The Good Life – Daylesford Longhouse, Victoria, Australia

Common sense yields poetic pleasures at Daylesford Longhouse, where a passion for hospitality, food and animal husbandry come together.

29 Aug 2023
Words by: Sharon Leece
Images by: Daylesford Longhouse

Seeking to explore and reinvent traditions, the architectural award-winning Daylesford Longhouse celebrates self-sufficient living. Co-founded by Ronnen Goren and Trace Streeter, guests come here to gather, engage, share and learn in a community-style setting, where the focus is on enjoying farm life – with all the comforts of home.

Corner Interior of Daylesford Longhouse with blue walls, large windows and wooden dining table
“Hospitality is the key to new ideas, new friends and new possibilities. What we take into our lives changes us. Without new ideas and people, we are stagnant beings.”

– Ronnen Goren, Co-founder

Grassy tall wheat field
Grassy tall wheat field

The Vibe

Crafting a self-sufficient life by design, one that embraces beauty but is rooted in thought and deliberate construct. A stay at the longhouse harks back to the power of fundamental living – to connect with nature, learn about animal husbandry and food production, enjoy farm-to-table cooking, and stroll among verdant interior gardens.

The Wellness Wow (Factor)

From its lofty 20-acre locale overlooking plains and bushland across Daylesford, Hepburn Springs and Mt Franklin, the longhouse celebrates simplicity, sustainability and really good food. Living quarters, internal kitchen gardens (think avocado trees, cherry blossom, citrus trees) and a working farm (dairy cows, goats and pigs) co-exist under one roof. Far removed from the pace of the city – the longhouse offers innovative possibilities for self-sustained living.

Kangaroo in a grassy field surrounded by trees
Smiling man and woman in green aprons holding a fresh baked sourdough
Man feeding a baby goat a bottle next to a white dog in a barn
Green garden with wooden staircase in greenhouse

The Experience

Think rustic beauty within a multi-layered space where the landscape flourishes, inside. There are farm tours (learn about farming principles, water-harvesting, composting and meet the animals), a popular cooking school with Lunch & Learns or Culinary Masterclasses run in partnership with food artisans, fermenters, chefs and bakers. Relax in the Longhouse’s design-led accommodations or join the WWOOF/ Workaway program where volunteers work in return for meals, accommodation and farming experience.

The Look

Designed by architects Partners Hill, this visionary 110-metre-long greenhouse-like structure has scooped countless awards, including Australian House of the Year and the Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture. From inside, deliberately-framed views across the exterior landscape connect with nature, reducing the indoor-outdoor divide. The heart of the house is the garden kitchen – with its roll-back doors and retracting roof. The interior palette combines honey-coloured Australian cypress and glaze bricks, with the living zones featuring uplifting interior colours.

Bedroom Interior of Daylesford Longhouse with blue walls, windows and bed with blue bedding

The Cuisine

Rediscover and share the pleasures of the table. Holistic nourishment embraces farm-to-table fare with local produce, market-fresh ingredients and lots of engaged conversation and debate. Guests connect through shared meals and communal cooking, crafting a broad array of cuisines (think desaddled wild rabbit, Sicilian cooking, sourdough baking, Jewish cooking traditions). There are vegetarian and gluten-free options, local wines, and sparkling waters aplenty; in fact, 80 per cent of Australia’s mineral springs are situated in this area.

The New Moon Loves

The palpable connection with people and nature, and the longhouse’s uncanny ability to give back to all those who stay or visit. Shared meals and communal cooking bring heart and soul back to food preparation, and there is plenty of downtime to relax and enjoy the longhouse life. Future offerings include long lunches and music events, craft-based activities like natural indigo dying, soap making and CWA Baking plus symposiums on yoga and wellness.

Table top spread of plates filled with colourful food and fruits
Sun lit window sill with glass of water and open magazine

Daylesford Longhouse – Victoria, Australia