I'm a freelance writer who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. I enjoy finding new things to see and do in the beautiful area that I live in.
Published July 15th 2012
It may look like your average corner pub from the outside, with its solid mocha and chocolate exterior and TAB sign out the front, but Lord Of The Isles Tavern is anything but. The winner of numerous awards -including the Victorian AHA award for Best Bistro (Country) several times and the Culinary Shield for Head Chef Jamie Crouch in 2011- the pub has recently undergone a massive renovation and now boasts a dramatically stylish bistro, alfresco area, bar, and functions room.
While it was already renowned for its tasty dishes and extensive wine list, Bernie's Bistro (within the Lord Of The Isles Tavern) delivers more than you would expect from an ordinary bistro. Forget about getting a cheap pub meal- this bistro defines class and is superior compared to the alcohol-sticky floors and cheap-looking seating areas you would expect at any other pub. In fact, Bernie's Bistro could easily rival any high-class establishment in terms of interior design, menu palatability, and knowledgeable and attentive staff.
The modern decor of Bernie's Bistro, within Lord Of The Isles Tavern
As soon as you step through the modern doors and past the geometrically designed feature wall (which shields the bistro windows) you are transported into a lovely dark-wood and mocha dining area. With a fully stocked bar to your left as you walk in, and two large open spaces for dining, this bistro immediately dispels any notion of inferiority. On one side wall, an electric fireplace heats up the room, while yellow lamps sitting on wooden bureaus cast the area in a warm glow.
The dim lighting helps to create a homey and relaxed feel, although this does make it slightly difficult to read the menu, especially if you have poor eyesight.
Bernie's Bistro runs on a seasonal menu, so that they are able to provide their patrons with the freshest and best ingredients. They also cater for vegetarians and coeliacs, so if you have special dietary requirements, you can be sure that they will look after your needs. Their menu accommodates many different tastes, and you are sure to find something that will tickle your fancy, from freshly grilled or fried seafood, to lamb shanks, risotto or a typical pub-style chicken parmigiana. If you feel like a more exotic dish, you can always try roasted duck breast or loin of kangaroo. All of the meals are well presented and of the highest quality in taste and texture- exactly what you'd expect for the price you're paying.
Lordie's Lamb Shanks from the weekly specials menu
Lord Of The Isles is located on the corner of West Fyans Street and Latrobe Terrace in Newtown- only a short distance from Kardinia Park, home of AFL team the Geelong Cats- so it's the perfect place to go if you want a quality meal after watching a great game of footy. Even if you're not interested in AFL, there are plenty of other reasons to head to Lord Of The Isles, besides eating an excellent meal or using it as a place to catch up after the game.
Pete's Linguini Marinara from the seasonal menu
The tavern also offers TAB facilities and large plasma screens where you can watch various sporting events live on Fox. As mentioned earlier, there is also an extensive bar, as well as a climate-controlled wine vault that houses a vast selection of Australian and International wines.
Chicken Parmigiana from the seasonal menu
It's easy to see why Lord Of The Isles has won so many awards (the full list of awards is available to view on their website), as it caters to a wide range of people- from footy-goers to those looking for a classy alternative to the average pub meal. With a stylishly modern décor, excellent food, and admirable service, Lord Of The Isles is sure to get your tick of approval should you happen to pay it a visit.