Clementine Day’s Castlemaine Charmer

Images by Yaseera Moosa

This week we visit Castlemaine, Djaara Country, in the Goldfields region of Victoria. It is here that Clementine Day and her partner struck their own gold: a 1950s home perched atop a hill, just ten minutes from town. Just like her hugely successful food project, Some Things I Like To Cook, Clem’s home has benefited from her patience & skill, slowly tending to its dated fixtures all while inhabiting the space, no easy task! Within these well-loved walls we speak with the self-published author & multi-disciplinary maker about her appreciation of craft and the notion of ‘self-taught’, plus we're treated to her homemade granola recipe - a decidedly thrifty & wholesome dish that’s become one of her mainstays.

A guest bed is dressed with our 100% Linen in Lake & a Heavy Linen Bolster Cushion in White. 

“This is our first home, my partner and I bought it just over a year ago. Our budget wasn’t going to cut it in the city so we decided to fast track that 5 year goal to move to Castlemaine and bite the bullet and do it early. We could get a lot more space for our money here, even though the house did need quite a lot of work. A 50s house on a hill about a 10 minute walk from town, it had been partially renovated by the previous owners but before that no work had been done for almost 70 years. Thankfully they re-stumped, rewired and lifted the old carpet and vinyl off the floorboards, they also ripped out the wall between the kitchen and dining space which really opened it up. They sold it off in a hurry so there were lots of half finished jobs when we moved in. 

“After getting the keys, at first we started with some basic things, fixing up some large cracks left from the restumping process, patching plaster and huge gaps in the cupboards etc, and then went straight onto the kitchen. It had an Ikea kitchen shell/carcass, so we were able to get some MDF cupboard fronts to fit and we spent ages carefully painting and sanding those. Then of course installing it all. We ripped off the old wall cupboards, my step Dad was able to salvage and join the old Oregon wood from the shelves to make us the new long shelf that you can see in the kitchen now.”

We ripped off the old wall cupboards, my step Dad was able to salvage and join the old Oregon wood from the shelves to make us the new long shelf that you can see in the kitchen now.

“We’ve spent a lot of time doing lots of invisible jobs, like painting and draft proofing and changing over window coverings and patching things, and we’re not fully there yet. The exterior of the house had teal fake brick sheeting over the old weatherboards that were filled with asbestos. That was one of the other first major jobs we undertook. The whole process has been filled with learning as we’re doing everything ourselves. We’ve been living in the house the whole time while working on it and both working full time so sometimes it feels a bit slow, but I feel proud of what we’ve achieved. My favourite thing about this home is the light. It was built and oriented on the block in a very considered way. In summer, the sun goes overhead and we’re shaded from harsh light inside, keeping the house cool until late in the day. In the autumn and winter the sun streams through the windows into the kitchen and dining room, and later into the living room and main bedroom. Cats and humans alike love this warm sunshine on the cold central Victorian days. The original window fittings, large steel frame 50s numbers… as cold and single glazed as they are, are really beautiful. They have brass handles (that had been painted over) which I’ve been slowly revealing and restoring.” 

“Our bedroom is really simple, and we try to keep it that way. It’s a relaxing and special space reserved for reading and sleeping. We try to keep it screen free and just have lamps and books on our bedsides, and a couple of photos of family on the wall near my dresser.”

A cosy bedroom corner features piles of books and our 100% Linen in Lake.

“I am quite attached to a lot of the objects in my home. I have slowly and carefully collected all these things over years, some from my family, some from op shops or from artists and makers. I have a deep appreciation for the craft that goes into making things, as a maker myself, and really value the care inherent in this process. It may sound a little silly, but I have a stack of rocks piled atop each other on the living room shelf. One of them is from Gabo Island, just offshore from where I grew up in Mallacoota. It is known as Gabo Granite. A beautiful red hued speckled rock. It feels like a little piece of my old home, which was nature as a whole growing up out there, rather than any dwellings in particular. I’m very thankful for that childhood, and this rock reminds me of that every day.”

“I have cooked all my life, as a child and teen for fun, as a young adult for necessity, and now as a creative outlet and part-time job. I don’t know if anyone is truly self-taught, I suppose what that means is I didn’t go to school for it or do a formal apprenticeship. I learned from lots of special people throughout my life, my grandma, my mum, my friends, and a hell of a lot of reading and trial and error. During lockdown, with the extra time on my hands, I started sharing more of my cooking online and it just seemed to resonate with people. I ended up making a self-published cookbook and was truly amazed by how many people bought one and supported me.

“I’ve been kind of just riding that roller coaster ever since, it’s a big learning curve, working out how to fit into the food industry, doing freelance recipe development and food styling work amongst other things. The challenge has been finding healthy boundaries so I still have time for my other making work, mostly textile based, clothing, practical garments and accessories and soft furnishings. Food and making is really important to me and I don’t want to have to choose one, so it’s a bit of a juggling act at times.

“I’ve been working on a lot of ice cream and cookie recipes at the moment, cakes too. But one thing I’ve been making a lot for us at home has been granola. It’s so expensive to buy good granola from the shops so I make my own. It’s a pretty savoury iteration, with no fruit and minimal sweetness. Lots of seeds, peanuts and sesame oil give it a really nice flavour.  It’s just as good with yoghurt, milk and fruit as it is snacked on like a trail mix.” 

I learned from lots of special people throughout my life, my grandma, my mum, my friends, and a hell of a lot of reading and trial and error.

Basking in the morning light is Clem's cat Beanie and our 100% Linen Table Cloth in Natural & Napkin Set in White.

“To me it [my interior style] seems very hodge-podge, lots of different things from different eras and styles brought together. There’s definitely strong strokes of mid-century influence. Scandinavian, Danish and Japanese design has always been of interest to me - but the nature of collecting things mostly second hand means it is a bit eclectic. I try to balance that out with simplicity and minimalism but honestly it changes depending on my mood at the time. 

I like to rearrange shelves when things feel too minimal or too cluttered, I love moving my art around to different rooms in the house and I often use objects on the walls in place of paintings.

“I like to rearrange shelves when things feel too minimal or too cluttered, I love moving my art around to different rooms in the house and I often use objects on the walls in place of paintings. I’ve always done this, something that started out as a budget friendly alternative but has grown into a way of honoring the incredible craft of seagrass weaving or brush making, cast iron candle holders. Whatever it may be.”

Clem's bed is dressed in our 100% Linen Duvet Set in Cocoa & Sheet Set in White

“Castlemaine area is firstly just really beautiful, it's green and lush and a really nice town, full of artists and creatives, good food, wine and beer, it has a really active music scene and a lovely community feel. It’s known by some as the Northcote of the north, which is a bit cringe but I can see what they’re getting at. It’s the perfect place to marry most of the things you like about living in the city, with the stillness and slowness of country life, and the beautiful local landscapes. Being able to walk into town and see someone like Angel Olsen at the local theatre, after having some delicious wood fired pizzas and a pint of Guinness at the bar, and then walk home at the end of it is really nice. I also just love the quiet and the stillness, so good for my nervous system after years of living in the bustling city.”

“The Mill is a pretty excellent spot where you’ll find Boomtown wine, a huge bazaar of second hand goodies, local bread, meats, cheese and chocolate makers, an Austrian diner, organic produce shop, and all across the road from the botanical gardens - a really lovely spot to visit every week. The monthly farmers market is a huge affair that brings a lot of people in and is a nice way to thaw out in the sun on a chilly morning. There’s a few local swimming spots that are super special but I’m not sure the locals would approve of me sharing them so publicly. My favourite thing though is walking through the bush, the old goldfield tracks near our house are stunning. Endemic native plants on deep orange earth, at sunset it glows.”

“This year is a fun one for me, I’ve had a bit of hibernation time but have a few cut collabs coming up. Doing a dessert pop up with local legends Ratbag while they’re cooking out of Temperance House’s kitchen. Working with Soup Shop on the food for their winter pop up in Melbourne where they sell an incredible curation of second hand designer clothes. I’m working on a second book and hoping to curate a couple of other little events locally in Castlemaine after winter.”




Dry ingredients: 

4 cups rolled oats 
4 cups large coconut flakes 
2 cup puffed quinoa or rice 
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 pumpkin seeds
1 cup peanuts
1/2 cup brown linseed/flaxseed 
1/2 cup hemp seed
1/2 cup black and white sesame seeds (or 1/4 cup of each) 
1/2 cup Buckwheat
Generous pinch of salt 
3 teaspoons cinnamon 
1/4 cup brown sugar (optional but tasty, could be replaced with coconut sugar)

Wet ingredients: 

3 egg whites 
1/2 cup olive oil 
1/2 cup maple syrup 
1/3 cup toasted sesame oil 


Preheat oven to 180 C. 

In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl combine wet ingredients. 

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix really well to coat everything evenly. 

Spread out evenly on two large oven trays and cook until golden brown and toasty, about 15-20 minutes. 

Remove from oven but leave to cool on trays. This will help create the clusters. 

Once cool, transfer into a large bowl and then scoop into airtight storage jars.  




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