Friday, 29 June 2007


Dana has tagged me to list my five favouite eateries. Since I live in a town where there are twice as many cafes as shops, this is not hard. Here are my top five suggestions for anyone visiting Daylesford...

Best Coffee: Muffy's on Albert Street. This is where the locals go for down-to-earth service, great coffee (the cheapest in town) and nice home-baked muffins and pies. You can buy takeaway or eat in - the cafe has a retro feel and there are children's books and newspapers.

Best for a Special Night Out: The Grande at Hepburn Springs. I have mentioned The Grande before, it is a beautfully restored old house with an art deco bar, a tiny basement cinema and a delightful menu. Really perfect for a dinner with friends or a romantic date.

Best for Kids: The Food Gallery on Vincent Street. It's a spacious cafe with lots of food options, top milkshakes, smoothies and juices and the best range of cakes and cookies in town. The staff are friendly (if a little overstretched sometimes) and you can usually find colouring books and pencils near the counter. Open till 6pm.

Best for Saturday Mornings: A pretty 10-minute drive from Daylesford towards Malmsbury is the Glenlyon General Store. This is a beautiful old store right on the edge of the forest that has been renovated and brought back to life with a slightly contemporary edge. It has a great cafe (with children's books and toys), really nice staff, and anyone who likes vintage design will love the place. Nice to visit on Saturday mornings and read the papers with a coffee.

Best Out-Of-Town Trip: I also wanted to mention Kyneton. It's worth a visit for the lovely crafty/design shops on Piper Street and some good thrift shops. It can be hard to find a good cafe here but I always lunch at Quintessence (35 High Street), a cosy, bistro-type place where the food is hearty, excellent and good value. If you're in town of an evening there's also a decent pizza restaurant opposite Quintessence but the name escapes me.

If you are planning to visit Daylesford soon it's worth coming mid-week as it's quieter and lots of the cafes and restaurants offer 'local's specials', so you can eat well on the cheap.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

GIRLFRIENDS AND TIM TAMS!


Lark is featured in this month's Girlfriend magazine, which is out in newsagents today! Click on the image below to read what Girlfriend has to say.


And for those people who have asked me what a Tim Tam is, it is a very chocolatey biscuit from Australia. It has the most delicious chocolate coating and, even though I reckon England makes the best biscuits, I have to say that a Tim Tam with a cup of tea beats anything else. According to Wikipedia, 300 million Tim Tams are sold each year - or 1.5 packs per Australian. That's rubbish, I average 1.5 packs a day.



I am very partial to biscuits, and one of my favourite websites is Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down, a British site that features reviews of every kind of biscuit and ponders important issues like 'what's the difference between a cake and a biscuit?' Well, it's an interesting debate - where do Jaffa Cakes sit?

Tuesday, 26 June 2007


Another cold, bright Daylesford day. Walking in the forest, fixing up my website, being a mum, eating Tim Tams...

Monday, 25 June 2007

My website is down for a few days while a new-look site is being uploaded, and it has inadvertently taken my email address with it. If you are trying to email me at allison@larkdesigns.com.au the message will come back to you. Please contact me at allison@larkmade.com instead. Thanks!

And if you are outside Australia, my new UK website is up and running NOW, with lots of new goodies for sale! View it at larkmade.com

Saturday, 23 June 2007

It was lovely and crisp this morning and we decided to go for a family drive around some nearby country towns. First stop was Clunes, a Victorian gold-mining town that somehow survived the 1970s incredibly intact.

It has the most beautiful old shops with verandahs and their original painted signs. I jumped for joy to see an old habadashery but sadly, like many of the shops, it was empty and abandoned.



There are one or two signs of gentrification in Clunes - the old bookseller's houses a real estate agent and there is a smart greengrocer's in the old tailor's shop - but other than that it is like a beautiful old ghost town and I hope it stays just the way it is!


Then it was on to Talbot, home of one of the best local farmer's markets and also some rather nice buildings.


Last stop Maryborough, in itself a pretty ordinary large country town but it does have fantastic thrift shops (there are so many that the tourist office even has a special map). Here is Jacob at the huge Salvo's store clutching his finds.


The best thing in Maryborough is the old train station, which now houses an antiques shop and cafe. We ate lunch at the cafe in front of a roaring wood fire, and for afters I had the lighest home-made scones with a cup of tea served in an old china teapot. Sigh! There is nothing like good company, a roaring fire and lots of old stuff to look at on a cold winter's day!


Friday, 22 June 2007


Jenny has sent me this photo of her lovely Yarraville store CHALK, which is currently bursting with Lark goodies. It's a fabulous store, with some great quality toys and lots of handmade lovelies for your kids, so I recommend a visit if you are in the area!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

It's no secret that I am loopy about knitting, and I was enthralled to find that in Lancaster, in the north of England, there is a Knitted Village.


It actually comprises three knitted villages called Lesser Knitting, Lower Needle and Much Knitting-on-the-Needle, and was created by three 'Kendal Ladies' between 1993 and 1998.


The Knitted Village reminds me of the Knitted Room, a fantastic arts project based in Strathaven Nursing Home in Tasmania, where residents have recreated a 1950's room from knitted objects. There is a knitted radiogram, tea set, Elvis records, wellington boots and everything you could think of.



And a hospice in North Devon is about to launch their Knitted Gingerbread House with a similar theme. The world has gone knitting-mad, I love it!


One day I will visit the Knitted Village, it is very close to where my Mum lives, but until then you can read about it at Nothing to See Here, one of my favourite web sites and a must for anyone living in (or visiting) the UK.

Does anyone know of any other knitted rooms, villages or towns?

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


Hurray! The new issue of small magazine is online NOW and it looks amazing! The people behind this magazine are so creative. Their brief is to 'support other small scale creators, designers, photographers and illustrators making for children'. The photography and styling are to drool over, I suggest you make some kid-free time to sit and pore through this slowly with a cup of tea and a plate of Tim Tams!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007


I have to tell you about these wellies I bought for Jules a while ago. It's really hard to find attractive wellies for boys, especially here in Australia, so I was thrilled when I came across this pair in a groovy rainbow design.

Jules loves the wellies and has worn them every day for a month now, receiving lots of admiration for them at nursery and when we go shopping. Besides looking very cool, the wellies SMELL LIKE SWEETIES! The cotton lining is infused with a candy smell and they come packaged with a little bottle of the scent so you can top up the smell. What a neat idea!

I did some digging around and discovered that they are made by a new 'mumtrepreneur' business called Smelly Welly in Western Australia. The wellies come in all sorts of flavours and you can even buy anklets (strings of pretend sweeties, of course!) to accessorize them. Check them out here.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007


My knitted Ice Creams are all finished and ready to fly out to shops in sunny England. It feels weird to be making ice creams when it is currently very chilly here in Australia and I am sitting wrapped up in a scarf and sweater! The ice creams are available in three flavours (strawberry, pistachio and chocolate) and can be made with or without a rattle. When my new website goes live (very soon!) they 'll be available for sale there as well. Brrr, I'm off for a mug of hot cocoa!

Sunday, 10 June 2007


Jill Rodgers, newly elected captain of the fourth form at Hazelmere School, stared aghast at her close friend, Nina Cassel.
"Not go in to town? But it's our half-day and we're dolled up ready for the trip! I don't get it. Why?"


A charming old book found at a garage sale yesterday. Love the cover!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007


I trotted up to Melbourne yesterday for a lovely get-together with Pip and some of the other designers whose work she tirelessly promotes through Meet Me at Mike's. This image is from some cards designed by Shannon, who is so talented. She showed us some of the new fabric line she has just had printed - gorgeous! It was great to meet Tamara and Marianne too, we all oohed and aahed over Japanese craft books and Shannon's two gorgeous little daughters!

Afterwards I visited various suppliers for Lark, then Paul and I did IKEA. I try not to go too often but I was in desperate need of storage boxes. As usual I ended up buying far more than I intended too and was completely exhausted afterwards, I slept most of the way back to Daylesford while Paul did the driving! I woke up in time to see the forest at dusk, it is beautiful right now.

Monday, 4 June 2007



I received a stack of my favourite UK mags in the mail today and I am VERY taken with these ads I keep seeing for Robinson's cordial.


Look, there is a TV commercial too!: