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 May 30th 2014
There are two roads that head towards the Bellarine Peninsula from the Geelong CBD- one is Portarlington Road, and the other is the Bellarine Highway. As you drive through the suburb of Newcomb along the Bellarine Highway, you will see a couple of shopping centres, and quite a few different takeaway establishments. Drive a little further, and just before buildings make way for paddocks, you will discover a large and unassuming beige brick building. This establishment has a large parking lot, signs for a TAB, and a drive-in bottle shop attached to it. Now, if you didn't know any different, you would assume that this place- The Peninsula Hotel- was just a plain, run-of-the-mill sports bar with TAB facilities, and a small and less-than-impressive bistro area.
Inside the bistro area
Looks can be deceiving.
While the exterior of this establishment may not say much to the passing motorist, it isn't until you get inside the building that you realise that this place is far from aesthetically displeasing. On entering the main doors, you can opt to turn right which will lead you straight into the pokies area, or you can turn left and enter the bistro area. Boasting a fresh and modern open plan design, the bistro is brightly lit, with pot plants, and decorative glass dividers prettying up the room. Able to accommodate both small and large groups of people, the tables and chairs are neatly arranged with plenty of space to navigate between- a rare commodity in many bistros I have been to. The tan wood panelling of the bar and food counter perfectly complements the colours of the furniture, carpet and walls, and adds to the freshness of the interior design.
Creamy Tomato Soup and Potato & Leek Soup (from the Sunday 3-Course Lunch (Changes weekly))
Roast Chicken with vegetables and gravy, and Pork with apple sauce, vegetables and gravy (from the Sunday 3-Course Lunch (Changes weekly))
Chocolate brownie (from the 3-Course Sunday Lunch (Changes weekly))
Like at most bistros, you will have to go up to the counter to order and prepay for your meal, but you will not be disappointed at the selection or price of what is on offer. With a specials menu available daily (and easy to view on one of the many television screens that sit above the bar and order counter), and menus placed on all the tables, you are sure to find something to tickle your fancy. Whether you are having lunch, dinner or just a coffee and cake, there are plenty of options available, and many of the meals can be altered to suit vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dietary requirements.
Cob Loaf with garlic butter
The Peninsula Hotel also prides itself on being extremely family-friendly. Not only do they have an indoor playground for the little ones- complete with ball pit and plastic tunnels-but older kids will also be entertained, with a row of Playstation consoles, an Xbox 360 Kinect and various arcade-type games available. Best of all, parents won't have to stand vigil the entire time to supervise their kids, with the room monitored by constant closed-circuit TV (which can be viewed from the television screens in the bistro).
The chicken and veal parmigianas come with chips and your choice of either salad or vegetables
While this doesn't mean that the kids can run rampant and free from adult supervision, it does allow parents to relax a little more, knowing that they can see their kids playing while still enjoying the company of their friends and family in the bistro area. The Peninsula Hotel is also one of the only places where there is a dedicated Kids Club- every Friday night there are different activities planned to entertain your little darlings.
Fried Seafood Platter
If you want to enjoy a casual dining experience at an affordable price, then you really should check out The Peninsula Hotel & Bistro. Not only does the food taste great (with a really short wait time), but there are plenty of meal and entertainment options for the entire family, every day of the week. Enjoy their Parmi and Steak Nights, or drop by for a 3-Course Sunday Roast Lunch. Bring the kids along for some Friday night fun, or on Saturday night, listen to a live cover band while you enjoy your meal. You will be pleasantly surprised at what's available to you when you visit Geelong's Peninsula Hotel.