Things to do around Melbourne Deidaa tip

A big shout out to all members of Deidaaratti who responded so warmly to Deidaa’s recent post – Things to do in Melbourne.  ‘Things to do in Melbourne’ deserves a sequel i.e.,  ‘Things to do around Melbourne’.

There are many unsung nuggets around Melbourne that are perfect for weekend getaways.

A little over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, is the spa town of Daylesford. With over 65 mineral springs in the region , Daylesford is the ideal place to get away from the hustle bustle of city life. There is something for everyone.

Things to do around Melbourne Convent Gallery

With my deep interest in art, crafts and textiles, my first stop in Daylesford had to be the Convent Gallery. This gallery is a treasure trove of international and Australian art and artefacts. The artworks are on display by rotation. Most are for sale, with the prices and the artist’s statements clearly displayed. An erstwhile convent, as the name suggests, this gallery has a carefully preserved chapel with some of Australia’s oldest stained glass windows. The vivid colours and geometric patterns of stained glass windows have often influenced Deidaa’s digital printed kaftans, especially the ones with beading around the neckline. At the convent gallery, a roof top infirmary and a nun’s cell have been left urestored to provide a rare glimpse into the lives of those who lived in the gold rush era. The Bad Habits Mediterranean restaurant at the gallery offers breathtaking views of Daylesford township. The gallery shop has an eclectic mix of jewelry, scarves, knitwear, candles and soaps on sale.

Things to do around Melbourne Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa

For those seeking spiritual upliftment and relaxation, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs have several day spas, healing retreats and yoga ashrams. Make sure you pack a few flowing digital printed kaftans as the right attire for your karmic salvation. Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa has been opertaing since 1895. Surrounded by greenery, this bathhouse draws water from Hepburn mineral springs. It offers private bath, spa, relaxation pools, steam and salt therapies. Pack your spa essentials in one of Deidaa’s roomy beach bags and head towards the bathhouse for a couple of hours of absolute bliss. Alternately, you may book an accommodation with a private spa. We stayed at the Mahala apartments. Conveniently located, these apartments are decorated with crewel embroidered cushions and hand embroidered block printed throws. The in-room spa, with a view of the lily pool and falling maple leaves, is an added bonus

Things to do around Melbourne Lavandula Farm

Tucked away in the hills, is the Lavandula Swiss Italian farm. This European style lavender farm is a feast for the senses, with rolling hills covered in lavender, herb and veggie gardens. The historic barn hosts a quaint shop that sells lotions, potions and pot pourris for you and your furry friends. The La Trattoria cafe sells lavender scones, lavender tea and even lavender champagne! Celebrate the colour purple this winter with a few lavender sprigs pinned on Deidaa’s lilac wool scarf interspersed with chantilly lace.

Things to do around Melbourne Boathouse Restaurant

Daylesford Lake is a haven for birdwatchers (of the feathered variety). You may have close encounters with a variety of ducks, geese, peacocks and coots. Do not get too close. They can become quite aggressive, especially if you feed them. You may do paddle boating or grab a bite at the iconic Boathouse Restaturant which was burnt down but has since been rebuilt and is open for business. Another hidden gem is the Book Barn, the second hand book shop that specialises in selling rare and unusual books. If you want a bird’s eye view of Daylesford, you may go up the spiralling staircase of the tower at the nearby Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens. The gardens boast of walkways and a good selection of firs, pines and begonias.

Got some tips on things to do around Melbourne? Post comments and suggestions on deidaablog or at,  #regram @deidaafashiononline, tag #deidaafashionline. Each post, comment or regram is rewarded with a #coupon code for 10% discount across all products at deidaashop. For photographs of Daylesford and surrounding areas follow Deidaa at or on instagram @deidaafashiononline.

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BMW Caulfield Cup 2016

How to Dress for BMW Caulfield Cup 2016

Curtains rise on Melbourne Spring Racing season 2016 with BMW Caulfield Cup Day. The elaborate marquees with their opulent décor offer intimacy and comfort. Each year the marquees have different themes ranging from over indulgent Rococo to provincial shabby chic. A safari themed marquee can be cheek by jowl with an English garden.  You can rub shoulders with celebrities, sip Moet & Chandon and nibble hors d’ oeuvres created by master chefs.

BMW Caulfield Cup 2016 Fashion Forecast

While there is a strict dress code that rules out shorts, denims, parkas, pullovers and thongs, among others, the atmosphere at the BMW Caulfield Cup 2016 is a little more relaxed and youthful. The weather is benign this Caulfield Cup Day. Sunshine will yield to windy gusts.  Mid length dresses with fitted torsos will be abundant.  Punters will opt for the classic white on white or vivid colour blocking. Neutral dresses will be complemented with bright hats and clutch bags and vice versa. If you happen to be in a Safari themed marquee, a luxe animal print dress will flaunt your wild side. Go easy on spaghetti straps and cropped tops, warm weather notwithstanding. Too much skin showing is frowned upon. If you are unsure about how much skin to show, you may carry a light floral scarf, in case you are caught unawares.

BMW Caulfield Cup 2016 Fashion Accessories

Race wear is incomplete without accessories. Opt for the classic fascinators or you may dare to be different and wear your favourite scarf as a turban, a sequined beret in a fluorescent colour or a flapper headband. If you are having an anti – fashion moment, you may tie a bright graffiti patterned scarf around your head.  A handbag with zebra motif will add pizzazz to your entry into the safari themed marquee while the ethnic bags with pompoms and danglers will infuse boho chic into your racewear wardrobe. There is a ‘70s revival on the runways and flower girls and psychedelic prints are hot trends to be followed.

Innovations like clutch bags with side slings or mobile bags are a boon to the 21st century race goer. They combine classic elegance with contemporary convenience. So does footwear like wide pumps or wedges that save you the discomfort of twisted ankles and trips to the podiatrist after the races. The floral printed ones or the nautical themed ones complement your floral or striped dresses. Bright coloured patent leather shoes are a safe choice if you prefer the spotlight to be on your bejeweled clutch bag or headscarf turban.

More on the next Spring Racing event next week!!

Fashion Trends Spring Summer 2016

fashion trends Spring Summer 2016

As days become longer and nights warmer, as the barren cherry tree in my front yard begins to sprout new shoots, I can hear the footsteps of spring.

We all know reptiles molt or shed their external layer, but do we realise humans molt too? As we approach spring, we humans go through a molting process, shedding layers of winter clothes. Come spring – summer, we feel the need to explore new possibilities for our wardrobes, aka fashion trends Spring Summer 2016. What is making waves on the fashion runways this summer? What are the fashion pundits predicting? Will it be nature, will it be athleisure, will it be handcrafting or will it be a combination of all of these influences? How do you interpret these trends and adapt them to suit your persona, lifestyle and choice? Learn more in Deidaa’s next post on fashion trends Spring Summer 2016 and how to nail them.