The following images are from a fairly recent winter weekend escape up to Daylesford, which is about 90 minutes from Melbourne, staying at the simply sublime Lake House. We both have long wished to visit and more importantly sample the legendary restaurant which is co-owned by chef Alla Wolf-Tasker and features a modern Australian cuisine showcasing the best produce from the region.
We booked a two night stay at the hotel which is located on Lake Daylesford, and which offers plenty of gentle local walking tracks around the Lake itself, venturing into the Wombat State Forest. The first night we ventured into the pretty town of Daylesford and sampled a local restaurant. The next day we awoke and after an excellent breakfast decided to take a long walk around the lake armed with our Canon cameras and a couple of lenses. There is something quite invigorating in wrapping up against the winter chill and walking through such beautiful scenery; the cold seems to heighten my sense of smell and very much evokes childhood memories of winter in the little English village that I grew up in…
For some reason I decided to leave my beloved 17mm TS-E at home, and instead decided to try and enjoy using my 16-35mm f2.8 L on this particular break (as well as a standard 24-105mm f4L zoom). Unfortunately I simply have never been particularly impressed with the 16-35 f2.8L and rarely (if ever) use it professionally. I love the focal range, however I just find that my particular copy is just too soft and mushy in the left hand corner; it is, according to Canon, ‘within the acceptable range’ however I will most definitely be investing in the new 16-35f4L IS as soon as I can get my hands on one. This new version is reputed to offer extremely good edge to edge sharpness at all focal ranges, with much better control over chromatic aberration.
Continuing our walk we came across this lovely bridge…
After our walk, we lazed around in the apartment reading and snoozing until it was time to head to the restaurant for our highly anticipated dinner. Naturally I could still not resist shooting a few night images while Mel relaxed, however I once again did not have my tripod with me, and so shot most of these images handheld using an ISO of 5000, which of course greatly increases the grain and softens the resulting photograph.
Over dinner I simply snapped a few images of our meal using the Canon Ixus 125 HS, little concerned with the image quality as by now I was in ‘Gastro Heaven!’
The meal was perhaps one of he best I have had in a very long time, which considering the incredible quality and diversity of the restaurants that we are fortunate to have on our doorstep here in Melbourne is no mean feat. The Lake House itself is certainly not an inexpensive escape for a weekend, however I can recommend it without reservation and look forward to the time when we may return for another weekend of indulgence!