The laid-back Bellarine Peninsula
is home to a diverse range of dining options, cuisines and restaurants, including award-winning bakeries, boutique hotels, wineries, cider bars and cafés. These are five of the best bites between Geelong and Barwon Heads.
Wine Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, $$$
Perched on a cliff, Jack Rabbit
is a vineyard and winery that looks out past the rolling hills and onto Port Phillip Bay. Open seven days a week, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the venue is even available for functions and weddings. Their ever-changing contemporary Australian menu includes panko crumbed squid, a Mediterranean-inspired calzone and slow-cooked lamb shank with sweet potato mash.
Rolling Pin Pies
Bakery, Australian, $$$
Rolling Pin Pies
has been dishing out pies since 1997 and has since become one of the leading pie makers in Australia, winning over 150 awards. All of their pies are made from 100 per cent Tasmanian Greenham Natural Beef, and there are 15 varieties from which to choose. This quaint bakery also has a range of pasties, sausage rolls, quiche, family pies and a selection of mouthwatering sweet sensations including lamingtons
and vanilla slice.
Flying Brick Cider
Bar, Restaurant, French, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
‘Unashamed and unrestrained’, the Flying Brick
was established in 2010 as a cider house and restaurant. Their cider is crafted using traditional methods, and their food is fabulous without seeming too fancy, with bites including pork belly with watermelon, jicama and macadamia crumble; cappuccino crème brûlée with cinnamon jam donuts; and a range of sharing dishes including popcorn, chorizo and sage. Open seven days a week, a meal and drink at Flying Brick are accompanied by live music on Friday nights.
The Paddock Cafe
Cafe, Australian, $$$
Established in 2009, Elk Horn, as it was once known, has recently welcomed new owners, a new chef and a new menu. Now called The Paddock Cafe
, the venue still brews the best coffee on the Bellarine Peninsula, and now, it is complemented by an all-day breakfast menu featuring tacos, burgers, homemade granola, and waffles. On the weekend, you’ll even find delicious specials such as pesto and mushroom gnocchi. If you haven’t visited since the changeover, it’s time to take a drive down to the sleepy town of Wallington between Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads.
The Vue Grand
Boutique Hotel Restaurant, French, $$$
In 2015, The Vue Grand
was named Best Contemporary Restaurant for the 5th time in six years for the Geelong Otway Region, and it’s not hard to see why. Dating back to 1881, The Vue Grand has a history of opulence and now offers 32 boutique, four-star hotel rooms as well as casual and sophisticated dining options. In the Grand Dining Room, you’ll find award-winning cuisine including pork rillettes with crackle crumb, pineapple and chili, and kangaroo tartare with beetroot ketchup, while in The Vue Street Bar, you can enjoy craft beer, pizza and sharing platters.