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Surfcoast locals Flowstate and Bird Rock team up for a one-night degustation dinner with matched gin

Looking for something delicious and decadent to do this Thursday night? Then boy do I have the night for you.

Two classic Surfcoast brands unite in a night celebrating delicious food and just as delicious gin. Flowstate Gin and Bird Rock have combined forces to present a night to leave your taste buds delighted.

The key takeaways

  • Local businesses Flowstate Gin and Bird Rock Jan Juc team up for a five course degustation matched with paired gins
  • Flowstate distillers will talk about their experience and passion for creating gin
  • Bird Rock chefs will create delicious food to be paired with an array of flavours of gin

Keep up with the latest foodie news via our website.

Over a five-course degustation, Bird Rock will explore the flavours found in four of the Flowstate gins, with each course perfectly paired to reflect these unique flavours.

The menu – which sounds absolutely divine – has been specifically crafted to highlight the flavours of the gin and even includes the inclusion of gin (or gin botanicals) in each of the courses – think gin-marinated kingfish, ricotta infused with juniper, gin-soaked raisins, and even a gin cheesecake!

The thoughtfully curated menu is a delight for all lovers of good food and good drink (and let’s be real, who isn’t?!) and is the perfect extension of the scrumptious food Bird Rock is known for.

By taking inspiration from the botanicals in the different Flowstate gins served throughout the night (their Craft Gin, Chardy Gin, Pinot Gin, and their latest release the Smoked & Oaked Gin) each course perfectly complements the gin it’s served with.

An example? The first course features kingfish marinated in the Flowstate Craft Gin, then cured with beetroot, juniper and grapefruit and serve on cassava crackers with chives and fermented chilli – absolutely drool-worthy! Kicking off the night, this dish sets the evening up for an impressive spectacle of flavour pairings.

Now, I don’t want to give away all the secrets of the menu – let me just say it is looking bloody delish – but if you want to be enticed a little more I can help you out. Think, corn chowder nage, mussels, clams, and duck breast. Think flavours of grapefruit, wild rosemary, orange, cherry (which just so happen to be some of my favourite gin garnishes, funny that!)

And if you’re worried about your sweet tooth, let me assure you that you’ll be oh-so delighted. Served with the latest gin release from Flowstate (their bold and unique Smoked & Oaked) dessert features a gin and vanilla cheesecake, brown sugar crumble, juniper and lemon curd, tonic jelly (love this idea!!!), and fresh grapefruit! And now, writing about this, I’ve made myself hungry.

This collaboration truly goes to show the incredible creativity and innovation in our local food and drink scene – and how it only keeps getting better!

So, if you’ve got nothing on this Thursday (or if you do and this sounds too good to pass up!) check it out!

The night starts at 6:30 pm this Thursday 22nd at Bird Rock in Jan Juc.

Tickets available here.

The South East Gents (Blues Revue)

Mark Nunis and the South East Gents (Blues Revue) are bringing an afternoon of high energy, rockabilly blues to Piano Bar. Chris D’Rozario (Double Bass), Pete Belair (Guitar), Shaun Havoc (Drums) and Mark Nunis (Piano) combine forces to present their love of jump blues and promise to have the room dancing along with them to this Boogie & Blues Revue.

Drinks are at bar prices and our full kitchen menu is available.
Doors open at 1pm with shows from 2pm.

Seating is allocated so please let us know if you have multiple bookings wanting to be seated together.

Head here for tickets.

Paul Dempsey, The Jungle Giants, Didirri, The Mik Maks and more announce gigs across Geelong and Surf Coast

We’re really getting into the swing of things in regional Victoria with a slew of artists slated to perform over the next few months, including the likes of Paul Dempsey, Didirri and The Jungle Giants, allowing Victorian music lovers to return to one of their creature comforts, basking in some damn fine live music.

It’s been a busy start to the year for some of our favourite regional music venues, with The Torquay Hotel, The Barwon Club, The Bridge Hotel, The Inn Hotel and Volta all putting on some pretty great acts.

Torquay has already hosted James Reyne, NZ rock royalty Shihad, EDM producer What So Not, Bryon Bay muso’s Jack Botts and Kyle Lionhart, with The Chats hitting the bandroom on April 22, King Stingray taking on music duties on Anzac Day, Babe Rainbow celebrating the end of the month, and local favourite BEANS bringing the heat in May. Fremantle indie-pop favourites San Cisco also recently announced two shows in June/July, when Thelma Plum and The Rubens are also slated to perform for two sold-out shows.

From the owners of The Torquay Hotel, the Barwon Heads Hotel is now delivering on the music front, announcing Something for Kate frontman Paul Dempsey for a rare and intimate solo show on Friday, May 28.

With a guitar strap on his shoulder, Dempsey will deliver an acoustic, solo performance, drawing on his extensive back catalogue, including songs from his breakthrough solo album, Everything is True and cuts from his new album with Something For Kate. Personally, we’re hoping to hear treasured Something For Kate songs like ‘Captain (Million Miles an Hour)’ and ‘Monsters’, and the favourites off his debut solo album Everything is True and 2016 follow-up Strange Loop. If you love acoustic, intimate shows this is one not to be missed! Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 21 at midday via Oztix.

Keep up with the latest local music news via our website.

Heading closer to town, The Barwon Club is also back in full swing, announcing new gigs every damn day like the legends they are. Having already hosted DZ Deathrays, Hachiku, The White Flower Society, Hideous Sun Demon, Phaedo, Grindhouse, Wil Wagner of The Smith Street Band, Jeff Martin and the renowned Jerkfest, the BC are ensuring locals have a healthy menu of gigs to get to.

Looking ahead this week, they’ve got Pierce Brothers on April 22; Geelong’s own Nemesium on April 23; John Floreani of Trophy Eyes on April 24; and Frenzal Rhomb on April 25. Looking into May, they’ve just revealed a whole crop of new gigs with Paraquay and Justin Keenan on May 2; Melbourne alternative metalcore band Thornhill on May 6; Luke Yeoward and The Nebari All-Stars on May 7; double-header with Drunk Mums and Dumb Punts on May 22; and Jason Singh playing hits from Taxiride on June 5. Exciting additions come from local band Dr Colossus on June 12, and Warrnambool-born Didirri who is returning to regional Victoria with his ‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong’ tour on June 18. Emerging from the studio to take on a small run of shows to celebrate the new year, Didirri will be introducing his new band members, new songs and celebrating his triple J Like A Version contribution.

These join the already announced Vintage Crop on May 1; Bones and Jones on May 8; and Jeff Lang on May 14. Other upcoming gigs also include Melbourne’s Private Function, Perth indie-punks Sly Withers, Mark Wilkinson, Valhalore and Bootleg Rascal later in the year. Keep your eye on their Facebook page for future events, and purchase tickets via Oztix here.


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Renowned for their epic car park parties, The Inn are also doing their bit to bring national talent to the region. Having already hosted the likes of Alice Ivy, Client Liaison, Set Mo and Loods in the past month, the party-starters are upping the ante with a massive act for the June long weekend. Slated for Sunday, June 15, The Jungle Giants DJs are set to headline The Inn Hotel’s Queen’s Birthday Eve Block Party. Known for their high spirit live performances, the Brisbane outfit have been roaming around Australia, blessing listeners and festival-goers with their groovy blends of indie rock and pop for the past few years. Supported by a hand picked local line-up and festival grade sound and light show, this year’s Block Party will be royally epic. Presale tickets are available via Eventbrite.


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Geelong’s very own colourful children’s entertainment masters The Mik Maks also join the list of newly announced gigs. Returning home to perform their first live Geelong show in over a year, these shows will be a must for the family with kids across the world going NUTS for the Mik Maks due to the recent explosion of streams on their YouTube channel. The Mik Maks will be performing three shows across Saturday, April 24 at 12pm, 2.30pm and 5pm. This is a COVID Safe event and tickets are strictly limited, check out the details here.

In more exciting news for the region, we’re also welcoming the return of the Blues Train later this year with a new revival concert series. October will take the form of regular trains under the banner The Blues Train Revival Concert Series, thanks to the support from the Borough of Queenscliff and the Melbourne Arts Centre, and will see performances from the likes of The McNamarr Project, Bill Barber, Louis King & the Liars Klub, The Von Robertsons, Sammy Owen Blues Band and Jimi Hocking, among others. They’re staggering ticket sales but you can suss all the details via the website.

Over in Macedon, the music is coming along in the form of an Americana Carnival at Macedon Railway Hotel. Pulling from folk, bluegrass, country, alt-country, soul, gospel and rock, Americana music is defined by the Americana Music Association as “contemporary music that incorporates elements of various mostly acoustic American roots music styles, including country, roots rock, folk, gospel and bluegrass resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw.” Taking place on May 8, the mini festival welcomes some familiar figures in local Americana sounds, as well as presenting a full cultural experience with the likes of Ryan & the Wildes, Hana and Jessie-Lee’s Bad Habits, Danny Walsh Banned, Brooke Russell and Duncan Phillips.

As a music lover, that’s a lot to be excited about – and that’s barely covering it all. We’re also blessed with weekly gigs from Pistol Pete’s Food n Blues (check out what’s on here), a bounty of regional tours at Volta in Ballarat, Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine, alongside a steady flow of local music at The Hop Inn, The Grovedale, Bombora’s, Beavs Bar, The Barking Dog and Flying Brick Cider, among many others. The Wool Exchange is even back on board with the gigs, with a sold-out Polaris show happening in June.

If you still need convincing of just how lucky we are, there’s also a number of regional music festivals headed our way this year, including the likes of Meadow, Land of Plenty, A Day on the Green, Fresh Produce, and Loch Hart Music Festival – just to name a few.

You can check out the latest gigs coming to town via Songkick.

Feast your eyes upon this seafood marvel at Bay View Bar & Grill

Taking pride in its prime location on Geelong’s spectacular waterfront, Bayview Bar & Grill is a great place for all day-dinning.

Whether you’re after a place for breakfast, casual brunch or a cup of coffee, their menu is packed with fresh and flavoursome ingredients, catering to absolutely everyone. Bustling with tourists and a local crowd, Bay View Bar & Grill has become the most exciting place to drink and dine whilst enjoying the great view – especially if you’re looking for something fresh and local.

If you’re into seafood and can’t go past a good platter, indulge in the Bayview Deluxe Seafood Platter for two, a feast for the eyes and the belly!

Dive into a seafood wonderland with succulent natural and Kilpatrick oysters, grilled blue swimmer crab, a juicy Moreton Bay Bug, beautifully cooked fish, salt and pepper squid rings, grilled prawn skewers and fresh King prawns. To soak up all that goodness, you’ll also get a generous side of chips, salad and house-made sauces.

If you’re feeling fancy you can opt to combine it with a bottle of delicious New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, or if you’re dining for one, you can simply opt for their house special seafood platter. Combining all the best bits of the above, plus some tasty local mussels, you’ll be begging for more.

We can now see why the seafood platters are the most popular dishes at the restaurant!

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At a glance, the rest of their menu is packed with fresh and flavoursome ingredients, catering to absolutely any taste bud. If pasta is your pick, we like the sound of the seafood marinara, complete with garlic, white wine and cream sauce, or opt for the garlic prawns and rice for a creamy, delicious dish.

If you’re looking for more of the main type dish then you can’t go past choices like the double beef burger, a porterhouse steak, the grilled Atlantic salmon, or try something different with the Colorado pork ribs and braised lamb shanks! A highlight though is the Reef & Beef – a huge Porterhouse steak grilled exactly to your liking, topped with specially mixed seafood in a delicious creamy garlic sauce.

For the early risers, their breakfast and brunch menu covers all the usual suspects, from a Classic Breakfast of eggs, sausages and toast, to Canadian Pancakes served with lashings of maple syrup.

Top the meal off with a pint of beer, bottle of wine or a cheeky cocktail or cocktail, and sit back to enjoy the waterfront views at Bay View Bar & Grill.

Open daily from 9am to 9pm, drop-in for breakfast, lunch, coffee or dinner.

Bay View Bar & Grill is located at 2/6-8 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong Waterfront.

Platform Arts is bringing back its $5000 residency to support early-career artists in Geelong

Applications are now open for Platform Arts’ free program in Geelong to support emerging artists to develop their practice, undertake research and initiate collaborations that will strengthen the future of their arts careers.

Debuting last year, Platform LAB will provide considerable benefits to emerging artists by offering time and space as well as financing new works and providing ongoing mentorship with the aim of increasing the industry expertise and live presentation outcomes for regional emerging artists.

The program will support four early-career artists through a seven-month residency that contributes over $30,000 to their professional and creative development, culminating in new artistic works to be presented locally and toured at national festivals, venues and events.

This capacity-building initiative is open across all contemporary arts disciplines, whereby four individual artists or collectives will be selected to each receive $5,000 to create and present new works at Platform Arts and partner events. Participants will also receive tailored mentoring, in-kind venue support, and industry-led intensive workshops aimed at improving the sustainability of their arts business practice.

Platform LAB will provide:

  • $5000 in direct financial support, plus in-kind services and training.
  • In-kind studio, rehearsal, and gallery/performance space at Platform Arts
  • Participation in two LAB Intensives, facilitated by Platform Arts staff and leading local and international artists
  • Free participation in our Platform Professional Development program
  • On-going mentorship and support from Platform programming and producing staff
  • Technical and marketing/media support from Platform staff
  • Industry previews of your work (online and in person)
  • Assistance with touring opportunities with partnering organisations and festivals

“This second iteration of Platform LAB supports artists to develop new modes of presentation and deliver outcomes at Platform Arts and through connected festival programs. We want to read proposals for ambitious, experimental works from some of our region’s most exciting new artists,” says Platform Arts Executive Director Ilana Russell.

“Recent findings from Res Artis show that the cancellation of global artist residency programs due to Covid have shown that emerging artists are more than twice as likely as established artists to pursue full-time work outside of the arts sector, suggesting that this experience could derail their career plans more permanently, leading to a longer effect on the sector. It is crucial that we maintain programs like Platform LAB that foster pathways and provide financial support for young artists to continue developing their practice and sustain their art careers.”

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Local artists aged 18-26 are able to apply for the LAB program via an online form on the Platform Arts website. Applications close Monday, May 3.

Get your festival fix at Geelong Hotel next month with Northeast Party House, Togar & Friends and more

Downtown is Geelong Hotel‘s signature event, and it’s set to make a comeback next month and bring all the very best festival feels under the one roof.

Featuring a mixed bag of artists and genres, Downtown features the very best of the Australian and local festival scene across three rooms and two levels in the cult favourite Geelong venue.

Taking on the main stage headline duties are dance outfit Northeast Party House (DJ set), while Togar & Friends is set to take over the rooftop, delivering all those festival vibes we’ve been craving for the past 12 months.

We’ll also see support slots from the likes of Coco Du Ma, Scarlett Bronte, Eva, Mitch & Daniel, James Cooper and Vanilla Neptune (plus a full lineup of other incredible acts).

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Whether it’s dance tent vibes from the main room, the social utopia of the rooftop or the ever-classic RnB and hip-hop room, this local event promises to have something for everyone.

It all kicks off at 9pm on May 14 and runs until 5am, providing a marathon night of some of the best live and local artists.

Presale tickets are available via Eventbrite, you can score first release for 15 bucks, with second release tickets going for $20.

Suss the Facebook page here for the full line-up and extra deets.

Limited tickets will be available on the door but to secure your spot head to Eventbrite here to grab tickets for you and your mates.

Geelong Hotel is located at 69 Yarra Street, Geelong

Portarlington’s National Celtic Festival returns, unveiling the first look at its 2021 lineup

In some refreshingly positive news for the region, the National Celtic Festival has announced its return for 2021, transforming the Portarlington foreshore and surrounding haunts into a bustling winter-wonderland of talented musicians and performers over the wintery long weekend in June.

The key takeaways

  • National Celtic Festival returns for 2021
  • The festival has announced its first lineup, boasting with incredible national talent
  • Tickets are on sale now

Keep up with the latest festival news via our website.

Attracting thousands of visitors every year, presenting concerts across 14 stages over four days, with showcases, dance, theatre, literature readings, masterclasses and more celebrating all things Celtic and Craic, this year’s festival will look a little bit different, albeit still a long weekend to remember.

For those well-versed with the Irish and Scottish traditions, the National Celtic Festival is compulsory. Meanwhile, for those not initiated, it is a wonderful surprise to find such amazing music and dedicated musicians in our midst.

For the past 17 iterations, the festival has showcased some of the world’s most culturally rich performers and introducing fresh up and coming act. The talent is second to none, but it’s the diversity of this festival that gives the National Celtic Festival a distinct edge, attracting audiences from all walks of life.

While we might not be seeing the usual international headliners, the festival has already announced its first lineup, boasting with incredible national talent. So far festival-goers will be seeing the likes of Boyle native, banjo player and singer Maggie Carty and her band; innovative Melbourne-based trad-folk act Trouble in the Kitchen; high-energy roots duo Hat Fitz and Cara; Yackandandah bluegrass musician and comedian Pete Denahy; Melbourne-via-Scotland alternative rock folkster Rich Davies; Candelo country group The New Graces; Glasgow-born singer Fiona Ross and ARIA award-winning guitarist Shane O’Mara; Australia’s first bush band The Bushwhackers; and the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, who take traditional and contemporary Scottish music and adds their unique flavours.

Along with the focus in diverse genres of music, the festival is known for delving deep into the culture to include countless comedy, singing sessions, dance, literature, medieval sports and theatre troupes, all of which you can probably expect to see at this year’s return festival.

With an easy 90-minute drive out of Melbourne to the stunning Bellarine Peninsula, a 40-minute ferry ride from Sorrento to Queenscliff, or a 90-minute ferry ride from Melbourne’s Docklands that goes direct to Portarlington, there’s no excuse to miss experiencing Australia’s premier Celtic Folk Festival.

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Start digging out your warmest tartan attire, it all goes down on from 11-14 June, 2021. More acts are due to be announced soon, and tickets are on sale now via the website.

Score a killer feed and save your coin with these epic meal deals

Whether you’re trying to save your coin or you’re just looking for a killer feed that won’t break the bank, we have you covered with some of the best deals in the region. No need for meal plans this week, we’ve compiled enough for everyday of the week (plus extras).

Pholklore – under $10 Banh Mi
Sitting pretty on Pakington street is cult favourite Vietnamese restaurant, Pholklore. A newcomer to the street, the venue has already positioned itself as a fan favourite place for all things pho, but Pholklore Pakington street is encouraging everyone to up their lunch game. Slinging banh mi’s for lunch 12-3 all week you can snatch up a killer banh mi for less than what you’ll pay for parking. You can score pork meatball, chargrilled chicken or katsu for just nine bucks, with vego options, fried egg and tofu for a measly $8 and a plain salad banh mi for just $7.
Pholklore is located at 238 Pakington Street, Geelong West

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Wah Bah – $3 bao buns and 5 for $5 dumplings
Wah Bah is getting you through those midweek blues with two of the sweetest deals in town. Every Wednesday at Wah Bah you can score individual bao buns for just 3 bucks each, and if that deal isn’t sweet enough as is mixing and matching the buns is encouraged! Meaning you’ll never have to make the always difficult choice between a Parmi bao or a crispy chicken one again!
If Wednesdays aren’t your vibe, Wah Bah has you covered with another super sweet deal on Thursdays, 5 for $5 dumplings! With five different dumpling varieties available this incredible deal will have you stuffing your face with delicious dumplings every Thursday from 5pm.
You can find Wah Bah at Level 1, Cunningham Pier 10 Western Beach, Foreshore Rd, Geelong

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Emerge – 3 course lunch for $38
Emerge Steakhouse has made a name for itself in Geelong. Serving up some of the highest quality, locally sourced food in the region and every Sunday you can sample three courses of the very best that Emerge has to offer for just $38.
With a menu that changes weekly, and three options for entrée, main and desert every week there’s truly something for everyone (even vego options!).
Think Ket Baker bread to start, sticky pork belly for an entrée, 14-hour slow cooked beef short rib for mains and then a sticky date pudding for dessert, how could anybody say no!
Be sure to book for this one and have a suss online for this week’s menu.
Emerge is located at 12 Ryrie St, Geelong

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Boss Burger – 2 for $20 Mondays
If you’re finding it hard to drag yourself out of bed on a Monday, or perhaps you’re in need of some recovery after the weekend, fear not!
Boss Burger, a cult favourite for serving up juicy burgers and to die for loaded fries has you and your Monday blues covered. Every Monday you can score 2 burgers for just 20 bucks, one for you and one for your bestie (or both for you if it’s been a particularly rough weekend!).
Never have to choose between chicken and beef again with this super sweet deal.
There’s a whole slew of other offerings at Boss Burger, including $10 Tommy the Chook Tuesdays, suss their socials to catch more of the cheap eats they offer weekly.
You can find boss burger in one of their locations around Geelong, Leopold, Waurn Ponds or Ballarat.

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Cuciana One12 – 3 courses for $32
If its Italian food you’re craving, look no further than Cuciana One12. For a measly 32 bucks you can score a delicious three course Italian feast. There’s a heap of menu options, giving you the freedom to pick one entrée, amin and desert off their menu, you’ll be spoilt for choice at Cuciana One12.
This deal is a no brainer, the hardest decision you’ll have to make will be between oven roasted pork belly or parmigiana, or if you’ll grab the sticky date or the crème brulee for dessert.
If three courses aren’t your thing, you can score two courses for just $27!
Find Cuciana One12 at 112 High St, Belmont

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Barking Dog – $15 Parmi’s and $3 pizzas
Another gem on Pakington street is Barking Dog, long one of Geelong’s favourite venues and they are serving up some exceptionally sweet deals.
You can score a $15 Parmi on Wednesdays at the barking dog (yes, only $15) but if Parmi’s aren’t your thing there $3 pizzas sure would be.
Available from 2.30-5pm every Tuesday to Sunday you can grab a pizza for just 3 bucks with any drink purchase. Whether it’s a pint or a soft drink, it doesn’t get much better than paired with a $3 pizza.
Find the barking dog at 126 Pakington St, Geelong West

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Okami – All you can eat
For just $34.80pp you can dive into over 30 traditional Japanese dishes at Okami. The venue boasts an all you can eat menu, meaning you never have to choose between a few dishes you’ve been eyeing off.
Never have to choose between vegetable or prawn gyoza again at Okami, with unlimited entrees, mains and deserts your $34.80 ensures you won’t ever leave hungry.
Okami fills up fast so head online to secure your spot, it’s also a minimum of two people to score the sweet all you can eat deal.
Okami is located at 214 Pakington Street, Geelong West

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Bobby Dre’s – High Tea
Bobby Dre’s has been gracing Geelong with tacos and burgers to die for and they’ve just introduced a high tea option on weekends.
There are two options for the high tea, a burger option, fitted out with regular and sweet potato chips, six mini burgers, coleslaw and churros to finish. Or if you’re feeling more of a Mexican fiesta for your high tea the taco option boasts, nachos, six tacos and churros for two.
The high teas are both $32pp without drinks, $38pp with a beer or a wine or $43pp paired with a cocktail. Vego options are also available for both high teas.
Available 11.30am-5.30pm high tea at Bobby Dre’s is one not to be missed.
They require minimum 24 hours’ notice for high tea bookings so be sure to book.
Find Bobby Dre’s at 359 Pakington St, Newtown

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Start training, a wine-tasting fun run is happening in Geelong next month

Geelong, behold multitasking at its best — fitness and wine. That’s right, the Grapest 5km run will see you and your crew running (and sipping, definitely more sipping) your way through one of Australia’s best vineyards.

The key takeaways

  • Grapest 5km Run is heading to Geelong
  • You will work up a thirst with the 5k or 10k run, walk or skip in the best wineries and estates across Australia
  • ‘Sip’ as you enjoy your cool down with the now famous ‘Wine Waddle’ and tasting stations

The Grapest 5K run has been around for a while now, and is essentially a series of wine-tasting fun runs encouraging participants to move their bodies before indulging in some booze-filled rewards. Unsurprisingly, the events were a hit and now they’re blessing us with a return to Geelong next month.

Slated for Saturday, May 1 at Leura Park Estate, the fun run consists of two sections.

The first will see wine-lovers sprinting, jogging or moving at any sort of pace five or ten kilometres through the scenic vineyard surroundings on the Bellarine. The second part – coined the wine waddle – will then see participants walk another kilometre while stopping at eight tasting stations along the way with three hours of live entertainment to enjoy at the end. If that’s not the ideal way to cool down after a workout, we don’t know what is.

If you’d prefer not to spend your Saturday doing physical activity, you can still take part in the waddling and sippling.

Plus at the end of the run, you get a special medal for your efforts (for knocking back all that delicious wine of course). Dress up are encouraged.

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It all goes down at Leura Park Estate in Geelong on Saturday, May 1. Round up your wine-loving pals and book your tickets here.

The best spots for a boozy bottomless brunch in Geelong

Some days we like to chill out and kick back on the couch with a bowl of spag bol and a glass of red, but other days we’re in the mood for endless chef-cooked eats, free-flowing drinks and zero washing up. When a weekend feast with your good mates is on the cards, we like to make the most of it with the humble bottomless brunch, or lunch, or dinner – as long as it’s bottomless, we’re really not fussy.

So, whether you’re partial to hair of the dog, looking to celebrate a milestone or just want to let the drinks flow, there’s a bottomless brunch somewhere in Geelong with your name all over it. Here are some of our favourites:

Recess Bar + Eats

Recess is Central Geelong’s only Gluten-Free Restaurant offering you a space to run around, have a snack, play with friends and make new ones! With food that is A+ and cocktails that are even better, you’ll be pleased to know they are giving guests the option to play a little harder with their Bottomless Lunch.

Available every Saturday at either 11:30am or 2pm with two-hour sitting duration, this bottomless outing will load you up with two hours of cocktails, sparkling wines, tap beer and mocktails PLUS five courses of food! Yes, five! All for just $80 per head. A couple of cocktails in and you’re already saving money.

Just one glance at their menu and you won’t even care what you get – it’s all that damn good. Whether it be three cheese arancini, vanilla prawns, or pork belly bites, or perhaps even braised beef cheek or cauliflower macaroni and cheese – we can guarantee you’ll be licking the plate clean.

Booking are essential with a minimum of two people. For larger booking please contact the venue directly. Book online now via the website.

Where: 247 Moorabool St, Geelong

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Blank Space Newtown

Blank Space Newtown has become a favourite of ours ever since opening its doors on Geelong’s centre of cosmopolitan lifestyle and multiculturalism, AKA Pakington Street. Providing flavoursome and fresh dishes and exceptional St Ali coffee, supporting local suppliers, and featuring many sweet, savoury, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, it’ll be hard not to find multiple things that tickle your fancy.

With a new menu that deserves to be tasted by every single human, the team have recently introduced Bottomless Brunch every Sunday. There are two options to choose from: for $60 per person, you can enjoy two hours of brunch and beer, or for an extra $15, you can tuck into brunch with beer, wine and cocktails.

At a glance, their menu is just poppin’ with colour and deliciousness, with standout dishes being the NYC Bagel; buttermilk waffles with ice cream, brulee banana, berries, maple and biscoff crumb; sourdough crumpets with jerk Haloumi, avocado, spinach and egg for those feeling break dishes; pr the the Mojo beef burger; fish tacos; and the chicken burrito bowl looking pretty damn delish too for those craving lunches. As for the drinks, there’s a number of sensational cocktails, including a Bloody Mary, Espresso Martini and Pink Mimosa, 6ft6 wine and Cage Road Brewing Co beers. Yum!

Where: 4/343 Pakington Street, Newtown.

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Bobby Dre’s

A new addition to the Pakington street food scene is Bobby Dre’s.

Paying homage to the Cali/Mex dining scene with a taco and burger-heavy presence, you’ll find some of the tastiest tacos in the region, with tortillas made fresh using the best Mexican corn flour within a vibrant, homely space, filled with light and feature custom art from local Ocean Grove artist, Leah Jett.

For those with a love of Mexican food and a fondness for bottomless booze, the legends at Bobby Dre’s are hosting bottomless lunch every weekend. For $55 a head, you can smash a four-course meal of tacos and nachos and as many coronas, sangrias or margs your heart desires.

The sessions run at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3pm for 90 minutes. Bookings are essential.

Where: 359 Pakington Street, Newtown.

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Mr Umami’s

A local favourite, Mr Umami’s has been delivering the flavours of Asia to Geelong for the past few years with their delicious handmade delights – from dumplings, curry pastes and sauces to duck dishes and sashimi.

Combining a range of different regional Asian ingredients and cooking styles with fresh Australian produce, Mr Umami’s have earned themselves a solid reputation for making a modern fusion menu that can be enjoyed in a fun and relaxed environment… and what better way than through bottomless brunch!

Available on Friday nights, Saturday lunch and dinner, and Sunday lunch, treat yourself to either a bottomless brunch for $70 per person, or spoil yourself with bottomless dinner for $90 per person. You’ll be treated to four courses of Asian fusion (think dumplings, Bang Bang chicken, Japanese calamari) and two hours of Bottomless cocktails, mocktails, tap beer and wine – whichever your poison may be.

To be honest, we’re sold just looking at their cocktail menu. Espresso martini, ‘Asian Sensation’ (with melon liqueur, sake, apple, lime and falernum syrup), cherry blossom mojito, frosty fruit, lychee spritz and an Aperol Spritz. Delish!

You can book via the website.

Where: 126 Pakington St, Geelong West

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Coastal Chauffeurs

Local Torquay chauffeur company Coastal Chauffeurs are thinking outside the box to provide locals and regional visitors with an all-inclusive dining option – bottomless lunch wine tours!

For $150, guests can enjoy visits to two boutique wineries with a meet and greet with the owner before finishing with a bottomless lunch at either Mt Duneed Estate, Del Rios or Provenance Winery – plus luxury transfers to and from the venue within 30km radius. No need to worry about sorting Ubers or a designated driver, these guys have it covered. It’s a perfect option for a low-key birthday celebration or just a catch up with your favourite humans, with a minimum of six people and a maximum of 10.

Simply call the team on 0408501975 to book.

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Wah Bah

If two hours of Bao Buns is how you like to spend your weekend, this is the place for you. Embracing the bottomless brunch trend, Geelong’s Wah Bah is hosting some epic bottomless lunch events.

Slated for Saturday, May 1 and Saturday, June 5 (with more dates to come), the Bah will be serving up the bottomless feast for two-hour slots for four people at 12pm or 3pm.

For $60 each, you can graze your way through a free-flowing feed of their forever loved Bao Buns and unlimited punch bowls. We’re hoping it might include their famed strawberry mojito, Twice as Nice (with Cointreau, Malibu, Midori & Elderflower liquor, pineapple and lime) or perhaps even their espresso martini… regardless of what they’re serving, we recommend you bring your drinking shoes. As for the bao, surely we’ll be chowing down on the likes of the crispy chicken, BBQ glazed pork belly and the marinated jackfruit.

We’re calling it. This is going to be the event of the year. Gather your crew, buy your ticket and prepare to spend two hours testing the limits of your waistband. Note, tickets are only available for groups of four or more.

Keep an eye on their socials too for their special bottomless events that pop up throughout the year.

Where: Level 1, Cunningham Pier 10 Western Beach, Foreshore Rd, Geelong

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Mountain Grey tug at the heart strings, transporting listeners to the Otway Ranges with new album ‘Riverstone Suite’

I came across Mountain Grey back in 2018, when they gave an acoustic set down at the Fyansford Papermills. Later they performed at Sleepy Hollow Blues Club.

Now they have a CD, Riverstone Suite.

First impressions? This is a wonderfully polished piece of work. From the first track, I was irresistibly drawn to the saying “less is more”. Miles Davis was known for his use of silence in this way.

With Riverstone, there is an element of this, but more in their arrangement. You get the feeling that nothing more is needed, but equally, nothing could be left out. That is the polish, the feeling of completion.

The CD covers a number of different styles of music, but what all of them have in common is that they are delivered directly without unnecessary embellishment.

Mountain Grey hail from the Bambra / Deans Marsh area.

The band members are Steve James (guitar), Kev Foster (drums), Luke Hynes (bass), Michael Robinson-Koss (harmonica) and Josh Rigg (guitar). Also featuring on the CD are a number of guest artists including Josh Rigg (electric guitar), Kym Kelaart (Hammond organ), Ian Hergstrom (soprano sax), Mark Fagan (flute) and Tobias Johnson (piano).

Cross over to Bandcamp, and make sure you listen to Driftin’ – that’s my pick.

Jack Botts’ top spots to pull up the van and surf along the Bellarine and Surf Coast

Van life is all the rage right now, especially in a time where the sole focus is on hitting the road and exploring all our beautiful state (and country) has to offer.

Recent times have seen innovative campervan owners and keen travellers have been busy converting, modifying and purpose-building vans that are far from what you’d expect from a two-berth on the road vehicle, giving travellers a unique way to holiday around the state.

Unsurprisingly, van life is something that’s long appealed to surfers. With their itinerant desire to chase swells and see the world, surfing and travelling go hand in hand and the van life gives them the freedom to not only follow the swell but also bring more boards along and save money for surfing.

A musician that would know about this is Jack Botts: a Brisbane-born, Byron Bay-based musician who over the last few years has refined his singer-songwriter craft after years of cutting his teeth as a busker.

Now selling out headline shows and making festival appearances across the country, Jack Botts is becoming one of Australia’s fastest-rising songwriters under the radar thanks to his super chill guitar riffs, great melodies and honey-smooth vocals.

Built on an authentic and no-frills approach to life and music, the twenty-three-year-old is a breath of fresh air, creating a brand of surf folk drenched in depth and substance. With two EPs already to his name, Botts has now revealed the details of his third EP Slow Mornings, to be released on Friday, June 4.

The EP courses more thoroughly through a formative period in Jack’s life. Marking a memory bank of the highs and lows of the last 18 months, Slow Mornings dives into new love – let alone a long-distance love in a COVID-world – and all its highs, lows, joys, frustrations and anticipations.

“This EP is a collection of tracks that represent a pretty crazy point in my life, and career. All the ups and downs of balancing a long-distance relationship with work. It talks about all the moments when you want to throw the towel in and give up, to the realisation that giving up just isn’t an option, despite the heartache. The pandemic gave me a lot of time to think (sometimes too much) and dive into different genres and styles of writing. I feel I ventured out a little bit more than I ever have, which I really enjoyed! This EP will always remind me of a really tough year, but appreciate everything that came from those lessons.”

With the release of the EP’s title track dedicated to road tripping with a loved one or mate, and taking it easy where you may be, we sat down with the nomadic traveller to get him to share his top spots to pull up the van and surf along our beautiful Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula.

13th Beach, Ocean Grove

I remember spending a whole day there with my mate Felipe in 2019. We took the longboards out for nearly the whole day, just the two of us and it was absolutely epic, even with the serious sunburn haha. 13th Beach Road is pretty cool. There are heaps of little car parks all the way along, so most of the time you can have a whole break to yourself (what dreams are made of really!) The waves are super fun and cruisy as well.

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Steps, Jan Juc

I spent the morning surfing at ‘Steps’ with a few mates the day of my Torquay show just gone. When we woke up, it was super foggy until about 9:30, and I wasn’t really feeling it. By 10am, the sun was out, water was glassy, and it was about 27 degrees and turned out to be a great morning in the water. Some of the sets were a touch overhead, nice and punchy, and super clean. I don’t really get to surf too many reef breaks at home so I was pretty chuffed with these rights. I’ve been obsessed with this new board I bought at the start of the year, (mid-length twinny), and I was stoked it was perfect for the morning.

Cosy Corner, Torquay

A lot of people have told me that Cosy Corner only works occasionally when there are enough swell and the right conditions. It’s not a wave that you can just surf every day or when you feel like it. Somehow, I managed to be there on a day when it was just perfect and it was an awesome way to spend a summer day in the region. Nice and cruisy right-hander on the log. Definitely not the same as ‘Cosy Corner’ up in Byron.

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Special mention: Hire-A-Kombi

So much love for this family! George restores old 70s VW Kombi’s, ready for people to road trip from the Great Ocean Road to as far as Byron. My first ever road trip down this was with Dusty Boots in early 2019. We ended up playing heaps of music on their property in Ocean Grove as part of a Vanlife gathering. Just one of many awesome things happening in the Bellarine.

Check out the track ‘Slow Mornings’ below. Slow Mornings EP is out in full Friday June 4.

White Night returns to Geelong this year with an after-dark program of illuminations, projections, music and more

The overnight art party that is White Night is returning south this November, with White Night Geelong making its colourful return this year, transforming the city streets, parklands, laneways, public spaces and cultural institutions with spectacular illuminated art and colourful projections.

The key takeaways

  • White Night will return in 2021 with events to be held in Bendigo and Geelong.
  • The event will transform the city streets, parklands, laneways, public spaces and cultural institutions with spectacular illuminated art and colourful projections
  • Artist expressions of interest are now open

Keep up with the latest in local events and entertainment via our website.

This visual feast and cultural event will descend on Geelong on Saturday, November 6 with not only bright installations, but also music, performance, art, culinary experiences, and interactive works from local, national, and international artists.

Coined a joyful, democratic take-over of the night, the return of White Night is a major coup for the city, with its regional Victorian debut back in 2018 attracting more than 70,000 people to the Geelong CBD and delivering an economic impact of $6.1 million to the region. Since its debut, the hosting role of White Night has been shared across regional cities including Ballarat and Bendigo, continuing its success in Victoria’s regional centres and bringing to life its architecture, contemporary art scenes and gourmet food and wine.

The event was slated to return to Bendigo in October 2020, but was postponed due to the global pandemic. Joining Geelong, White Night Bendigo will also take place this year on October 2, giving locals, businesses and tourism operators a boost as major events return to the calendar in 2021.

Artist Expressions of Interest for White Night Bendigo and Geelong in 2021 in the categories of Installation, Visual Art, Lighting, AV, Projection, Film, Music and Performance are now open.

If you missed out on attending the debut event in Geelong a couple of years ago, some highlights – and the type of creativity you can expect this year – included a fantastic display of lanterns designed by illustrator and designer Tyson Savanah (AKA Father Marker), an interactive photo booth that projected seflies live on the building adjacent, the Neon Dog Park, and the installation, Siren Song out on Corio Bay by Cunningham Pier which combined projection and audio soundscape, with the Yacht sails providing the canvas with the sirens’ song creating a haunting soundscape.

Thanks to Visit Victoria, the international arts and culture all-nighter will again transform the city on what will undoubtedly be a very special night, filled with stunning lighting displays, live music, celestial oddities, street eats and heaps of free family fun.

The event comes following the recent announcement of a new festival, ‘Geelong Gets Its Glow On’, a dazzling celebration of the city’s vibrant arts and food scene this June.

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Keep an eye on socials for updates and submit your expression of interest to get involved here.