Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are the undisputed spa capital of Australia. Just a quick drive from Melbourne, Daylesford is an easy weekend getaway for couples wanting to relax and unwind, as well as families looking for an accessible country holiday. When you’re not indulging in pampering treatments at the region’s spas, there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied—hiking around Lake Daylesford or wandering through art galleries at the Convent Daylesford and antique stores.
If you’re looking for the best fine dining restaurants in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, look no further.
The Gourmet Capital of Victoria is home to some of the best restaurants in the state—and we’re not just talking about the food they serve. The chefs and owners are passionate about what they do, and it shows in their creations. They use only the freshest local produce and ingredients to craft their meals, which are then served at tables that are often hand-crafted by artisans from the region. It’s a feast for all your senses!
Fine dining is a tradition here, and they have many award-winning chefs who use local produce to create amazing meals.
Many travelers come here just to eat at these restaurants, but there are also plenty of other things to do in this beautiful part of Victoria.
There are many fine dining options in the area, but we’ve picked out our best fine dining restaurants in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs:
One of the most well known restaurants in Australia, and certainly one that put Daylesford on the gastronomic map. The Lake House Restaurant is located in a beautiful country setting, with views of Lake Daylesford. Alla Wolf-Tasker AM started The Lake House Restaurant decades ago has since been awarded two chefs hats from the National Good Food Guide . The ethos of the restaurant is to cook with whats in season and most produce comes from their own Dairy Flat Farm. A stunning four course meal is priced at $185 per person and the quickest way to score yourself a reservation is to stay at the hotel. Read more about The Lake House Restaurant here.
The Surly Goat Hepburn Springs is a small, intimate restaurant located in the middle of Hepburn Springs. and it is one of the lesser known fine dining restaurants in the region. The food is modern Australian, and the team serves a daily changing four course degustation menu of around 8 to 10 dishes. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual, with communal bar and a very knowledgable and friendly staff.
The food at The Surly Goat changes frequently due to their local produce suppliers. While this gem in Hepburn Springs doesn’t draw the crowds from Melbourne just yet, it is probably one of our favourite. We really enjoy sitting at the bar while enjoying the prix fixe menu. Currently The Surly Goat is servicing a traditional roast once a month, but with a Surly Goat tweak. Check out their instagram, or read about it on here
Du Fermier is Annie Smithers small farmhouse style restaurant on the high street in Trentham, on a short 20 minute drive from Daylesford. As with most fine dining restaurants in the region, the menu is inspired with what is in season. In the case of Du Fermier it is actually what is being harvested at Babbington Park, the chefs own production farm in Lyonville.
The menu, similar to interior design, is farm style and the four course degustation menu is served either plated or family sharing style. Du Fermier is exclusively open for lunch and bookings are hard to get. Reservations open on the first of the month for two months in advance at 6am via their website. Read more on how to get a booking here.
Du Fermier prides itself on serving long lunches, so probably best to make a weekend of it.
125 acres with a stunning restaurant, lavender fields and their own lake. Just 10 minutes outside of Daylesford, Sault Restaurant and the acreage surrounding it is a beautiful sight to behold. The menu is contemporary Australian, seasonal and expertly put together by head chef Liam Scott.
Inspired by the French village of “Sault” near Avignon, Sault Restaurant offers an abundance of lavender, a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful seasonal food. The restaurant serves an a la carte 3 or 4 course menu and bookings are required. Read more about Sault Restaurant here.
Bistro Terroir is a French bistro style restaurant in the centre of Daylesford on Howe Street. The contemporary and slightly moody interior design forms the perfect background for some well known bistro dishes like beef tartare, steak frites and creme brulee.
Chef and owner Matthew Carnell’s style is elegant but unpretentious and Bistro Terroir is one of most relaxed fine dining restaurants in town. You’re in control when dining here, as food is served a la carte and without min 3 or 4 courses. Bookings fill up usually about two weeks in advance, so definitely book ahead. Read more about it here.
Passing Clouds Winery is one the regions best wineries located on a ten minute drive from Daylesford. Next to the cellar door, where you can taste some of their beautiful Pinots and Chardonnays, is The Passing Clouds Dining room. An intimate restaurant that is exclusively open for lunch from Thursday to Monday’s overlooking the vines.
The dining room serves a 3 course fixed La Famiglia style shared menu, that is exclusively prepared over the charcoal fire pit. Bookings open up 6 week in advance and fill up quickly, so make sure you book well in advance. Read more about Passing Clouds Winery here.
Fine dining in the heart of the spa country, who can argue with that? Think sunsets, fireplaces, and cosy laid back dining.
In Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, there are many fine dining options that won’t break the bank. There are also plenty of casual pubs and cafes that offer great food at reasonable prices.
If you’re looking for a special night out, consider these other dining options:
- The Farmers Arms – The classic country style pub, welcoming you into town. Join the locals for a drink at the front bar, or book yourself a table for a pub meal.
- The Virgin at Hotel Bellinzona – A hotel that has been open for over a hundred years, reimagined in the last years. The Virgin is a laid back all day dining option in Hepburn Springs.
- The Daylesford Hotel – an Australian country pub serving modern Australian cuisine overlooking the main roundabout in Daylesford.
The Lake House is the best-known restaurant in Daylesford, and for good reason—it’s got a beautiful setting, friendly service, delicious meals, and fine dining quality. But it’s far from the only one worth visiting. The area is home to many excellent restaurants with great food, good wine lists, and attentive staffs. We hope this guide has helped you discover some new places to check out on your next visit!