We’re excited to release our local Riding & Gourmet Escapes to Bright and Daylesford in Victoria for later this year. Carefully selected for their Italian connection, amazing riding and stunning accommodation, over 4 days we’ll enjoy a riding, non-riding and food & wine experience to remember, in both of these beautiful regions.
Bright, Alpine Valley, Victoria
Bright, Victoria holds a special place in our hearts. It’s where we met (at the Alpine Classic), got engaged and married, and spent a lot of time in our early years, before we made the move to hosting Italian cycling tours and spending 6 months in Italy each year. So, we’re really looking forward to re-connecting with this special region, bringing together the very best it has to offer.
Bright’s Italian connection
Bright, the Alpine Valley and surrounding region has a long history extending back into the Victorian gold rush, and a strong connection with Italian heritage. Italians arrived here in the 1920’s to farm tobacco, which then boomed in the 50’s & 60’s due to post war migration and the proximity of the Bonegilla “Reception Centre”. This influx of Italians played an important role in the region’s agriculture and land, the available local cuisine and even the establishment of an Italian language cinema in the town of Myrtleford, 30km’s from Bright. This strong connection to Italian agriculture, cuisine and culture remains a strong part of the Alpine Valley today.
Situated on the banks of the Ovens river, Bright has a very pleasant and tranquil feel and with local attractions including wineries, small farms and producers, fruit orchards, restaurants, distilleries, breweries, historic sites and the beautiful natural alpine landscape as its backdrop, there is literally something that interests everyone – most of which cyclists who love great riding, food, wine and coffee.
Riding around Bright
The riding in and around Bright is exceptional. There are the very obvious challenges of Mt Hotham, Falls Creek and Mt Buffalo on its doorstep, as well a few other very cool loops that take in the magic of Victoria’s Alpine high country, and surrounding villages and valleys. We will be taking on a mix of these climbs, loops and terrain on our 4 day tour in Bright, also taking in some of the quiet backroads that many visiting the region, can miss.
Our stunning Italian Villa Accommodation
There couldn’t be a more perfect accommodation than where we are staying in Bright. A Tuscan villa on a private estate, with beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces, views of the mountains, a sensational saltwater pool, beautifully appointed rooms and a professional kitchen for us to host cooking classes, with our own in-house chef.
This is accommodation perfection for how we like to host tours and deliver a little slice of Italy, for you at home.
Our personally delivered Food & Wine experience
The food experience that we will source, create, share and taste in the Alpine Valley region will be nothing short of exceptional.
We will be sourcing produce and ingredients from local growers and producers. We will be learning how to and then making a range of pasta’s together for dinner. We’ll taste the results of our “best of Italy” menu that includes slow cooked porchetta over charcoal for dinner on Saturday evening and a Tuscan inspired grigliata as part of our long Sunday lunch, along with home-made antipasti and special tastes all weekend.
Finally, we will be sharing conversations and drinks made by the local wineries, brewers and distillers as we soak up the view of Mt Buffalo from our own private Estate’s gardens and from our favourite local vineyard’s stone terrace in the dappled shade of the late Spring sunshine.
In the spirit of Tuscany, and with the same attention to detail that we bring to the food and wine experience on all of our tours, this will be a food journey you’re sure to love.
Important for us with all of our tours, whether here in Australia or Italy, is the inclusion of non-riding partners to share what will be a magical few days. Nancy will host our non-riding partners with a carefully crafted and personalised experience over 4 days that takes in the best that the Alpine Valley’s stunning landscape and surrounding towns have to offer. From walks, hikes, sightseeing, lunches and bubbles with a view, cooking classes and personal wellbeing treatment options, our non-riding partner program for our Bright tour will include options for non-riders to join in and also take time out, exploring and creating their own adventure.
Bookings & Availability for Bright Tours
Our first Bright tour in November 2020 almost sold out in 24 hours so we have scheduled a second tour already for the following week in November. Find out more about our Bright escapes here.
We started visiting and hosting local cycling tours in Daylesford back in 2014 and in fact, it was one of the first places we ever hosted a local Australian cycling tour. Also known for its connection to Italian heritage and with some of the best riding in Victoria in our view, with spectacular rolling hills and quiet backroads, this is a place where in no time you can be off the beaten track, feeling absolutely away from it all.
Daylesford’s Italian heritage
Daylesford sits at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range and was originally established as a gold mining town in the 1850’s. This was also that same time that Swiss Italians settled into the area, with this northern Italian influence still very much felt in the region today.
The town and surrounding region of Hepburn Springs has now evolved into ‘Victoria’s spa country’, being known for its beautiful natural spring water and associated resorts and spas, as well as many sensational restaurants, wineries, galleries and artisan producers. For a cyclist, being off the beaten path and on an adventure that explores not only great roads and terrain, but also some of these local producers along our path, is a highlight of riding in this region.
Riding around Daylesford
The riding around Daylesford is nothing short of superb. Sitting at 612m, any direction you head will see you descending and then quickly turning onto little, straight and undulating back roads, surrounded by open rolling hills or smooth winding gravel roads through amazing, old gum trees. This is a landscape that is a real feast for the senses and will deliver challenge and contentment on the bike, day after day.
Our Lakeside Villa Accommodation
We’ve stayed in many places and locations in and around Daylesford with guests on a range of our tours, and this beautifully appointed villa situated on the lake, is definitely our favourite. There is something tranquil and beautiful about being located on Lake Daylesford with a quiet, natural environment surrounding you and being able to wake up each morning to a view from every room. With fantastic indoor and outdoor living spaces for us to dine and share conversation, cook together and entertain, this carefully selected villa is the perfect fit for how we like to run our tours, in an environment to unwind and relax.
The Food Journey
Our Food and Wine experience is always inspired by a “best of Italy” approach, paired with the local artisan producers, and this journey through Daylesford in the early Spring, will deliver every part of this and more.
When you know that the winery you have selected for long lunch was started by a passionate couple, planting vines out by hand over 45 years ago, and today shares a menu that takes the best from the veggie patch out the back of the property and pairs it with local produce, slowly roasted over charcoal, you know you’ve hit a place that shares the same values and attention to detail with food and wine, as you have. We discovered this place quite a few years ago and always look forward to coming back. Now we look forward to sharing it with you.
Over four days, we will bring a rustic, high quality, fresh produce approach to every element of our food and wine journey, including our shared cooking classes, our long, grazing Saturday afternoon aperitivo that will roll into an evening enjoying our amazing porchetta, locally sourced and slow cooked on charcoal, paired with organic produce and a range of tastings of local beverages. Buonissimo.
Non riding partners
Our non-riding partners on our Daylesford escape will share a wonderful few days, being personally hosted by Nancy with a program designed to meet their interests. Daylesford and the surrounding region and towns have so much to offer and the challenge with designing this program won’t be ‘what to do’ but it will be ‘what to leave out’ because we only have 4 days. From beautiful walks in nature to sightseeing in historic towns, exploring artisan galleries and shops and enjoying local markets, boutique producers and of course the magic of the natural spring waters and associated treatments, we’ll have this region covered. Non riders may also enjoy some time out, relaxing at our lakeside villa and creating their own adventure.
Bookings & Availability for our Daylesford Tour
There is only a handful of spots left available on our Daylesford tour in September 2020 so if you’re edging for a post-Winter getaway, you can secure one of these places now and have the early Spring to look forward to. Find out more about our Daylesford escape here.