What and where is it? A boutique guesthouse, spa and restaurant, The Lake House is a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, and located in the teeny regional Victorian spa-town of Daylesford. Its beautiful waterfront rooms and suites are set in delightful rambling grounds complete with a bountiful orchard and kitchen garden. The property over-looks a lake on which geese and ducks parade and in which a cheeky oversized Murray cod (a native fish) has proved impossible to catch, try as the chef might. Why would we leave Melbourne? During the 30 years The Lake House has been in business, its owners - the Wolf-Taskers; chef Alla and her artist husband, Allan - have managed to stay ahead of the cultural, creative and culinary curve, treating guests to world-class service, fresh local cuisine and an award-winning wine cellar. Go on; what's on the menu? The Wolf-Tasker family has been at the forefront of the push for local producers and the results are menu standouts. From the garden: freshly foraged elderflowers, aromatic fennel, heritage beets, zucchini blossoms and purple garlic. From surrounding pastures and waterways: heritage chicken, inland eel and belted Galloway beef. From beyond: Victorian hard and soft cheeses and vermouth from Western Australia. What about the wine? Australia's standard-bearer of food and wine trends, Gourmet Traveller magazine recently awarded The Lake House its Australian Wine List of the Year and Best Victorian Wine List awards. The cellar is open for guests to explore at their leisure. It showcases more than 800 labels sommelier-plucked from the surrounding wine regions of Heathcote, Bendigo, the Pyrenees and Grampians, and from benchmark old-world vineyards globally. The wine paired degustation menu offers a feast to be remembered. What's the highlight? A deck surrounded by lush trees and overlooking the lake is the perfect place for a spritz - a classic Italian aperitivo. The Lake House has modelled its delightful spritz menu on those found in the bars along Italy's Lake Garda. You'll likely be joined here by the family of tame kookaburra birds that have made friends with the waiting staff over the years. Is there any other such decadence? The Salus Day Spa, in a weatherboard cottage surrounded by ferns, mossy rocks and a waterfall-fed stream, has a magical private treetop spa tub filled with 100 per cent Daylesford mineral water. What's that, then? With 65 mineral springs, the Daylesford-Hepburn Springs region accounts for more than 80 per cent of Australia's known mineral water springs. Consequently, spas, baths and holistic therapies (including acupuncture) are plentiful and popular. What else is going on? Daylesford has had quite a makeover in the past decade, evolving from agricultural town to food and wine hot spot. Foodies can eat from farm gates and markets and drink at cellar doors, country pubs and wine bars. To help with digestion (and to burn off those calories), walking tracks abound in the surrounding forest, and boast waterfalls and the chance of spotting a native wallaby, wombat or koala. What's the bottom line? Most guests book a package. The base level is the Overnight Escape package (Sunday-Thursday), which includes a la carte dinner and breakfast, starting from A$275 (HK$1,640) per person. For more details, go to www.lakehouse.com.au .