The Portarlington By The Bay
40/42 Newcombe Street Portarlington
(Visited January ’19)
In January of 2019, we found ourselves in the most beautiful of places.
We found ourselves, in a truly secluded place.
So secluded in fact, that we had our own beach.
It was amazing, yes. Having so much freedom and space to roam as we wanted on a mini, mid-Summer getaway, felt like heaven.
And then we missed civilisation terribly.
We realised that when we came home days later, and actually vowed not to travel anywhere ever again until we had explored our own patch of ocean along the entire coast, in FULL.
Nothing to do with our destination. But we had magical waters too. 😉
Anyhow. Halfway through our stay there, we had to get away from seclusion.
So we headed a fair way out of our quiet getaway town, to Portarlington.
Portarlington is a historic coastal town on the Bellarine Peninsula, over 20 kilometres from the city of Geelong, and also on the other side of the Port Phillip Bay, the waters we look out onto every day. We heard it had a fairly good mix of ethnicities, and so with that in mind, and a few restaurant names off the guide left to us in our holiday house, we headed over on a sunny Tuesday to see what would tickle our fancy.
Vineyards, vineyards, oh the vineyards we passed as we drove. So many.
(But we have vineyards too).
The views when we got there, oh the views!
(But we have views too).
Okay, calm down SmikG. Just enjoy the holiday and stop comparing damn it.
We ventured to some restaurants, sussing out the vibe (it’s ALL about the vibe) before deciding on Portarlington By the Bay.
Firstly, there seemed to be available tables. (Well they were, but you all know they can be – surprise surprise! – booked).
Secondly, although we hadn’t booked, the thickly-accented Italian waiter made a spot for us.
Thirdly… the spot was outside, with a great view.
Okay, okay, they win… a little bit.
The décor was very beachy European, with blue and white everywhere. Beach elements decorated the interior, paintings, key pieces… and the open doors inviting the indoor diners out, well it was all tied together very well.
I went fresh and light with a freshly squeezed OJ, while Hubbie started off with a Carlton Draught:
And then baby girl’s kids meal arrived earlier, as requested. Chicken schnitzel, chips and salad.
Ours was soon to follow. Hubbie literally followed suit, with his meal being exactly the same as baby girl’s… just larger:
And meanwhile I went in the direction of the sea, when I got a Seafood Napoli pasta.
OMG. Let’s not worry about their meals. Chicken, chips, yada yada yada.
The sauce in my meal was delicious. Seafood-y, but still with this rich and wholesome tasting home-made like red heaven that was heaped upon my pasta.
Yum yum yum.
I remember feeling, like really happy. Really content. I was like yep, this is how people feel when they are on top of the world.
Life is good.
The beach is across the road.
It is summer.
And I have this awesome plate of seafood pasta that is just singing to my soul.
As for the other two… they were happy. Baby girl was satisfied. Hubbie was satisfied, but also not overly impressed. He didn’t think it was the best chicken schnitzel he’d ever had. (It’s just a meal).
We decided to follow suit with some dessert. That meant another drink for Hubbie, whereas for me it was tiramisu…
And for baby girl that was ice cream.
Look, I wasn’t actually planning on dessert. It was all entirely baby girl’s idea (a 5 year-olds idea, really?) She had seen the ice cream case when we visited the loo at one stage, and from then, it was ALL OVER.
Sadly for her, there was one problem.
The strawberry ice cream she had picked, had pips.
You know how real strawberry ice cream, will like, have remnants of strawberries? Yeah well hers did too. But that wasn’t good enough.
5 years old remember?
So even though she had wanted this ice cream so bad, as delicious as it was, it had pips, and that was a big kid no-no.
How do I know it was delicious?
Guess who had to eat it?
On top of my deliciously creamy Tiramisu?
I couldn’t let it go to waste! No way. After eating most of my Tiramisu, Hubbie and I dug into her ice cream (you can’t waste ice cream, no way!)
We were now definitely full, and organised payment of the bill before we headed back into seclusion.
But we got a bit of a surprise when we received the bill. They had charged us a full adult’s meal in lieu of baby girl’s kids meal. I had to go up to the counter inside and explain the issue, before the bill was rectified…
They removed the extra adult meal completely! They didn’t even charge us the kids meal. So although it was a little hiccup, they more than made up for the bill error.
And back out towards the bay views we went, following the crystal blue waters until they led us to our abode.
Food: 8/10. Although the chicken was okay, the pasta was uber-fresh and wholesome, a la Italiana.
Coffee: N/A… this time 😉 Bay views should be appreciated from every angle, especially on a return visit.
Ambience: It was chilled, but sort of bustly too, with people in a generally great mood to enjoy the Summer vibes. There was a distinct tourist-y vibe too, and it did have a slight upmarket feel as well.
Staff: They were friendly, they did their job, and went above and beyond to rectify our billing error.
People: Families, groups of people, and quite a few tourists too. I wonder if we stuck out to them as they stuck out to us!
Price: Well, the ‘adjusted’ price was $106. The ‘charged’ price was $130, but then $24 was removed when we told them that baby girl didn’t in fact have an adult-sized gnocchi… so the real price? Somewhere in the middle.
Advice: Check the bill. You know this is general advice, check the bill wherever you go. I even check the bill after I’m done doing the grocery shopping and I go to the self-serve checkout too!
Secondly, in peak season, warm nights and weekends, it’s best to book ahead. The views are great and would be heavily fought after if not a Tuesday like when we went.
In a nutshell: After all my cheeky jibes of having the same on our side of the waters, I would be more than happy to go back to Portarlington. It is a truly terrific location that you should check out, and the pasta ain’t bad too. 😉 I need to sip a coffee watching those views, right? Need to tick that off on my dining list. All in all, I would be happy to go back, to the other side of the bay.