WHERE TO DINE
Apollo Bay Hotel
The Bay Leaf Cafe
Rookery Nook Hotel
Ba Ba Lu Bar & Restaurant
A La Grecque
WHERE TO LUNCH
Chris’s at Beacon Point Restaurant & Villas
Louttit Bay Bakery
Jan Juc Fish
WHERE TO SHOP
Timboon Farmhouse Cheese
Birregurra General Store
Deans Marsh General Store
Produce and Craft Market 5. Apollo Bay
F i s h e r m a n ’ Co-op 5. Garden of Eden 8. Darriwill Farm 8. Lorne Fisheries 8. Lorne Greens s
4. Martians Cafe
Swing Bridge Cafe
Qdos Treehouse Accommodation
Aireys by the Light B&B
WHERE TO STAY 2. Waves Port
Campbell 8. Grand Pacific
& Chip Shop 13. Pettavel Winery
La Bimba, 125-127 Great Ocean Rd, Apollo Bay, tel: (03) 5237 7411. The little balcony here has three rather lovely tables for couples with views to the beach, while inside the corner banquette is a perfect place to laze over brunch and avoid the hubbub of the holiday crowds. They do great pork belly, as well as kids’ meals that don’t rely on a deep-fryer.
Other favourites are the Jan Juc Fish & Chip Shop (4 Stuart Ave, Jan Juc, tel: (03) 5261 6200) for pumpkin fritters and Louttit Bay Bakery (46b Mountjoy Pde, Lorne, tel: (03) 5289 1207) for bulging salad sangers. If you’re driving down inland from Melbourne, splash out at Pettavel Winery & Restaurant (65 Pettavel Rd, Waurn Ponds, tel: (03) 5266 1120).
WHERE TO BREAKFAST Swing Bridge Cafe, Erskine River Entrance, Lorne, tel: 0408 895 022. Down where the Erskine River meets the beach is this funky little shack serving food and drinks all day from 8am until sundown. Hire a pedal boat for the kids, then enjoy some quality me-time outside on the deck with a coffee and a fruit salad, which is usually cut to order. They also do an impressive range of smoothies, spiders,
freshly squeezed juices and shakes for the returning pirates. Lunch is of the tofu burger, toastie and salad variety.
Two other decent ways to start the day in Lorne are Kafe Kaos (Shop 1, 52 Mountjoy Pde, tel: (03) 5289 2639) and Moons Espresso Bar (106 Mountjoy Pde, tel: (03) 5289 1149), which is slightly more earthy. Ba Ba Lu Bar (see Where to Dine) do great Genovese coffee, free-range eggs every way on toast, and their own muffins and pastries. Martians Cafe, 12 Lorne Rd, Deans Marsh, tel: (03) 5236 3350. If all that surf, sun and sand is getting too much, sneak away to this kid-friendly spot where you’ll find a full brekkie using local Rayner’s free-range eggs, sausages from Birregurra and coffee made with beans roasted by Geelong’s Daily Grind. They also have Old Lorne Road olive oil, Gentle Annie jams and sauces, and honey from “the bloke up the road”, according to owner Andrew Allen, who’s been here for 18 months now.
Another prime breakfast option at this end of the Great Ocean Road is Bellbrae Harvest (see Where to Lunch). Slather the house-made crumpets with a selection of their jams – boysenberry, blackberry, or orange and passionfruit. If a savoury brekkie
ILLUSTRATION: PRISCILLA NIELSEN