Sometimes I feel like I'm running out of places to visit in Melbourne, but there are many small little places that you might not hear about as often.
Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm is just ten minutes further from the Daylesford area and is a simple, down-to-earth getaway from the busy surburban life.
It's undeniably cute, like walking in someone's extremely large backyard. The best bonus is that it is also dog-friendly as long as your dog is on a leash.
They also have a cafe, La Trattoria, with some of your usual simple items like wraps and sandwiches but also hot food like pies and baked eggs.
I chose the Farmer's pie, which was more like a quiche, whilst my friend had the baked eggs. Unfortunately if you want something simple like eggs on toast, it's not on the menu. The bright side is that they have quite a few things on offer.
The food was at least a better offering than your simple wraps and prepackaged food, but not as amazing as suburban or inner-city fare.
There was a water bowl and tap for dogs to drink from and whilst you eat, your canine friend can take comfort under or beside your table. The outdoor seating was warm and rustic with white lanterns, wooden tables and lavender plants.
We then began our walk, which was thankfully accompanied by some lovely weather. There are many geese roaming the area and you'll see a few other animals - chickens, emus and a horse. You'll also see some other plants besides lavender such as sunflowers.
Although the scenery was not as amazing as other gardens in Melbourne, the weather ensured it looked amazingly green and beautiful for our relaxing walk.
The staff even began to start setting up for a small wedding later in the day - a lovely day for it! After we explored the gardens, which doesn't take too long, we went back to the cafe for some afternoon tea.
Fascinated, we ordered some lavender scones and also some lavender lemonade. The scones were not too different with a subtle flavour, but the lavender in our drink was quite strong.
I couldn't quite decide if I liked it or not, but it was definitely a refreshing kick of flavour for a sunny afternoon. I think it would have been good for it to be less overpowering in the lemonade, but the lavender scent is quite distinct and hard to tame!
Although the cafe food wasn't amazing the staff were nice and pleasant, not even rushing people as they set up for the wedding. They even brought the water bowl right to our dog as he was a bit tired by the end of our walk.
If you're looking for a nice day out with your dog, this is a great place to take a walk with them. If you don't have a dog this place might be a little less interesting, but a nice little walk nonetheless. The cafe's variety of the menu and outdoor seating makes it a convenient spot to eat with your dog and overall the farm is not too crowded, and very cute!
Where: 350 Hepburn-Newstead Rd, Shepherds Flat
Cost: $4 Adult, school students $1