Lavendula Swiss Italian Farm is about 10km from Daylesford. Apart from the obvious, Lavendula also houses home-made products (lotions, potions and candles), a Trattoria, beautiful gardens and historic cottage. The cottage dates back to the 1860’s and were constructed by Italian-speaking Swiss who came to the goldfields and stayed to farm, growing food crops for the miners and grapes for wine. The buildings were restored by Carol White in 1990 and have been attracting visitors ever since. You can even stay here in a self-contained contemporary house.
Lavendula even plays host to all sorts of festivals and events all year round – ‘showcasing rural skills, regional produce, food and wine, live music and dance’. There’s an emu and a family of geese parading the grounds as well as little blue wrens and other wildlife – careful of snakes.
You mustn’t leave without trying the lavender scones with jam and cream, and for those that come a little later in the day – the lavender sparkling wine.
The rest of the afternoon is for spa time at the beautiful grounds of Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat, more specifically The Mineral Spa. I haven’t had much luck picking relaxing massages the last few times I’ve been away, so I decide to go with a totally different approach and choose something totally not like I would normally choose – the Mala Maya Ritual. The Mineral Spa invites me to ‘unwind and invigorate with this complete body rejuvenation experience. After an exfoliation with your choice of Australian desert salts and aromatic oils your body will be cocooned in a layer of silky warm mineral rich body mud. An Aboriginal inspired scalp massage allows you to drift away to another realm and calms the soul. surrender to a healing, grounding and spiritually uplifting 30 minute Kodo massage to complete this truly holistic experience’.
You begin by selecting the products that will be used in your treatment. Three kinds each of oil, mud and exfoliant are gently placed under your nose – and your body leads you to the scent that it requires. Sounds confusing? Well you’re body knows what it needs in the way of stress relief or detox and will be drawn to the scent of what it requires to achieve that. The items that I sniff out tell me that I am stressed. Well, no prizes there!
Although the mud feels beautifully warm as it’s being lathered onto my skin, towards the end of the mud treatment I am freezing! I am told this is part of the treatment and that the next stage is where she envelops me in a cocoon. Not so cold now. She massages a treatment through my hair and then it’s time to wash off the mud and get ready for the kodo massage. Kodo means melody and it’s intended to tone and re-align energy flow, using a combination of pressure point manipulation, gentle stretching and spiralling movements, ground and uplift to balance the body’s energies. It feels much smoother and gentler (though not weaker) than any of the recent massages I’ve had where the masseuse has spent their time weeding out painful knots from my muscles.
Finally a massage I walk away from feeling totally relaxed.