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Happy 40th Birthday Lake House

Many conversations, books, articles and interviews with Lake House Co-Founder and Managing Director Alla Wolf-Tasker AM inevitably begin with: "It was sheer madness really....." in answer to questions like: “Tell me more about the early days”; “Why Daylesford?”; “Does the current success of the business reflect your original vision?” and “How DO you keep an independently owned and operated hospitality business not only alive, but largely at the top of its game for so many years?”. The answers to all those questions have now been the substance of several books, hundreds of articles and many case studies in Hospitality and Tourism.

Lake House Today….

Today, daughter Larissa Wolf-Tasker, son in law Robin Wilson, with a team of career professionals from all over the globe, oversee Lake House.

With 33 studios and suites on the shores of lake Daylesford, a founding member of Luxury Lodges of Australia, it sits amongst 6 acres of country style gardens, a legacy of those early days of planting by Alla and often her mother Katherine. There are beautiful waterfront terraces, an infinity pool that looks through the silver birches to the still wild, yet much more “kempt” lake Daylesford beyond, a tennis court, library, event spaces and significant Spa.

But all are still adjuncts to the Restaurant which remains the beating heart of the place and through it’s many incarnations over the years has remained true to it’s original mission and values and to its own version of fine dining “with the top button undone”.

A commitment to hospitality, knowledge, skill, quality produce, integrity in delivery and purpose behind the passion. Warm relaxed hospitality without the need for a jacket and tie. Never any sense of worshiping at a “Temple of Gastronomy”. And always at the end of the day, only one thing matters, it has to be delicious – the food and the total experience (OR and the whole damned thing).

These days the dining room looks through the lines of Robinia, Poplar, Pin Oak, Catalpa and Weeping Mulberry to the lake shores. Rows of umbrellas shade guests as they lounge in the sunshine. Inside, Allan’s beautiful paintings of the Australian landscape help to confirm the sense of place for a dining room that has again just recently been renovated.  It’s a restaurant full of memories of long lunches, special occasions, weddings… break ups, make ups, famous faces and lots and lots of return guests. If only the walls could talk…

It’s been white, cream, green and mauve. High back, low back, banquet seating. White plates, black plates, boards, and tiles. Never in response to fads and never at the expense of its original identity. It continues a natural and organic evolution, a living breathing entity fueled and moulded by the family vision and its current caretakers. As one guest remarked recently, it appears fresher each visit, as if with a facelift, flawless …. and ageless.

The rescue and rebuilding of another property in 2018- 2020 just minutes from Lake House, saw the development of Dairy Flat Lodge, Bake House & Farm.

Close to 40 acres dedicated to extending the Good Food, Hospitality and Sustainable Luxury vision of Lake House. This was not to be just another simple kitchen garden….

Our regenerative farm now produces vast amounts of vegetable, herbs and flowers for the Lake House tables. In season we agist rare breed cattle and lambs from our local producers.  There are also our own olives, olive oil, honey and fruit from the orchard. This year we will be celebrating our first Pinot Noir Rose, Chardonnay and apple cider.

Regenerative practices are dedicated to constantly rebuilding the soil to optimum health. Significant composting systems transfer waste from Lake House and our Wombat Hill House Café back to the land, bee hives are kept both for honey and wax as well as pollination. Guinea fowl and geese roam the gardens, keeping bugs at bay. And then there is the farm Bake House. Baking 7 days a week with a commitment to proper sourdough and slow fermentation, non-GMO grains and local millers. The bread and associated viennoiserie has a cult following amongst the local community as well as being offered to guests of Dairy Flat Lodge, Lake House and at our café Wombat Hill House.

Our 40th Year.....

40 years on, whilst Lake House certainly looks much different to what it was in those early years, our guests continue to remark on the connection and inspiration they feel here. Despite those early and very humble beginnings Alla and Allan’s hopes continued to be fulfilled and the legacy lives on.

At a time when good hospitality matters more than ever, we at Lake House are united with a sense that through good food and travel, we can build and encourage community and hold space for history whilst looking forward to our future. We’d like to think you agree with us, that good food matters and that good hospitality is worth investing in.

In 2024, Lake House and the Wolf-Tasker family celebrate 40 years of hospitality at our house on the lake.

Whilst each day should be enjoyed (& we plan to), a series of celebration events are planned for August and also December (to ring in the new year and the beginning of our 5th decade in style). To be first to find out, make sure you are on our mailing list.

Thank you for your support of our family, our team, our region and our house on the lake.

Media

  • The Financial Review

    ‘It was sheer madness’: How Alla Wolf-Tasker created the Lake House

    Sue Gough Henley | May 2024

    READ ARTICLE
  • The Age

    From humble beginnings to Victoria’s most-loved regional hotel

    Ben Groundwater | April 2023

    READ ARTICLE
  • Gourmet Traveller

    This is how women do it: Leading women in restaurants

    Davi Valent | April 2024

    READ ARTICLE