L'Atelier, Daylesford: Weekend Away

Read our writer's views on this property below

Check out L'Atelier in DAYLESFORD, writes Kylie McLaughlin.

THE SETTING

It's raining so hard on the drive into Daylesford it's hard to imagine breaking free of the confines of our accommodation but as the morning swings into afternoon, sunlight streams through the clouds, illuminating leaves in bright autumn colours. Clouds disappear, revealing the brightest blue sky. The ground may be damp, but the air is fresh and the sun is warm on your skin - perfect weather for wandering Daylesford's main street and roaming art shops, delicatessens and galleries, or admiring gardens and colonial homes. At dusk, mist shrouds hilly landscapes dotted with houses and makes for a stunning sight, and it becomes clear why Daylesford is such an attractive weekend destination for many Melburnians.

THE SPACE

The new single, L-shaped apartment, called L'Atelier, rests on top of eCasa, a specialty homewares store on the corner of Vincent Street and Central Springs Road. The apartment is Parisian in style; images of the city adorn the walls, and a black-and-white theme prevails. There are two double bedrooms and two bathrooms, one a feature room for a claw-footed bath. Huge windows let in loads of natural light from both sides of the apartment. Heating, essential for this time of year, is switched on in the lounge and bedrooms and does an ample job of keeping the apartment warm. There is plenty of space in the lounge-dining area for two people, and the temptation to flop into one of the two huge, comfortable lounge suites in front of the gas fire and settle in for the afternoon or evening is hard to combat.

THE KIT

The rooms feature the basic amenities of a serviced apartment. The kitchen has condiment staples and kitchen necessities including a dishwasher. There are staples for one breakfast, along with a bottle of wine, olives and pate, gratefully received on arrival.

There is a good television and a Bluetooth sound system, as well a selection of old-school DVDs and books. On the downside, there is no Wi-Fi. In the bathroom there's a hairdryer, heated towel racks, Aesop shampoo and conditioner, and Claus Porto liquid soap and hand cream.

THE FOOD

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You could spend your entire trip to Daylesford grazing. The Farmers Arms is an enticing pub filled with friendly locals and excellent grub with an international slant, and a decent wine list. Kazuki's, a five-minute walk from the town centre, in a converted hotel, takes an international bent one step further with its Japanese fusion. Chef Kazuki's northern Japanese heritage offers an inspired menu, and the degustation is an excellent way to sample it. The staff are welcoming and attentive. There is an extensive wine list, plus a huge selection of Japanese sakis, plum wines, cocktails and beer worth sampling. Vegetarians are well catered for.

WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR

A weekend here can be easily filled without a stroll around the lake or Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens, let alone visits to its common farmers' markets and food festivals. But if you are so inclined, this is "spa country", and resort town Hepburn Springs, which has the highest concentration of mineral springs in Australia, is only 3 kilometres away.

THE VERDICT

L'Atelier is a charming, cosy and stylish place to stay in Daylesford and certainly inexpensive if shared between two couples. Its central location makes it ideal for first-time explorers to the town, and its close proximity easy for shopping and dining. Beautiful views complement the decor.

HOW TO GET THERE

From the city, follow the M1 until you hit Western Ring Road (M80). Head towards Ballarat on the Western Freeway (M8) until you get to the Ballan-Daylesford Road (C141). This will take you straight into the main street of Daylesford, Vincent Street, where L'Atelier is located.

ESSENTIALS

From $175 a night, including a bottle of wine and breakfast supplies for two people staying two nights or more. L'Atelier is at 89 Vincent Street, Daylesford. Phone 5348 1802; see latelierdaylesford.com.au.

The writer stayed courtesy of L'Atelier.