Writing and wellness retreat,
Lake House, Daylesford

Retreat. Restore. Reset.

26-29 august 2019
3 nights, 4 days


rug up in Daylesford in late winter, when the bulbs are out and the days are crisp. 

"There’s a rhythm to life at our house on the lake," says Lake House owner Alla Wolf-Tasker, "a sequence of ongoing daily rituals…Bread is rolled, fresh flowers are arranged, coffee is ground, tables are set…The rhythm continues on through the day and into the evening, with the soft murmur of guests and the clink of glasses. Final lights out offers a mere few hours respite before the bakers return and the rhythm resumes once again."

Join Cath Crowley and Alison Arnold at the one-of-a-kind Lake House and discover its beautiful rhythms for yourself. For:

  • Writing. Map, write, journal and play your way to an understanding of how writing can enhance your wellbeing.

  • Good conversation with like-minded people. We spend time talking about what it is to live a creative life, and especially what it is to live a creative life that feels positive and sustainable.

  • Incredible food! The Two Chefs Hats Lake House restaurant is famed for its seasonal menu. We knew the food would be good when we first went, but actually we had no idea.

  • Development. An individual conversation with Ali and Cath in their professional capacity as editor and writer and industry experts. Pick our brains. Tell us where you’re at. Purely optional. For non-writers, let’s talk about your creative life.

  • Time to enjoy your lovely surroundings. To enjoy the six acres of garden sloping down to the lake. To have a cup of tea in the Argyle Library and read the paper. To take the walking track around gorgeous Lake Daylesford. Your luxury waterfront room with a view over the lake and a balcony for reading. The infinity pool is ready—bring your bathers if you are an iceberg devotee. There is also a hot tub at the Salus Spa and a tennis court.

  • A 1 hour massage or facial at the award-winning Salus Spa.

  • A full day to write

Around the lake, March 2019

Around the lake, March 2019




Arrive in time for morning tea; we’ll begin ‘work’ in the Pavilion Room overlooking the little lake, have a working lunch together, go for a walk around the lake (purely optional), then break in the mid arvo so we can rest and relax, then meet up for dinner.

Massages/facials may be scheduled for today.


Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, a la carte dinner at the Lake House restaurant (three courses), a glass of wine with dinner.


We’ll start in the Pavilion Room around ten, and work till the early arvo. Massages/facials and chats with us are scheduled for today.


Breakfast (buffet and menu), morning tea, working lunch, afternoon tea, dinner out in Daylesford, location to be confirmed (but aiming for simpler fare than the Lake House), a glass of wine with dinner.


With the extra night we have put into the retreat, we’ve opened up a space for writing without (too many) distractions. Have breakfast with us, then make the day your own. By this stage, you will have soaked in the calm of the Lake House: the ferns, the lake, the walking, the kookaburra that likes to visit, and you’ll appreciate this extra time.

You might like to go into Daylesford for lunch (a short walk). The Lake House food is sensational—by now a simpler lunch will be welcome.


Breakfast (buffet and menu), a la carte dinner at the Lake House restaurant (three courses), a glass of wine with dinner.

Optional: 10,000 word conversations will be scheduled today. Limited times available.


Our last day, in which we’ll be wrapping up and reflecting and writing. We’ll break after lunch and hit the highway again to drive back into our real lives.


Breakfast (buffet and menu), morning tea, working lunch.



  • Three half-day sessions with Cath and Ali

  • All tuition and materials

  • A solo conversation with Ali and Cath about your project, writing, creative life.

  • Three nights accommodation in a gorgeous waterfront room at the Lake House, Daylesford

  • A massage or facial at the award-winning Salus Spa

  • A creative care package

  • Food from morning tea on Day 1 to lunch on Day 4 — except lunch on Day 3 (the writing day) (see individual days for more information).

  • All coffee and tea while working in the Pavilion Room, homemade biscuits and juice

A note on the food: In early spring we ate poached quinces and a winter fruit compote. The beef melted in our mouths. We wished they would sell us their bread. The vegetarian tart with a celeriac side was the best thing Ali has ever eaten.

One day, our ‘working lunch’ was Musque de Provence pumpkin soup with ginger and cardamom, sourdough, grilled chicken, chimichurri and cucumber pickle, a warm black barley and citrus salad, and éclairs with yuzu cream. I mean, really.

The Lake House has just been awarded the Best Australian Food & Wine Property in the @luxurytravelau Gold List.

Optional extras

Additional treatments at the Salus Spa at your own expense. Please organise these yourselves; the Lake House advises booking a month ahead. Let us know if any problems
As per the Salus Spa menu

10,000 word conversation
In which Cath and Ali read 10,000 words of your work prior to the retreat and schedule an hour with you during the retreat to talk about it, giving you their notes to take away.
Cost: $500


‘Creative workshop from the dream-team. 
Treat yourself.’
Fiona Wood

‘There was laughter, there were tears, there was wonderful food, great coffee, stunning views, sinking to sleep in luxurious beds, and waking up to birdcalls in the morning. And over and above all of that, the fellowship of other women who love words, the leadership, experience and wisdom of two very special individuals in Ali and Cath, and some tangible tools to further my writing journey. 
Loved every minute. Wish I was back there…’
Amy, September 2018 retreat

‘If I close my eyes, I can see the clean bright creamy walls of my room framing the lake…I can’t remember the last time I felt so fully me.’
Kat, September 2018

‘A blissful experience.’
BR, September 2018

Would you like to come? EMAIL US here. We’ll need to have a quick chat too, over the phone or preferably via Skype.

We understand going on a retreat is a big step. EMAIL US with any questions or concerns. Creativity is for everyone and so is the wellbeing it can bring to your life. We are also happy to chat on the phone first. Just get in touch.

Read a WRAP UP of our first retreat, spring 2108.

Can’t make it this time but would like to be kept in the loop about FUTURE RETREATS?

Why do we do what we do? Here we are being INTERVIEWED by Karen Willis of Sharing Bali and Beyond.


The lobby where you may sit and have a cup of tea and read the paper.

The lobby where you may sit and have a cup of tea and read the paper.

Walking the lake, September 2018

Walking the lake, September 2018

Leave feeling calm and restored, having found the link between creativity and wellness,
with the tools to bring this into your everyday life, and a pathway to a happier creative life.