Coffee, food and mountain biking – a timeless troika
Seems magazine articles on mountain biking, for as long as I recall and no matter where in the world, so often also cover the rider experiences of coffee and cakes in their riding enviroment. btw, why doesn’t tea ever get a mention?
Given the frequent changes of cafe ownership in the Wombat Forest towns of Daylesford, Creswick and surrounds, I thought it timely to provide an update.
Nothing to split these four. And each can have an off day if the right staff member isn’t there although that means an average coffee rather than a poor one. If I am at the top end (Post Office) end of town I head for Koukla and this is backed up by their winning regional accolades for their coffee.
Mid way between the two roundabouts on the opposite side are two adjacent eateries – Gourmet Larder and Bocconcini. The former now has a coffee servery. The cafe always seems to be busy any day of the week. However for food with coffee I head next door to Bocconcini where we recently have had excellent, flavoursome and great value light meals along with good coffee.
And for vegans, at the Castlemaine end of town, right at the traffic island opposite Farmers Arms, is an oriental themed shop cum cafe that specialises in organic and Fair Trade coffees. Bening vegan, the milks are soy, oatmeal, almond. Good parking. And if you are in a hurry, Muffys on the Ballarat side of the lower roundabout, is my choice.
Over the years cafes have come and gone with distressing regularity but at last there seems to be stability. Two to recommend from recent experiences. Cocoa Chy chocolate cafe isn’t where you might expect a good coffee (unless you are a patron of Koko Black in the big smoke). But mostly their coffee has been very good and their cakes etc are not all chocolate based by any means.
New kid on the block is a French patisserie Le peche gourmand. Occasionally I succumb to the display of cakes and pastries to go with my also very good coffee.
Glenlyon and Guildford
Despite change of ownership of these two old favourite country general stores, their standard for coffee, food and value remains as good as ever. Guildford General Store has in-store kitchen and their pies are the best flavour, texture, look and value around despite hot regional competition. Glenlyon General Store has innovative meals and local produce.
Enjoy both stores in one day by experiencing the General store to General store ride. And if it is high summer, then I’ve found the Guildford Family Hotel is a welcoming place for a cold drink and great pub grub. Cider on tap when I was there a few weeks back.
Wineries, Cidery, Brewery, Smallgoods
I can’t even begin to mention all the wineries in this region.
A couple of years ago, the Daylesford cidery opened for drinks and meals. So popular it closed down early the first year due to exhausting their local production. Ellender Winery hosts Daylesford’s Dolphin micro brewery beers. I haven’t tasted them yet but if they are anywhere as good as Woodend’s Holgate brewery, I’ll be a great fan.
And for years we have really enjoyed the produce of Istra Smallgoods near Musk. Thoroughly recommended. And while on the topic of different meats that we enjoy, Spa Venison in Daylesford has beautiful venison as you would expect and also goat.
Mountain Bikers in Wombat Forest
Those are my current recommendations to complement your equally enjoyable mountain biking in the region. Apart from as yet untasted Dolphin beer, I have enjoyed all these products, some for many years.