01 Jul Gold Country
Hi! How are you?
Our hope is that you’re managing and keeping very well whilst tinkering around with your lives to find what works for you and that accommodates the changed circumstances.
Back on March 4, Scott and I were returning from our annual holiday, this time from hot and sunny Queensland. In the days leading up to our return, we’d started reading news stories about a virus and people in Victoria panic buying toilet paper, rice, pasta etc.
Arriving back home, we stepped into those very early and uncertain days of this pandemic.
We’ve felt very lucky over these past months that we got to enjoy two weeks holiday pre COVID 19 and that we weren’t getting back later in March.
Despite the virus rearing up again in Victoria, we feel that faint and familiar feeling of wanting to stop our world for a moment and get away, at some point, just for a few days.
We haven’t stopped working for almost this entire time; is that you too?
We feel the need to stop and reset and we’re finding clients are starting to feel the same way. Gently emerging from home and taking tentative steps away and loving it. It’s lovely to see familiar faces again and new ones and caring for darling cats again; we’ve so missed it.
Even though Victoria has some restrictions in place, we can still go somewhere to have a change of scenery, walk and breath in the fresh, country air and for a moment get away from our responsibilities and home offices.
A new month is ahead of us and we hope you like the places we share with you here. There’s some inspiration from Cat Butler Andy on places he loves to visit, especially at winter and some places Scotty and I would like to visit over the coming months too.
Here’s to some of the Gold country!
It’s only 125kms from Melbourne and a gateway to the golden triangle of our gold, rich country. A renovated delight that sits proudly, commanding a full corner in Ballarat is The Provincial Hotel, 121 Lydiard Street North. It’s decorated in a style that is so welcoming to me. Crisp white with nautical accents and pops of colour. I’m also looking forward to dining at Lola, their neighbouring restaurant for a delicious European inspired meal.
For a unique, fine dining experience (TRY to book in advance at) Underbar.
Seatings are limited to 16 guests and they’re only open Friday and Saturday evenings. You must book and or join a waitlist to experience Derek Boath’s delicious and expanding vision. If you are a lover of a degustation experience, you won’t be disappointed.
A few café’s I’d like to visit in Ballarat…
For a delicious breakfast or afternoon slice of cake, try The Turret Café. It’s open seven days a week and the atmosphere looks cosy and welcoming. 802 Sturt Street.
Scott loves a strong coffee, so we look forward to checking out Websters Market & Café at 61 Webster Street. Their menu selection looks the business for brunch and they offer take-away too. A perfect option as you take the day to explore the gorgeous country surrounds.
And Yellow Espresso at 13 Sturt Street. They atmosphere and offerings look healthy and delicious and their use of the colour Yellow makes this café so welcoming and cheery; just like a bunch of daisies.
There’s so much history in Ballarat, the café’s you’ll enjoy and the hotel all have stories from the early 1900s and to learn more about our Victorian Gold History I recommend a visit to The Gold Museum in Bradshaw Street at Sovereign Hill. Sovereign Hill is now operating but I would check their website for updates before visiting.
Hepburn and Daylesford
A delightful 45min drive from Ballarat is Hepburn.
This is an area of Victoria we’ve been visiting for many years and it holds wonderful memories for us.
You’re connecting with nature and staying warm and cosy at Clifftop at Hepburn. It’s luxurious and wonderfully cosy on a winters evening. It has a restful ambience, with muted tones and lots of natural wood.
We’re looking forward to staying in one of the Solitude Villas.
And just up the road for a delicious breakfast or lunch is delightful Daylesford.
Our favourite places to eat are and in not specific order…
Pancho Café at 117 Vincent Street – Takeaway only at the moment and I recommend everything.
Cliffy’s at 30 Raglan Street – Mmm delicious eggs Benedict, hot chocolate and produce to buy.
Wombat Hill House located in Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens – Mmm breakfast pizza to share (not sure if they’re serving that at the moment).
Every time we’ve eaten at these establishments, and it’s been a lot, we’ve been welcomed, staff are lovely, kind, attentive, the food is healthy, delicious and generous and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. What a recommendation! X
Obviously, some restrictions may apply at the moment. Please check with the venue before visiting if they are offering limited table service or takeaway only.
I love visiting Trentham!
It’s less than 100km from Melbourne, which is very accessible, but given its altitude of 700m above sea level it always provides a break from the heat in summer and gets genuinely cold in winter. When you can visit somewhere like the Red Beard Bakery, this is a great thing.
Walking out of the crisp winter air into the warmth of the bakery is like receiving a hug from a giant!
At the centre of the bakery site is the Scotch Oven that provides the great food that is served in the bakery, and the warmth of the building.
Instead of the heat being applied directly to the bread during the baking process, the bricks in the oven are heated and the heat radiates out to bake the bread.
This applies a lot more uniform heat to the baked goods. Anything that comes out of the oven tastes absolutely fantastic but I particularly recommend the ginger snap biscuits. You can see into the oven area and watch the dough being prepared and see into the entrance of the oven itself.
Accommodation is plentiful, but if you’d like to stay somewhere a little different, the Flop House accommodation may have something for you. They offer a mix of accommodation, catering for groups of 2 up to 10 people (restrictions apply). Five homes are based in Kyneton itself but they also have properties across other goldfield towns, including a renovated church in Maldon.
Take a walk along the Campaspe river, starting from the Botanical Gardens (on the edge of Kyneton, heading South towards the railway station) and finishing on the Western end of Piper St. The walking is approximately 3.5km and should take around one hour. Doing the walk this way means that you can refuel somewhere on Piper St!
Piper St is the most well-known foodie destination in Kyneton. My favourites are Little Swallow Café for lunch or a morning coffee and Source Dining for that special occasion. For something away from the Street, Kaddy’s Café on High St also offers a warm fire and the chance to refuel after that walk!
Source Dining website www.sourcedining.com.au
Kyneton Farmer’s Market (Keep an eye out on their website for re-opening dates)
The market takes place in the grounds of St Paul’s Anglican Church on Piper St on the 2nd Saturday of the month, but the market also trades in Lancefield, Malmesbury, Woodend, Macedon and Riddells Creek on other weekend days.
Of course, in all of these wonderful areas there are talented artisans – ceramists, jewellery makers, painters, sculptors, farmers, cheese makers, wine and beer makers…the list goes on.
We are incredibly spoilt for choice in our beautiful Victoria and our people need us to be visiting, staying for a little while and purchasing from them.
We must respect and keep a safe distance from each other but we must also look after our health and that means calling time on work and taking a break when we can.
We miss you, we look forward to hearing from you and seeing beautiful fur clients again and we send you love from The Cat Butler x