Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Daylesford Anniversary

Last Sunday was the 3rd Anniversary Weekend Getaway for me and Ray. After pondering about where to go for a while (in the process, the idea of going to Raymond Island to celebrate he whose name is Raymond's birthday was branded lame), we finally decided on a trip to Daylesford.

Daylesford is concentrated with Australia's natural mineral springs making it the top-notch place for relaxation and pampering. The main attraction there is of course, the spas. Hence, it is known as a great destination for a romantic getaway. I totally agree with this but I must add that, it is not only romance. It is the relaxing, laid-back atmosphere without any sense of urgency projected through the still lakes, the friendly locals and the soothing spas.

Our first stop was the market near the town center. Among the gems of Yugoslavian desserts and Belgian food, was this omg-mazing hot store. Even from metres away, I have already spotted the love of my life. It was this uber-cute purple hat that I knew loved before I met! They had a lot of other special hats other than this - with feathers, with big ribbons - but none as special to me as the purple one. Given its hefty price tag, I put it back after trying it on. But, the owner of the stall, an old man was too good of a salesman.
Each time I put it back, he would grab it and put it back onto my head - telling me how to wear it, asking me whether it was warm, letting me feel its thickness, showing me how much fringe to show. It was never ending and the torture was intense. A Japanese lady buying from him was KIND enough to tell me, "You look better in purple than red, grab it". Then came the killer, the owner said, "Your good friend here will buy it for you because he loves you." Spotlight was on Mr Tan. Jeng Jeng.
Anyway, I got a discount and Mr Tan bought it for me as my birthday present *glooom* but my birthday isn't until the end of the year so there is another room of 5 months for him to forget about this! How did I know my choice was right? After I have owned it, a Chinese girl said, "The one she has is really pretty, look for it" to her friend in chinese. Oh and also, a Coles Clayton cashier said it was amazing. I love my hat.
After the tallllll story, let me show you the legendary hat. If it looks less amazing than described, it is definitely because of the person wearing it. Not my hat's fault!
Did it keep me warm? Not just the body man, even the heart.

And a word from my sponsor here :-)

These are the Yugoslavian desserts we got from the same market. This marked the commencement of a two day sugar high.

These are sugar high grins.
For lunch, we dropped by a little cafe called Sweet Decadence just in the center of the town. It was a very nice and cosy place with lotsa chocolates.

The hot chocolate was just alright, as I favour my chocolate drinks richer in chocolate and not-so in milk. I still think chocolate drinks at Lindt Cafe in Sydney are the best with Max Brenner being the second. I love the sight of marshmallows floating on foamy hot chocolate. Makes me wanna devour them.

I'm still wearing my hat! We had a light lunch of Grilled Chicken and Mango Sandwich and Scones with Wildberry Jam.

While the sandwich was just alright, we loved the scone. A lot. You know how scones can be really hard and flour-y inside resulting in it being all sticky and yucky in your mouth? Well, this scone here is the total opposite. It was the softest and lightest textured scone I have ever tasted. Even eating it on its own was yummy. But together with the jam - fantastic!

The plan was to go for a long walk at Lake Daylesford after lunch, but unfortunately, it started raining. We took a few pictures near the lake. So the exercise plan was foiled. . . .

. . . and bring on the chocolate plan. Uh-huh we headed straight to Chocolate Mill. Which is a pretty impressive little place seeing how it was voted #11 in Victoria in RACV's Top Tourism Experience. They offer a little demonstration to guests and have quite a selection of chocolates.

When I was trotting out, I saw this sign and couldn't bear not to take a picture. I could not walk the other way as well. . .

Due to the bad bad weather (heavy rain and howling wind), we checked into our place and I proceeded to take a humongous amount of pictures of myself with my beloved hat. So, haha, scroll all the way down to escape this avalanche of my love for my new hat.

After a retreat at Hepburn Spa and Bathhouse and with skin as smooth as a baby's bottom, we went for our anniversary dinner at this restaurant called Sault. The layout of the place is amazing. The mansion-like building stood alone in an estate with contains not only rows of lavender (I think) but also a lake. They have a fountain right in front and as you walk towards the front door, speakers hidden near the bushes play the most romantic classic songs. When I walked in they were playing "Something Stupid Like I Love You". Awww, I gasped "How romantic" despite knowing what sorta response I would get from Mr Tan. Well, you go guess.

A starter of veal with something-something.
The atmosphere is really great. Then Mr Tan said, "It is a bit dark isn't it? Why can't they have brighter lights out there?"

Roasted half Bendigo Chicken, Colcannon mash, buttered leeks, jus lie.

Sault's Fish of the Day.

Sault's Cake of the Day which was a flourless rich chocolate and banana cake with chocolate mousse and a dollop of cream at the side. It was wicked.
The night was amazing. The people there were extremely nice. A posh restaurant with people not snobbish? I love.
All in all, it was the perfect anniversary celebration. Just a slow day of relaxing and exploring in a peaceful town, just the two of us.
It made both us so heavy hearted to leave the next morning. And we gobbled up this huge breakfast before we left (each person one serve!) making us heavier-hearted. The atmosphere in the cafe was so good. Everyone knew everyone there. A group of young mums with their kids were talking at a corner while their respective husbands were folding pirate hats from newspapers for the kids. Again, no sense of urgency.
But once our stomach were filled we knew it was time to go back to Clayton. All the way back in the car, we were talking about how great the night was, how soothing spas can be, how delicious the food were, how warm the people were - and how we will definitely return to Daylesford again.
As we drove the highways home, I could not think of a better way to depict how both of us will continue on the long road of life together - come rain, come storm - it all comes down to the heart and the will.
3 years and still going strong, can't wait for the 4th year.
(Here I am looking at you reading Harry Potter in your extra-tight ugly grey sweatpants with me in my ultra flowery pajama pants and a horrid pink pajama top)

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