Jodi & Damien : Sault

EVERY bride has thought it.
At some point in the wedding process the thought has crossed her mind that she could do this 'whole wedding thing' AS A LIVING! Thoughts of grandeur and glamour are conjured in-between fittings and meetings with photographers and florists - 'I could be a wedding planner' is the most common. Followed by, 'I could run a bridal shop', (imagine sourcing those dresses and shoes!! Overseas trips to European fashion houses are penciled into diaries and imaginary commercial real estate leases are signed) 'I could be a wedding photographer', 'I could be an exclusive wedding florist' and even thoughts of 'I could be the bomboniere queen' are toyed with.

Ahh we all think it ladies... Once the honeymoon is over and you head back to work to pay off the French Champagne and Jimmy Choos only a very small number of brides follow through with the dream.

One of the stunning images from the Gwendolynne Love and Lavender shoot at Sault last year.

One of the stunning images from the Gwendolynne Love and Lavender shoot at Sault last year.

Here in Daylesford we have a lovely local couple who made this dream come true. Jodi Flockhart & Damien Aylward were living in Melbourne above a fruit shop. Pursuing careers on stage and screen, (and dabbling in a little hospitality to pay the bills) each weekend they'd drive to their country block near Daylesford to their little container and dream of their perfect life in the country.

Jodi and Damien were married at Sault Restaurant 10+ years ago. Sault is a destination wedding venue/restaurant just out of Daylesford on a picturesque lake, with fragrant and beautiful established lavender rows and stunning sunset views. It wasn't long after their nuptials when the (then) owner of Sault casually dropped into conversation that he was selling the property. In one of those Hollywood moments Jodi and Damien decided to go for it! They were swept up in the romance of romance, and became the proud new owners of Sault.

Jodi & Damien and their happy wee ones - and all that amazing lavender!

Jodi & Damien and their happy wee ones - and all that amazing lavender!

They set about fine tuning the restaurant and property and making it a destination for couples to have their ceremony, photographs and reception all on site. They built a chapel/barn on the lake. Created with reclaimed materials and built with love by loads of other lovely locals - the chapel by the lake is seriously romantic, you walk down through rows of lavender into this private and intimate space, with picture windows framing beautiful views across the lake and property. *sigh* (Can we renew our vows please??)

The sweetest little chapel you ever did see...

The sweetest little chapel you ever did see...

The view to the lake...

The view to the lake...

So many amazing locations for wedding photos!

So many amazing locations for wedding photos!

The team in the kitchen are completely amazing too, headed up by super creative chef Santiago Nine-Fernandez, his team create some of the finest food in the biz.

Oh seriously... here are some of Santi's desserts. So beautiful and creative... and um... DELISH! See more of his heavenly creations on his Instagram feed here.

Oh seriously... here are some of Santi's desserts. So beautiful and creative... and um... DELISH! See more of his heavenly creations on his Instagram feed here.

It is currently peak wedding season here in Daylesford. Sault is booked out for weddings each weekend from November to March and beyond. And it's little wonder... when your event planner was married in the same location as you, and loves it as much as you do - they really understand what you're expecting from your big day.

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Recently bridal couture designer Gwendolynne showcased her stunning gowns at her Love and Lavender shoot held at Sault. (Peek below or trawl Instagram here for the pics - oh so heavenly!!)

We hear she'll be back soon for an Autumnal shoot among the leaves - (we can't wait!!)

More loveliness from Gwendolynne... make sure you click through to her Instagram feed... SUCH beautiful dresses!

More loveliness from Gwendolynne... make sure you click through to her Instagram feed... SUCH beautiful dresses!

*sigh*

*sigh*

We really hope you (we) are invited to a wedding at Sault sometime soon. But even if there are no invitations arriving in the mail anytime soon, (sigh) you can always pop over for dinner (Wednesday - Thursday: 6pm - 11pm), or Friday to Sunday for lunch: 11am - 3pm, or dinner: 6pm - 11pm). Local's night is each Wednesday from 6pm. Take in those 180 degree views of the forest, lake and lavender with a glass of something local and enjoy one of Santi's amazing dishes. (Sooooo good!)

They might even throw in one of these magic sunsets for free!

They might even throw in one of these magic sunsets for free!

Sault is at 2349 Ballan - Daylesford Road, Sailors Falls (just a few minutes out of Daylesford).

Check out Santiago's menu here and book a table (or a WEDDING! - go on you know you want to): 5348 6555.

For more info on this local gem run by a couple of the loveliest locals pop over to sault.com.au

Jodie Fergusson-Batte & The Slow Tea Company

Jodie Fergusson-Batte

Jodie Fergusson-Batte

Sometimes in life you meet someone who you know instantly is a good person, don’t you think? The first time I heard this gorgeous lady laugh, I just knew I was really going to like her. And just like her, that laugh was hearty, generous and honest. So I especially want to share her story with you all, not just because it’s an amazing story of how a business can spring from a change in career plans but also because there’s real meaning behind it. 

 

Jodie Fergusson-Batte is not a native Daylesfordian, in fact she’s a Melbournian who has called the Gold Coast, Darwin and Sydney home, but like many of us, was drawn to Daylesford by the amazing village feel of our community and exquisite beauty of our surrounds. With the luck of having a friend living here, Jodie would visit but always leave believing this was where she wanted to be. And in what was a daring move, brought her husband here during their first year of marriage in 2005, with promises of an idyllic lifestyle only to encounter the most bitter winter that had been experienced in 43 years. Brrr! And considering John hails from the Isle of Wight, I can see how she thought he’d be ok with the rain, fog and wind?! Maybe…?

 

Daylesford Breakfast Tea is a favourite at our place, love it!

Daylesford Breakfast Tea is a favourite at our place, love it!

Soon after Jodie faced the dilemma many woman come upon when wanting start a family and find a healthy worklife balance realising that not all careers suit babies. So in 2010 The Slow Tea Company was born. Her colleague and now business partner Vanessa Carslake also recognised a desire to find a new path that could incorporate not only their dream lifestyles but also some core values that were important to both of them. 

 

Family, Humour, Female friendships, Art and Tea were key elements they wanted to build into a business and what better way to incorporate them than when having a cuppa? A time to laugh, a time to share and a time to listen, what are tea breaks for but a time to release a little from the daily grind. The girls knew that this was what they wanted to do, in a way that was rewarding and ethical at the same time. Sourcing organic tea from all over the world the girls also developed fair-trade agreements with the Tea Plantations they used. Travelling to visit the plantations was important to Jodie in making sure everything was being done ethically, and standing amongst the tea pickers in Sri Lanka was a magical moment for both of them. 

So beautiful! The canisters are a gift by themselves, completely reusable as well!

So beautiful! The canisters are a gift by themselves, completely reusable as well!

Together they've developed an amazing range of teas that include Daylesford Breakfast tea, Zen (chamomile), Happy Hippy (Organic Vanilla Chai), Abundance (Organic Lemongrass & Ginger), Last Drinks (Chamomile & Mint) and Booze Hound (a cleansing blend of herbal tea). All of which can be found in many of our local cafes, restaurants and hotels. But don't worry if you're not a local you can get your hot little hands on all of these products online too.

Jodie's art work adorns all Slow Tea Company products and even a few local establishments.

Jodie's art work adorns all Slow Tea Company products and even a few local establishments.

Now the first thing you’ll notice about a canister of Slow Tea is the packaging, every blend is decorated with it’s own individual design, painted originally by Jodie. The whimsical style is beautiful and makes identifying your favourite so easy, plus you always feel like you’re buying yourself a gift! Art is a passion Jodie has followed since childhood and the influence of Picasso, in particular his detail to eyes was something that has stayed with her and the influence is present in all of her work. Jodie’s instagram feed is a lesson in relaxed beauty, combining her love of tea and art, definitely worth following.

Jodie's Instagram is gorgeous, so worth following.

Jodie's Instagram is gorgeous, so worth following.

You might be wondering by now how Jodie does it all, run a business, find time for sketching and painting, be a mum? Well it’s all about sharing the load. Jodie admits she couldn’t do it all by herself but also insists on the importance of having a great business partner. Vanessa and Jodie both have attributes they bring to the business that compliment each others strengths and weaknesses. Also the importance of capital, which is key in being able to outsource the jobs that can be done better by someone else. Doing it all by yourself may seem like your saving money but the time wasted can be just as costly.  Jodie has found that celebrating the mistakes is just as important as cheering the wins. Every time they hit a roadblock it was just another lesson in how they could improve what they were doing, which in the end was really a win. Finally 'Attitude is Everything', something that Jodie finds she lives by each day and has become quite a mantra. 

 

One of the girl's Happy, Healthy hydration Packs available at www.greenteain3.com.au

One of the girl's Happy, Healthy hydration Packs available at www.greenteain3.com.au

What’s next for the Slow Tea Company you may ask? Well Jodie and Vanessa's new ‘tea baby’ called Green Tea in 3 has hit the market and what better way to measure it’s success than have Michelle Bridges endorse it for her 12 Week Body Transformation Program. Big! Huge! I know! Green Tea in 3 is 90% green tea and 10% pure fruit extract in a powdered form so it can be dissolved in 3 seconds in either hot or cold water. 

The idea behind this new product is to encourage preventive health as both ladies are ex-nurses and could see the need to find a way to combat obesity and diabetes. What better way to hydrate yourself  by drinking more water instead of ‘diet’ fizzy drinks, plus with a fresh hit of antioxidants flavoured with either apple, peach or blueberry (my fave).

This clever little sachet of green tea in 3 really delivers!

This clever little sachet of green tea in 3 really delivers!

Now I could go all ‘born again’ on you,  as I’ve completely embraced Green Tea in 3 and drink it everyday but I’ll share my findings another time. The girls are so excited about their product and who wouldn’t be, when they've been backed by the likes Michelle Bridges, Lorna Jane and Dr Joanna Macmillan. In fact Lorna Jane has just announced for all it's Active Living program members, you can now earn Active Living Points when you buy Green Tea in 3! Woo Hoo! Fist Pump!

Jodie has really turned something as simple a cup of tea into an incredible business that shows real integrity in the way it's produced and also in the way they care about their customers, who wouldn't be inspired by that?

 

So now it’s time to share some local knowledge from Jodie Fergusson-Batte,

If a friend came to visit how would you suggest they spend their weekend?

A walk around the lake, Visit Wombat Hill and treat yourself to something special at Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat.

What does your average day look like?

A walk around the lake, Coffee at Larder on Vincent Street or Boathouse at the Lake, Catch up on Emails and then work from home doing Orders, Social Media, Research for Green Tea in 3 and Blogging.

Locals Only Secret?

The best mineral springs water location….on east st. That’s all I’m saying...

 

Now if you’d like to learn more about The Slow Tea Company or Green Tea in 3, you can go to www.she-tea.com.au and www.greenteain3.com.au You can also follow Jodie on instagram at www.instagram.com/shetealove/ for her gorgeous daily feed. Plus both companies can be found on Facebook.

Hmmm, think it might be time for a cuppa!

Jesse x

All images courtesy of Jodie Fergusson-Batte and The Slow Tea Company.

Minna Graham

Some kids never get over playing in the mud. We totally respect that. There is nothing quite so squooshy and luscious as squishing a lump of cool clay between your fingers.

Minna Graham is one of those kids. Her connection to the earth through her ceramic art, and to this beautiful little town goes deep.

Minna in her studio near Daylesford.

Minna in her studio near Daylesford.

The base of this huge beautiful bowl is carved with Minna's trademark facets.

The base of this huge beautiful bowl is carved with Minna's trademark facets.

Minna grew up in a teeny little town called Nimmitable, NSW, which is plonked in the middle of one of the prettiest patches of Australia - between Cooma and the Snowy Mountains. Being so close to the Snowys, Nimmitable has a similar climate to here... cold winters, crisp autumns and regular dustings of snow. (We reckon the Abominable Snowman would be no match for a Nimmitable Snowman, and we seriously hope there's some future Hollywood blockbuster that takes advantage of this clash of the awesomely named snowmen. - You can have that idea for free Hollywood... You're welcome.)

Once she was old enough, Minna left her teeny-tiny and super-cute historic town, (and imminent threat of Snowman attack) and repurposed a truck into the most awesome house-on-wheels everrrr, named it Squibly, and hit the road. A beautiful nomadic life ensued, and for years Minna travelled the highways (and the roads less travelled) around Australia, circumnavigating this enormous continent four times. (That's some serious Ks.) She lived in the deserts and lived in the forests, in snow country and on salt lakes, and even planted some roots in Melbourne for a while, until the country beckoned - as it does.... and she happened upon Daylesford and Hepburn Springs... and the rest... as they say, is history.

Minna puts a wish-granting genie into each one... promise!

Minna puts a wish-granting genie into each one... promise!

In all Minna's travels, no place had felt as much like home as Daylesford, with a similar climate, history and creative pulse to her childhood home of Nimmitable and here she stopped, and began to create. A familiar tale for so many creative souls in the region.

Minna comes from a creative family, her parents are both artists, and in 2009 Minna decided to do something to satisfy her own creative soul, and to do 'something just for her' and so began her relationship with clay.

Beautiful textures finished with matte black glaze.

Beautiful textures finished with matte black glaze.

Minna's art has commanded many fans along the way. Her unique twist on traditional techniques and shapes makes her contemporary pieces well sought after. Her pieces are rustic and full of soul, reflective of her life experiences and where she has lived throughout Australia. You'll find Minnas' pieces available to buy in galleries around Victoria, and if you happen to be in Hepburn Springs and dining at The Argus at Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel, you might even have your dinner placed politely in front of you in an original Minna Graham serving bowl.

Porcelain perfection.

Porcelain perfection.

Just a few samples of Minna's work.

Just a few samples of Minna's work.

Currently Minna is exhibiting at the Living Art Space in Pall Mall, Bendigo, with another lovely local Bridget Farmer. The Two in Tune exhibition includes Minna's ceramic works and Bridget's beautiful etchings, and is on display until Sunday, August 2.

aaand a few more...

aaand a few more...

For more info about Minna and her work, or to track down some beautiful handmade Minna magic for yourself - go to her website here or follow her lovely Instagram feed here.

OK, so I went a little snap happy in the studio... Love your work Minna!

OK, so I went a little snap happy in the studio... Love your work Minna!

- Kathy. x

Baking Our Blues Away

What is it about living in the country that makes me want to bake?
The Big Four Ingredients (Eggs+Butter+Flour+Sugar) are permanently inked on my shopping list and my bikkie tins are always full of something (and always quickly emptied of something) delicious.

Get your bake on!

Get your bake on!

Michelle Symes is one of Daylesford's Lovely Locals with the baking gene. In fact, we think her particular baking gene strain might be up to 50% of her DNA. (The other half is surely kindness, as you'll find out about in a moment.)

Here's Michelle... She's lovely. Image from Baking Our Blues Away.

Here's Michelle... She's lovely.
Image from Baking Our Blues Away.

Four years ago Michelle had an idea to spread a little love and kindness through the simplest means. Her idea was to bake something and take it to someone who was going through a tough time.
These home-baked goods would become an opener to a conversation, a time to share a story, to lend an ear, or a shoulder to someone who needs it. The idea came from her own family dealings with anxiety and stress, and she thought this simple act could really make a difference, in the most delicious way.

Baked with love x

Baked with love x

Baking Our Blues Away was born, the idea was posted on social media and BAM... it went bananas (well... banana cakes actually)... Pretty soon celebrities like Julie Goodwin, Sarah Wilson, Dannii Minogue and Anthony Field had shared the Baking Our Blues Away message with an estimated audience of over two million people.
In the past three years more than 15,000 people have joined Baking Our Blues Away and baked something in a simple act of kindness and good will.

All of the yum...

All of the yum...

Baking Our Blues Away is held each year on July 15. (Quick! To the cookbooks! That's next Wednesday!) Register your involvement by going to the Baking Our Blues away website. By registering you'll gain access to special recipes and other fab resources, like printables to pop up around your workplace kitchen (if you happen to decide to share the baked love with colleagues) or to stick onto your personal gift.

This year Baking Our Blues Away is teaming up with Beyond Blue to help raise public awareness of anxiety and depression. If you wish you can use Wednesday, July 15, as a day to raise funds for Beyond Blue. Or not. It's totally up to you. All the info on how to do this is on the website.

This week have a think about the people you have in your life... Do you recognise any of them as someone who could use a cuppa and a chat and a smile?
A neighbour, a friend, a new mum, an old rellie, someone who has been unwell, or perhaps someone you've been meaning to catch up with for ages but didn't really know what to say?
A little bit of home baking, and sharing some time over a cuppa together can really make a big difference to someone who needs it

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A huge thanks to Michelle for creating this wonderfully loving initiative. I hope someone delivers you a fresh sponge filled with home made jam and hand whipped cream (with passionfruit icing)... just because. x x

To register for Baking Our Blues Away and for exclusive recipes and feel-good stories go to the BOBA website here.

Or join them on social media on Facebook here, and Instagram here, and at @bakingourblues on Twitter.

Tag and share your home baked goodies using these hashtags: #bakingourbluesaway #bakesharecare or for any classic cake fails (love a good cake fail) tag it #bobacakefail.

Bake, Share, Care lovelies!

- Kathy. x

Moss & Burrows

Hello Moss & Burrows!

Hello Moss & Burrows!

Oh Hello Moss & Burrows! Look at you all cute and snug up the top of Raglan Street.
Moss & Burrows has to be one of the cutest shops this side of Cuteville. And with it comes the cutest story. It's the classic Daylesford love story... and a long distance love story at that.

Once upon a time, Emma and Nigel Taylor lived busy lives in Fremantle WA. They worked Big Important Serious Jobs. Occasionally they'd visit Victoria on holiday, and drive though Daylesford and marvel at its gorgeousness.

See? Gorgeous.

See? Gorgeous.

Before long, Daylesford had worked its magic on Emma and Nigel. And like many before them, (Jesse and I included!) they'd had fallen for Daylesford, hard.
Soon, 3360 kilometres away from Big Important Serious Jobs, this cute little town became their new home. Awww.

Emma and Nigel then fell in love with a tiny rickety cottage with a big bright blue door at 22 Raglan Street.... and the rest... as they say, is history.

The tiny rickety cottage flanked by UNBELIEVEABLE Japanese Maple flaunting its Autumn best. - What's not to love!?

The tiny rickety cottage flanked by UNBELIEVEABLE Japanese Maple flaunting its Autumn best. - What's not to love!?

Emma's dream of opening a teeny cottage boutique stocking independent clothing brands, locally crafted and beautifully designed gorgeousness, was finally realised. Yay! Emma decked out her cottage with vintage bits and amazing and well curated industrial finds, painted those wonky walls five times and named it Moss & Burrows, a tribute to this town and all its snug wintery gorgeousness.

No one does moss like Daylesford.

No one does moss like Daylesford.

Moss & Burrows stocks Lazybones, Whisky & Wolf, Harlequin Belle, Saltwater Sandals and a constantly evolving collection of beautiful things by local designers and makers.

Beautifully designed gorgeousness

Beautifully designed gorgeousness

Recently Moss & Burrows has opened a teeny cafe in store:
The Grumpy Farmer Canteen.

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The Grumpy Farmer Canteen has unique handmade benches built with reclaimed bits and bobs by a local sculptor Kaya Storm. Coffee is by Bendigo's awesome Brewhouse Coffee Roasters and cakes and pastries are by local cake legend Tara Kiste Cake Emporium. Emma is just about to fire up the old-skool jaffle maker and pots of soup for winter lunches too.

Snug, cute, cosy. We love!

Snug, cute, cosy. We love!

It's warm, it's cosy, it's snug and it's a cute story. Moss & Burrows is indeed one of our Lovely Locals. 

Lovely Em at Moss & Burrows' The Grumpy Farmer Canteen

Lovely Em at Moss & Burrows' The Grumpy Farmer Canteen

Like Moss & Burrows on Facebook, follow them on Instagram, or pop in for a coffee and something local and lovely.

Moss & Burrows is open 6 days (closed Wednesday). 9am - 5pm.

22 Raglan Street, Daylesford, up near the Sunday Market.

 

- Kathy. x