There are dozens of eating places in Daylesford these days, but I always seem to end up at the Harvest cafe, a few doors down from the IGA supermarket on the corner of Albert and Vincent.
Maybe it's the huge formica tables on which you can open up your favourite broadsheet without poking the next customer in the eye with your elbow. Maybe it's the slightly bohemian air (although the coloured-wool crew seems to have migrated, like birds, across the road south to Muffy's Cafe). Or maybe it's the cake display case.
A cheerful log fire was already crackling away when I pushed the door open at around eleven, which is always a good time for coffee, especially when it has been raining all morning and you ate breakfast in darkness at six o'clock.
The cake display is the first thing you see when you walk in the door.
The cake that struck my eye was about the size of a Vespa front wheel. Getting it into the display case must have been a job in itself. It was a pear and ginger cake, with six whole pears on top. It looked like a kind of Sydney Opera House with softer curves. I ordered a slice. It arrived on a dinner plate, pure cream piled three inches high off to the side of a huge wedge, like a ship about to be engulfed by a giant wave.
The pears, whole beurre bosc, had been peeled and poached in something delicious and then laid gently over the cake batter so that as it baked, the pears sank ever so slightly, creating rifts and valleys of delicious ginger-infused texture. Very fine chocolate flakes had been added to the batter and the finished cake was dusted with ginger and icing sugar. It took the four of us to eat it.
The coffee was fine.