We first discovered Ego's Culinaria in Daylesford when Luke planned a secret getaway for my birthday last year. We stopped in for lunch on the way to Pepper's Hepburn Springs. One could be forgiven for thinking my rosy opinion of Ego's was clouded by the giddiness I was experiencing due to the surprise getaway I was starting to piece together. However, we've since been back multiple times, with my entire family in tow twice....this does not happen unless a place is truly deemed "worth it" by the whole group. You'll find Ego's is worth it.
If you're booking as a group of about six, ask for the table down the back in a cosy little nook next to the open fireplace. Otherwise, the next best seat is on the big table next to the front window in the morning sun, watching Daylesford lazily wander by as it does so well. The staff are cheery but also give you plenty of space, you can linger over your brunch without worrying about needing to vacate. The eatery shares the building with a store full of bits and pieces well worth a browse. Cake cabinet: must see...gorgeous little treats, extravagant tortes & old school favorites such as the wagon wheel...all made in-house. They run a catering company on the side...worth investigating if you're from the area.
The menu, as you'd expect in Daylesford, is made up from many local suppliers. I've had the second best gnocchi of my life here thus far (La Piazza Bendigo & somewhere random in Rome share first place...note we haven't been to Mason's Bendigo yet!). We've also sampled the baked eggs, bircher muesli (beautifully presented & just different enough to take the reputation of muesli up a notch)...coffees, hot chocolates, cupcakes, Portuguese custard tarts. Luke seemed particularly impressed by some tiny cinnamon swirl cookies, enough to strike up a whole conversation about them with his now favorite staff member. He checks for the cookies (and her!) every time we go back...just another example of how really good service always makes a big impression on him. I have to say I was too distracted by the rest of the cake cabinet to participate in the cookie appreciation session :)
So, in short...go, you will love it. It really has become our favorite Daylesford brunch place...you don't have to battle the weekend parking frenzy of the main street, but it's close enough to wander all the way up to the chocolate shop and back if you feel like taking your time. Added bonus, you might literally run into Maggie Beer on the footpath out the front. Actually she ran into me, and apologized very politely for it too. Don't you think Maggie Beer is the kind of person you just want to hug even though you've never met before? I imagined us striking up a conversation about Verjuice, and then heading back into Ego's for a hot chocolate. Unlikely, but in Daylesford, you just never know what's around the corner...