Freelance writer living in and reviewing Melbourne's West.
Published June 7th 2012
A friend and I decided recently we deserved a well earned rest and some time away from our regular lives. So of we went on our own girl's adventure down The Great Ocean Road to Lorne.
The Great Ocean Road is considered one of the world's greatest scenic coastal drives in the world stretching 243 kilometres from Torquay to Allansford, just east of Warrnambool.
The road curves along cliff tops, headlands, down onto the edge of beaches, across river estuaries and through lush rainforests offering panoramic views of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean at every turn.
It occupies a special place in my heart. It was the location of my first school camp, my honeymoon, and endless family weekends away.
The Executive room cost us $190 and came with a Queen Size bed, a (sofa that could be used as a bed if linen is placed on top) a spa, a kitchenette, a great view of the sea, a balcony, Foxtel, heating/air conditioning and a mini bar.
We really enjoyed the room however we were disappointed there was only sports to watch on the Foxtel channel. We were hoping for some music or a good late night movie. The spa jets were wonky and both of us flooded the bath and our toiletries when we each had a turn.
However, the friendly staff, the six cockatoos that sat on the balcony, the magnificent views from the room made up all for those little inconveniences.
Both of us fancied a good pub meal for dinner and ended up choosing The Lorne Hotel to eat. We asked the shopkeepers in the area where we could find a good pub meal and they listed The Grand Pacific as their number one choice and The Lorne Hotel as their second choice.
We chose the The Lorne Hotel because it meant we could enjoy wine without worrying about driving home. The menu has all your pub standards but what impressed me was its substantial gluten free menu, for adults and children that included souvlaki, risotto, pasta, steaks and fish. All the kids meals are $7.90 while the adult mains ranged from $21.90 -$38.90.
We started our meal with 1/2 a dozen delicious, fresh oysters ($15). I ordered the giant t-bone steak with potatoes, vegetables and garlic butter - the only gluten free sauce for $31.90. My friend ordered the grain fed eye fillet steak for $38.90 with potatoes, veg with red wine jus. Both meals were delicious however my medium steak was more rare than I like but I ate it anyway as I was too hungry to wait any longer for food. The waitress offered us free coffee and dessert to compensate.
We had to wait in a long queue to order our food and then wait for it to arrive, about 45 minutes all up. It was insanely busy with a good mix of ages and people. There was a boisterous group of celebrating netballers and a lone guitarist playing covers.
The Lorne Hotel is a great place to sit and drink or eat during the day. The views of the ocean are spectacular and has a friendly atmosphere.
The next morning we breakfasted at the Moon's Espresso Bar in the heart of the Lorne shopping strip (108 Mountjoy Pde, Lorne) with magnificent views of the sea on a sunny spring day. It was very busy. It took awhile for the food to arrive, but it was good. I ordered the gluten free full breakfast ($18), which came with soft, lightly toasted gluten free pide bread, avocado, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and bacon and a perfect latte coffee.
My friend ordered the bacon and tomato relish toasted pide, which she raved about ($14).
On our way home we stopped for a Cleopatra ice-cream at the Nordenfine ice-creamery in Anglesea (75 Great Ocean Road, Anglesea). Nordenfine have won a lot of awards and it is not surprising. The Cleopatra was a smooth nougat flavoured ice-cream with toblerone chunks and caramel sauce. There are all sorts of cones to choose from including your basic waffle to choc-dipped waffles covered in nuts, hundreds and thousands, white and milk chocolate. Too good.