Wombat Hill House is such a beguilingly Australian name for a cafe and pantry store. We spot none of the creatures pottering about but there are rather cute winged wombats livening up the murals. This is Daylesford, northwest of Melbourne, and close to the Wombat State Forest. The force of nature that is chef-restaurateur-hotelier Alla Wolf-Tasker (pictured) of nearby Lake House opened the eatery in 2011 in the town’s Botanic Garden. Once the residence of the estate’s caretaker, it’s now a casual dining option as popular with Wolf-Tasker’s Lake House guests as in-the-know locals. On a recent Sunday, the place was abuzz, with patrons seated in a cosy variety of spaces, including banquettes, mixand-match nooks, communal tables and in a pretty conservatory. Order at the open kitchen-bar from a menu that includes the likes of fish and chips, Reuben sandwiches, chunky salads and meatballs humming with spices. There’s regional wine, cocktails with names such as Wombat Spritzer and a championing of parish produce. Open five days a week for breakfast, lunch and afternoon teas, with “hibernation” on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. More: wombathillhouse.com.au.