Seaside dinning in regional Victoria has received a boost as well with the opening of MoVida Lorne. at the famous Lorne Hotel. After a successful pop-up in January 2018, acclaimed Melbourne restaurateur Frank Camorra has returned to the Great Ocean Road with his successful MoVida to open a permanent venue overlooking Louttit Bay. With expansive ocean views, dual aspect sunshine and a Great Ocean Road address, MoVida Lorne has three separate areas covering all bases with a dining room, bar and Alimentaria Deli. 176 Mountjoy Parade, Great Ocean Rd, Lorne, Victoria, 3232. (03) 5289 1042.
On the other side of the Bay, Australia’s newest dedicated gluten-free brewery has opened on the Mornington Peninsula with Two Bays Brewing Co in Dromana. After launching in 2017, Two Bays opened a public taproom in December with seven gluten-free beers on tap and a range of gluten-free wood-fired pizzas. Founder Richard Jeffares, who was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2015, was inspired by a trip to the USA a year later to open a brewery of his own using ancient grains. 1/2 Trewhitt Ct, Dromana, Victoria, 3936. (03) 5910 0880.
Red Hill winery Polperro has opened an all-day bistro, late-night bar, cellar door and meeting place called Many Little, at the site of The Long Table. Owners Sam Coverdale ad Emma Phillips hired Hecker Guthrie to revamp the space which now has the capacity to seat 91 inside and 99 out in the courtyard beer garden, styled with textured bricks, terrazzo and timber elements. Many Little’s menu will feature produce home grown and from local organic growers, on dishes such as crab linguine with roasted cherry tomatoes and confit shallot. 2-5/159 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South, Victoria, 3937. (03)5989 2471.
The popular Portsea Hotel has reopened after a $7m facelift, just in time for summer. The ground floor restaurant, Longshore, has an open kitchen and plenty of outdoor space, serving an updated menu with more salads and grills, while the Bertram Bar takes in the stunning views upstairs. Cliff’s Bar – a Californian-inspired burger joint – and the RIP Bar complete the offer. 3746 Point Nepean Rd, Portsea, Victoria, 3944. (03) 5984 2213.
Still on the Peninsula, favourite English tavern situated in the heart of Red Hill, The Pig and Whistle, has new owners, a fresh new look and a new cellar door. Visitors looking for a cleansing ale in the Red Hill area should stop by for an imported British specialty ale in the beer garden, a casual lunch, or a leisurely meal in the cosy restaurant. The menu features quality pub grub and classic English dishes, made from local ingredients. The ploughman’s lunch provides a taste of the region with international inspiration. The onsite winery and rustic cellar door is now open to the public with a stunning setting overlooking the expansive lawn and Bayview Estate vineyard. 365 Purves Rd, Main Ridge VIC 3928. (03) 5989 6130
Ballarat has seen an old gem return after the 109-year old heritage listed building was transformed into a bespoke hotel, The Provincial Hotel, and a restaurant called Lola. Inspired by a combination of relaxed coastal vibes and sophistication of New York’s Firmdale Hotel, as well as respecting the Victorian heritage, the two-level hotel is decorated with a mix of older pieces, many sourced from local antique stores, and contemporary pieces. The 55-seat restaurant Lola is led by head chef Shaun Thomson who is bringing a wealth of experience having worked at Quay, Sydney; Flying Fish, Fiji and with Neil Perry at Rockpool Melbourne. 121 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat, Victoria, 3350. (03) 5331 3399.
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