When all the Good Stuff Happens

Out on the high seas, sailors would tattoo swallows on their hands if a shipmate drowned - so the swallows could fly the dead sailor’s soul to heaven. “The swallow tattoo, that’s my brother. Paul died when he was 43,” explains David Bromley, one of Australia’s most celebrated artists. “One of the first memories in my life is my brother toying with a spark plug. I was never that sophisticated.”

 In May, Bromley launched his latest venture on East street in Daylesford; Boon Bromley - a furniture collaboration with Hans Boon, a fellow Dutchman and “old-school mate.”  The result is a fusion of Bromley’s firework mind - a kaleidoscopic ode to youthful wonder, with Hans Boon’s refined European craftsmanship. But for Bromley, the business is something of an unrealised dream. 

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Sam PridmoreComment
Robin's Hood

Over a glass of chenin blanc, local architect Robin Larsen lyrically draws me in. “Architecture, well they say it’s frozen music,” suggests Robin, shy and eloquent.

 His partner JoAnne Stephenson laughs with the charm of Diane Keaton from early Woody Allen films. As a board member for the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, she was winding down from their recent tour of Daylesford. “This is the seventh or eighth year they’ve toured Daylesford,” she tells me, before spilling secrets about their plans in Daylesford next year.

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A Taste of Home

 Kathryn Russack cooks with the practised skill of decades in the kitchen and the flair of someone born to the job. Watching her in the kitchen at Colenso, her European-leaning restaurant on Kyneton’s High Street, is a masterclass in deftness and control. And deliciousness.

 “Handmade modern” is the way she describes her food as she hands over a plate of pea fritters with a thick dollop pf crème fraiche bejewelled with salmon roe. “Very ingredient based; I’ve got it down to how many trips I have to make to the plate. I never jump the shark.”

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Born to Brew

Woodend’s Holgate Brewhouse is celebrating Oktoberfest with a sneak preview of its new brewery and tasting room. 

If you’ve been to Woodend, you’ve seen – and without a doubt admired - the Holgate Brewhouse.

The imposing two-storey red-brick Victorian hotel is the de facto welcoming committee when you arrive in town off the highway from Melbourne. Even if you’ve just planning to drive past, the sight of people kicking back with a beer at the outside tables is enough to make anyone find room their itinerary for a quick stop.

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A Girl and Her Green Thumb

A warming sense of pride graces the face of Kelly Anne, Founder of Ballarat’s Greening Spaces. Inside her green haven, you’ll find trends reflecting the flair of the 1970’s, a resurgence of the indoor plant and the beginnings of a humble story. “I would love to get my business out of my home and into its own brick and mortar space to showcase our work”

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Master Creator

“Nature is the manifestation of divinity, for heaven’s sake,” smiles Roger McLean. He sits calm and collected. His white hair quiffed. His water-coloured gaze pulling the room apart - recalibrating something spiritual. Roger McLean is not interested in alcohol for alcohol’s sake. In the Middle Ages, medicinal practices were referred to as natural magic - Herbal Lore distillery evokes that diminished practice.

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Bake It 'Til You Make It

You could say Johnny Baker is a stage name. It’s the alter ego of John Stekerhofs, professional chef, self-taught patissière and all-round

bon vivant. It’s also the name of the singular, bustling coffee stop and pastry heaven he’s run in the heart of Castlemaine since 2015.

Hidden at the rear of the Newnorthern Art Hotel, near the Castlemaine Botanic Gardens – look for the de rigueur small sign pointing the way, or just follow your nose - is where you’ll find the always-pumping Johnny Baker. It’s colonised the old drive-through bottle shop, where coffee and cakes have replaced champagne and chardonnay. And if the words “drive through” don’t strike you as the food world’s

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eatSam PridmoreeatComment
Just Down The Lane

The urban winery movement arrived with a bang in Central Victoria with the June opening of Musk Lane – but first you have to find it.

Tucked down a no-name laneway in central Kyneton (the owners are in the process of having it officially anointed Turners Lane, after the Turner Bros Hardware yard that used to inhabit the site) this working winery, cellar door, wine bar, beer garden and neighbourhood hangout shows that you don’t have to leave the comforts of town for a taste of terroir.

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Lost Property - Musk Farm

Legacy is a labour of love. For Cathy and Michael Wagner, Musk Farm is more than a country escape—their spontaneous purchase was a life a affirming bloom. As you drive into the motor court of their home, you’re greeted by a stone boy playing the trumpet. Water pours from the instrument’s mouth into the pond below, and the sound feels like the crescendo to the garden’s movement.

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Something To Be Proud Of

In a cloud of saw dust, Donald Straka works with the ghosts of the forest. “This craftsmanship is becoming old-fashioned,” laments Donald Straka, founder of Daylesford’s Pride Furniture. “Everything in the retail market now is basically boxes with a few legs bolted on.”

 Amidst the furniture that crowds our daily lives, the delicate touch of artisans is fading. For millennia, artisans have looked up at trees and sculpted a comfortable way of life. In carved woodwork, craftsman try to honour the ornaments of nature. In Ancient Egypt, the nobility would furnished their palaces with opulent wooden chairs, delicately carved dining tables and bed frames with legs sculpted into lions and bulls. And it’s staggering to think that since the age of Pharaohs, modern furniture is still framed along the same design principles.

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Sam PridmoreComment
Oh My Goat

You don’t get to be award-winning cheesemakers without loving cheese. An overflowing trophy cabinet and legions of cheeseophile fans across Australia are evidence that Carla Meurs and Ann-Marie Monda, owners and cheesemakers at Holy Goat Cheese in Sutton Grange, truly love their work. But it’s quickly apparent that cheese is not the only thing they love about life on their 82-hectare farm.

 “One of the best things about making goats cheese is that you get to have a goatherd,” says Carla. “Goats are the most gorgeous animals – easy, friendly and they come to a call. They know us - the older goats will come over and acknowledge us whenever we’re in the paddock.”

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eatSam PridmoreComment
Lost Recipe - Green Bean, Quinoa, Roasted Pumpkin and Pickle Salad


Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Peel and slice shallots 4 mm thick. Place in small bowl with the sultanas.

Put all pickle ingredients in a pot and bring to boil. Simmer 1 minute and then pour over sultana mix. Set aside to soak. Overnight is preferable but a few hours of pickling can sauce. Once the sultanas are visibly plump you're good to go.

Roast almonds in the oven until crisp and light brown on the inside. 6/10 minutes. Once cool chop up in the food processor until they are in the middle of chunky and fine. You could also just put in a clean t towel and smash with a pot. Saves washing up more dishes.

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Reasons To Get Lost - September 2019


A day of demonstrations and foodie discussion with some of Australia’s top chefs including:

Andrew McConnell– Cutler & Co. Cumulus Inc, Supernormal, Rinky & Pinky, Melbourne

Matt Moran – ARIA, Barangaroo House, Chiswick, North Bondi Fish, Paddo Inn Grill, NSW

Hosted by Lake House Culinary Director Alla Wolf-Tasker in The Cooking School at Lake House. Day includes two demonstrations, recipes, tastings, baguette lunch, wine and refreshments.

11am - 3.30pm, 15 September
Lake House, King Street, Daylesford Tickets available at lakehouse.com.au

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Lost News - September 2019

Life is fleeting... Even more reason to become lost. Lost in our region, lost in our work, lost in our family and friends, lost in ourselves. We

have seen snow. We have seen rain. We have felt the chilling cold. The dormancy of winter has made us appreciate the importance of respecting our seasonal foods and preserving what we can.

Spring is waking up and boldly reminding us how important all the seasons are.

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Reasons to Get Lost - August 2019

Catch Australia’s hardest hitting Hammond Organ Trio 'Cookin’ On 3 Burners' at Palais-Hepburn Friday, August 30th.
Hammond organist Jake (originally from Glenlyon), drummer Ivan, guitarist Dan and special guest Stella Angelico (from Ballarat) return home for an unforgettable performance that's sure to get you up and dancing. Joining the dots between Deep Funk, Raw Soul, Organ Jazz & Boogaloo; Cookin’ On 3 Burners is like poking your head through a time portal that stretches between the year you were born and the middle of next week.

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