Travel News

Coming soon to regional Victoria: a farm and boutique lodge by the Lake House family

For culinary doyenne Alla Wolf-Tasker it’s her “romantic Chekhov country house dream” complete with an orchard, bakery and exclusive accommodation for up to 14 guests.

By Michael Harden
Alla Wolf-Tasker
The ever-evolving project that is Daylesford's Lake House is taking another leap forward with the opening of Dairy Flat Lodge and Farm this December.
A 15-hectare working farm in Musk, about seven kilometres from Daylesford in central Victoria, Dairy Flat is the fulfilment of a dream that Lake House owners Alla and Allan Wolf-Tasker have had since they opened Lake House some 30-plus years ago: to grow much of the produce for their celebrated restaurant. (The Lake House was recently named one of Australia's Top 50 restaurants in the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide).
The gardens at Dairy Flat Farm.
When the Wolf-Tasker family bought the property last year it was a run-down but viable farm that included an established olive grove, a vineyard and an eccentric house with an underground cellar space accessed via a tunnel.
"We'd been looking for a property for a long time," says the Wolf-Taskers' daughter Larissa. "We needed something established and while Dairy Flat needed work, we could see its potential. But Mum also fell in love with the silver birches that line the driveway – they reminded her of Russia and it taps into this romantic Chekhov country house dream she's always had about this region."
View of Dairy Flat Lodge across the vineyard.
The view over Dairy Flat Farm.
Just like at Lake House, which expanded from a small weekend-only restaurant to internationally acclaimed hotel, spa and cooking school, the Wolf-Taskers' ambitions for Dairy Flat are greater than growing a few vegies.
In a year they've planted an orchard of 350 heirloom fruit trees and a cutting garden for the plants and flowers decorating the rooms at Lake House. They've established a bakery in the cellar, which will supply bread and pastries to all their businesses, and turned the main house into the Lodge, decorating it with bespoke furniture made by local craftspeople and offering luxury, private accommodation for up to 14 people.
An ensuite at Dairy Flat Lodge.
The library at Dairy Flat Lodge.
"This style of accommodation is all over Europe but it's not so common in Australia," says Larissa. "You have the whole Lodge to yourself so you can gather your tribe together in one place and you don't have to sacrifice any privacy or luxury."
Dairy Farm Lodge has six ensuite rooms, a library, a lounge with an open fireplace and private outdoor spaces, including a formal garden with established hedgerows. Two concierges are on-site to mix cocktails, serve breakfast and lunch and organise beekeeping or gardening workshops at the farm. Guests are also encouraged to immerse themselves in the day-to-day running of the farm, such as tending to the vegetable gardens, hoop houses, olive groves and vineyard.
The entrance to Dairy Flat Lodge.
Larissa says Dairy Flat provides an immersive, closed-loop food and farm experience for guests. "There's always been a huge interest from our guests in food and cooking," she says. "And now we're able to provide them with a direct connection to the land."
The Lodge is slated to open in December.
Dairy Flat Farm and Lodge, Daylesford, Victoria, (03) 5348 3329, dairyflatfarmdaylesford.com.au