If you’re like us and love an artsy alcoholic pop-up, have we got good news for you.
When it comes to summer on the Bellarine, there’s not much better than lapping up the sunshine and indulging in an exotic and refreshing beverage in close proximity to the water.
Courtesy of The Royal Queenscliff, a grand gateway to the seaside holiday town, residents and tourists to the Bellarine will be privvy to a new Summer Gallery and Cocktail Bar.
Taking over the historic Queenscliff hotel which has undergone extensive restoration in recent years, this new offering will include all the things you love about the region, from classic cocktails with a contemporary twist, beautiful abstract art and bespoke interior pieces, combining the passions of three local businesses into one epic new weekend experience. You’ll be able to enjoy the delights that the artists of the famed 1920s Prohibition-style cocktail bar The 18th Amendment Bar create whilst taking in the artworks of Joan Blond Art and Baker Collection Art.
The key takeaways
- The Royal Queescliff is reopening this summer with a Gallery and Cocktail Bar
- The pop-up will combine the talents of Geelong’s 18th Amendment Bar, and artists Joan Blond Art and Baker Collection Art.
- The Gallery and Bar will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 17 until late January
For the uninitiated, 18th Amendment Bar is a venture by hospitality pro Gorge Camorra that draws inspiration from the speakeasy movement from the 1920s and 30s, specifically named after the amendment of the United States Constitution that effectively started the prohibition of alcohol. From unusual ingredients, including Camorra’s own range of liqueurs, to the hundreds of spirits behind the bar and the house-concocted barrel-aged cocktails, 18th Amendment has been a unique addition to the Geelong bar scene since opening four years ago. The speakeasy has since celebrated cocktail culture while educating the consumer, presenting the classics with a contemporary twist, expanding with a venue in Ballarat and sister bars within the Geelong CBD.
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Continuously recognised for their outstanding contribution to the Australian bar industry, you can expect some of the best tasting cocktails you’ve ever had. From the gin and fairy floss infused Jitterbug, to the sweet vodka taste of the Bonnie and Clyde, and the classically fine-tuned Negroni, your tastebuds will be on cloud 9 (if you know, you know) for the entirety of the evening.
While your sipping pretty, you’ll also be surrounded by some of the most stunning artworks we’ve ever seen.
First up, the summer Gallery will feature the works of Australian artist, Joan Blond Art. Joan is a renowned Australian abstract expressionist and contemporary artist, who grew up holidaying in Queenscliff. Whilst intuition drew on memories both childhood and recent is the gentle force behind her brush strokes, she is heavily influenced by her connection to the environment and the energy she draws from her surroundings.
Joan’s works are constantly exhibited throughout Australia and are tightly held by collectors across the world, found in collections in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland, and more. Her works have also been featured on The Block and in national magazines including Home Beautiful and House & Garden. For the gallery, Joan has collated a series of works referencing the Bellarine Peninsula specifically, but you’re going to need to be quick as her works are snapped up in a heartbeat.
“I am thrilled to be invited to exhibit in the iconic The Royal Queenscliff and be able to share with you my series of works inspired by the unsurpassed beauty and breathtaking splendour of the Bellarine Peninsula. What I hope to evoke is a sense of joy in the viewer, a celebration of life and the colourful beauty that surrounds us, something we all need after the last two years,” she says.
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Joining Joan Blond will be Jessica and Nicole Baker of Baker Collection, who boast an impressive familial heritage in the arts. With their father, Steve Baker, forging his way in the art world in the ’60s and 70’s, it was written in the stars that his children would follow, influenced by their surroundings and the infective passion that is art, and so it was.
Jessica gravitated toward abstract art with her signature move being vivid blasts of colour and compositions melding the organic and inorganic. Jessica’s works have featured on The Block and her works are held by collectors internationally, while sister Nicole’s large-scale artworks are the true definition of spontaneous mark-making. Her art speaks for itself with bold intention and interior design qualities, but it allows the collector total ownership over their own narratives of each piece.
But don’t take our word for it, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in all the beauty when the gallery opens up its doors next month.
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Popping up for the hotter months, the Gallery and Bar will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 17 until late January, breathing life back into the majestic venue which has been closed since 2017. The Royal Hotel, as it was named in 1860, was the first hotel built in Queenscliff in 1854 but burnt down in 1881 and was then rebuilt.
Restored with an opulent ground floor with an entrance foyer, restaurant, ballroom and bar and speak-easy style cellar, the previous owners channelled a bright and white British colonial vibe on the entry-level and turned the cellar into a New York-inspired bar with exposed bricks and dark colours.
With the hotel finally reopening to the public and a dream team of collaborators, this will be an unmissable destination this summer.
The Royal Queenscliff Summer Gallery and Cocktail Bar will be located at 34-36 King Street Queenscliff. You can find out more information here.