A farmers market and The Lake House.....

With Melbourne experiencing a beautiful Autumn day, I headed down to Daylesford with one of my girlfriends for a spot of shopping, eating, and general wandering.

First stop was the Farmers Market at Trentham (located between Woodend and Daylesford) which was also holding

"Spud Fest"

, a little festival celebrating all things potato.

After stocking up on some fresh vegetables, eggs and of course potatoes, we then headed a little further down the road to Daylesford.

(Look at the beautiful blue sky)

Sitting in the beautiful sunshine with a pot of tea at a sweet little cafe just as you enter Daylesford was exactly what was needed.

It's been so cold lately in Melbourne that it was a real treat to feel the heat on your skin once again.

It also revived us for a little wander around some of the antique shops in the area.

We'd been told to visit a little honey place just near The Lake House called Des O'Tooles. It's just a little stand on the side of the road with an honesty box (located at the front of the Bee Keepers home). What an amazing taste! In fact, we later found out that it is the honey that The Lake House restaurant uses.

Having no more room in the car for any more produce, we were ready for the piece de resistance of the whole day -

Lunch at The Lake House.

Walking in was not what I expected. For some reason I felt the restaurant would been very formal (perhaps even a little stuffy), but that's not what we encounted at all. It was warm, friendly and very inviting with beautiful bright artwork on the walls and a view to die for.

We had the Express Lunch Menu - 2 courses and a glass of wine for $50.

To start off, we were given a little tasting plate of warm local olives and homemade bread sticks.

Off the menu, we chose the soup of the day (minestrone with Gruyere toast) and the ceaser salad with fresh white anchovies and a crumbed boiled egg with the ooziest yolk.

I was actually full at this stage, but we followed this with mushroom risotto and the duck with pork belly.

What an amazing experience.

The pork belly just melted in the mouth, and tasting my friend's risotto - wow! What an intense earthy flavour.

With no room left at all I really don't know how I ordered the little sweet tasting plate to go with coffee. Tiny morsels of passionfruit marshmallow, salted chocolate fudge, an orange and chocolate macaroon, shortbread, and spiced popcorn.

The service was superb. Not in your way, very knowledgeable and really down to earth which I felt really matched the environment.

Perfect sized portions too.

With the sun slowly making its way down, the light that fell on the yellow, red and brown Autumn leaves of the trees that surrounded the lake were calling out to us.

The photos just don't do justice to the colours that were present. So vivid that they've etched themselves into my memory.

Finishing off an amazing day filled with fresh food and lots and lots of fresh air.