’s super kid-friendly too.

The sweet air and panoramic views this special region offers, elevates your dining experience to the next level. We’re just over an hour up the road from the CBD; come and taste what all the fuss is about and enjoy your food with a view in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.

Photo: Sault Restaurant, Daylesford by Jarrod Andrews @jrodcaptures

The Wine Collective, Macedon

Daylesford Hotel, Daylesford

Boathouse Restaurant, Daylesford

Guildford Winery, Guildford

The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Trentham

Sault Restaurant, Sailors Falls

Tuki, Smeaton

Martin St. Coffee, Blackwood

Cloud 9 Farm, Pipers Creek

Lavandula, Shepherds Flat

About the author

Daylesford Macedon 1
Kathy Douglas

Copywriter and artist in Ballarat, Daylesford, Bendigo & beyond.