New retro dairy opens in Dromana’s culinary circuit

Words by Richard Cornish
Images supplied

When trade with China soured, milk exporter Matthew Joscelyne was forced to find another gig. For years the dairy trader sent milk products to Macau, Hong Kong and China but when this ended he hatched plans to recreate the type of dairy his grandmother built during the Second World War.

He found a shop in the same strip as artisan butcher Ministry of Meat and the excellent Pier St Kitchen. Matthew bought some old counters from Sydney’s Grace Brothers at auction to complement an old shop counter taken from a store in Burra 80 years ago and stored at Matthew’s family’s farm in South Australia.

Dromana Shopping

The walls bear images of the matriarchs who bought Matthew his love of natural food. “I love the look and feel of old dairies we used to have growing up,” he says.

I wanted to bring back that look and those food values. Nothing artificial, nothing added.

Dairy Lane stocks milk, cream, butter and ice cream sourced from small independent dairies in Gippsland and Tasmania. The fresh milk products come from dairy herds and the ice cream is made without any added artificial ingredients. The ice cream is flavoured with top-quality ingredients such as Belgian chocolate and Australian hazelnuts or Tasmanian leatherwood honey and raspberry and made without stabilisers or preservatives.

Dairy Lane

All fresh milk products are packed in Dromana in beautifully designed, retro-inspired glass bottles. “The aim is to have a home delivery service that operates from Port Melbourne to Portsea,” says Matthew. “And Dromana is a good halfway point.”

The shop opened a few weeks ago and has already attracted many regulars who come for the great quality and the thick, creamy milkshakes.


What: Retro dairy next to great butcher and café in Dromana
Who: Matthew Joscelyne, former milk exporter turned local dairyman
Where: 27 Pier St, Dromana
Why: Great Australian-owned dairy products from Jersey herds
When: Opened just before Easter, now open 7 days
More info: Dairy Lane

We wish to acknowledge the Bunurong people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Head to Deans Marsh for its first mushroom foraging festival in May

Words by Anthea Riskas
Images by Jay Dillon & supplied

The Otway’s best-kept secret and local gem – The Store – is hosting the very first Deans Marsh Foraging Festival, celebrating all things fungi over a packed weekend of activities in May.

Nestled in the hinterland, 20 minutes inland from Lorne, The Store is a one-stop-general-shop in the true sense, bringing a café, bar, bottle shop, homewares, and a communal space to gather, shop, eat and connect.

Foraging Festival Dean's Marsh

Old-fashioned service, paddock-to-plate dining and a proper, city-level decent coffee, are reasons to visit all on their own, but if you need an “excuse” and you’re curious about all things mushrooms, the inaugural Foraging Festival is your chance to head into the forest May 20th-21st.

James McLennan will be hosting 3-hour, introductory, foraging tours Saturday and Sunday morning, where you’ll head out into the local surrounds and literally get your hands dirty picking some of the popular, local pine species.

Learn how to safely identify mushrooms, harvest with the environment in mind and cook and store them for maximum enjoyment. You’ll then head back to The Store for a snack prepared by James and a glass of something delicious to toast to your newfound skills to.

Foraging Festival Dean's Marsh

Saturday afternoon you can join naturopath Carly Merlo out at Gentle Annie Berry Farm, to explore the benefits of mushrooms when it comes to the merging of diet and a holistic approach to health. Afternoon tea is included.

Saturday evening, The Store’s head chef Sion Harwood will be taking you on a culinary, 5-course, degustation journey, showcasing the best of the region’s produce and celebrating the hero ingredient, at its best during the height of the foraging season.

A local drop will be expertly paired with each course and the discourse is sure to get your thinking as special guest, Dr Tim O’Hare, will be joining diners to discuss his research and deep interest in using psylocibins to treat mental illness. A truly unique dinner experience awaits!

If DIY is more your style, Sunday afternoon is for you, as Tamara Griffiths teaches you how to propagate, produce and use the King Stropharia in a range of garden settings. You’ll learn, lunch and take home your own growing kit to get your mushroom crop started.

Bookings are essential, prior experience unnecessary and don’t forget to check what to pack for your adventure!

Foraging Festival
Deans Marsh
When: 20-21 May
More Info: The Store
Bookings: HERE

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Modern Indian-Australian fusion dining experience opens on the Great Ocean Road

Words by Anthea Riskas
Images supplied

First came the accommodation, then the day spa and now the team at Sunnymead in Aireys Inlet have revealed the final piece of their coastal experience puzzle – their restaurant Santara.

This intimate, warm-hued space is tucked between reception and the guest rooms and invites diners to sample the fusion menu that takes subcontinent classics and gives them an overtly Australian twist.

To start why not try a traditional Indian snack, pani puri? A golden, hollow dough ball, that in this instance is filled with prawns, Yarra Valley caviar and a pop of yuzu to make the crunch and seafood really sing as it breaks open with a single bite.

Great Ocean Road Restaurant

Moving on to mains, your eyes do not deceive you when you read “King Oyster Mushroom and Vegemite Butter”. When they say “fusion” they really mean it, and this dish is silky, unctuous, salty and satisfying. You really ought to try it before you knock it.

The Chicken Ruby curry is tender, sweet and textured courtesy of the addition of pomegranate and the beef of the Sticky Shin Taco falls straight off the bone and into your mouth, just like it should because you simply must eat this dish with your fingers.

The absolute savoury standout for us though, is the Onion Bhaji. This side dish may seem simple, but it’s deceptively hard to execute well and Santara have nailed it. Perfectly sized and sliced, crispy and light and oh to have been a fly on the wall when Executive Chef Adam Cooke (we know right?) announced to the kitchen he was going to sprinkle chicken salt on it. Delicious!

Yes, you want to leave room for dessert, Indian spices line up against European classics, but the Chai Roasted Peaches is our pick, with cream ice cream and honey from local hive Apiary.

Nearby producers also feature heavily on the drinks menu, wines are well-priced by the bottle and the cocktail list is as playful as the food, with a nod to a secret nearby surf break created with neighbours Great Ocean Road Gin and an absolute belter by Chef Pratik who’s mashed up vodka, white rum, cucumber juice and garam masala.


By Springtime the Santara team plan to be trading 5 days a week, but for now, all are welcome to book dinner on Friday and Saturday nights – whether you’re staying at Sunnymead, exploring the Great Ocean Road or are lucky enough to call yourself a “local”.


Who: Santara
Modern, Indian-Australia fusion and fun cocktails
Sunnymead Hotel, Aireys Inlet
Open: Friday & Saturday for Dinner
More Info: Santara

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Train travel to any part of Victoria now capped at under $10

Words by Jay Dillon
Images by One Hour Out & Visit Victoria

What does the Maharajas’ Express, the Royal Scotsman and the Eastern & Oriental Express have in common with Victoria’s V-Line? Probably not much at all…certainly not the price, now that V-line has capped all regional trips to under $10.

The new fares will appear for all bookings made on the V/Line booking system from March 31, setting a daily travel cap of $9.20 and bringing the fare into line with Metro Melbourne’s daily rate fares.

It’s a significant reduction in the cost of regional train travel, where currently a midweek trip from Southern Cross station to Mildura would cost $56.80 for an adult one-way ($28.40 concession), the same trip after March 31 would be just $9.20 ($4.60 concession). This represents an 83% reduction and makes train travel, even more, cheaper than travelling by car (the same trip would cost around $100 in a mid-sized petrol SUV.)

In addition to the new weekday daily tickets used in the above example, the program results in even greater savings for holders of a Weekend Saver ticket, with weekends and public holidays capped at $6.70 for Adults ($3.35 concession). In all cases, children travel with the same fare offered to adult concession holders.

Vline Price reduction

The fare reduction was a key campaign promise of both parties in the November elections, with the aim of assisting to reduce the cost of living for regional residents who regularly need to travel to Melbourne and other city hubs for work and medical appointments. 

The announcement is equally welcome for regional tourists, who may never have considered the train as an option for reaching a destination due to fares representing only a minimal saving on petrol prices. Utilising the V-line train service for a weekend away allows passengers an opportunity to sit back and relax with a good book or a game of cards with their group. The ability to take a bike on board makes for the perfect start of a multi-day bike trip along Victorian’s many converted rail trails.

The new fares are available for booking now on the V-line website.


What: V/Line price reduction
More Info: V Line

We wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Sneak Peak: The Bodega is the Mornington Peninsula’s Newest Wine Bar

Words by Gwen O'Toole
Images supplied

The beachside suburb of Dromana is raising a glass to The Bodega, a boutique wine bar, store and deli opening on March 4. What started from a concept created by owners Mariah and Lachlan Barnes at the start of 2020 has come to fruition.

‘Right when Covid hit, we reflected on what we wanted for our future,’ said Mariah, adding that they took the time to consider what they were passionate about and spent the next few years brainstorming, networking, learning about wine and finding the perfect destination.

‘We are not sommeliers, we are no experts – we are two people who love wine, and absolutely love hosting a room full of people and building strong connections,’ she says.

We could see the need and the opportunity for a wine bar and store in Dromana and jumped at the chance.

Both Mariah and Lachlan have come from construction, giving them the unique ability to construct a space for patrons to fully enjoy.
‘The fit-out is a reflection of us, and how inviting and comfortable we want it to be for our customers,’ Mariah adds. ‘It truly is a beautiful little shop – right across from the beach!’

Dromana Wine Bar

With a modern coastal look and feel, The Bodega promises to bring a unique hospitality experience to locals and visitors alike. Offering more than 200 wines by the bottle, and more than 15 wines by the glass, customers enjoy a sip in the shop, discover a favourite, take a bottle home or dine in or alfresco with 40 people in the outdoor space or 35 inside.

Offering not just a selection of local wines, but from across Australia international drops, there will be plenty of new and interesting wines to try.

‘All items within the store are designed to take home, including the deli food, bottled cocktails and beer – we want to ensure that our customers have an outstanding experience whether in-store or at home.’

‘We will offer wine tastings for six staff-picked wines, which will give our customers an opportunity to try something new, and to have a chat with us about wine too.’ She says, adding that wine won’t be the only thing on the menu. They’ll be supporting local brewery Jetty Road with beer on tap and by the can as well as a range of bottled cocktails and non-alcoholic options too.

Wine Bar Mornington Peninsula

As far as the menu, Mariah says the charcuterie boards are a must-try. ‘I wouldn’t go past our burrata salad too – that is going to be a crowd favourite,’ she suggests, adding that they’ll also be stocking bread from the much-loved local favourite, Miller’s Bread Kitchen.

‘There’s nothing better than quality time with family and friends. The Bodega is proud to serve outstanding wine, whether it be in-store or at home, we are here to create an unforgettable experience,’ she says. ‘We believe in quality moments between family and friends, one vino at a time.’


WHAT: The Bodega Wine Bar, Store and Deli
WHERE: 133 Point Nepean Road, Dromana
WHEN: 4 March 2023
MORE INFO: The Bodega

We wish to acknowledge the Bunurong people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Camping is now available at Point Nepean for the first time ever

Words by Jay Dillon
Images from Parks Victoria

It’s one of the most loved parts of the Victorian coastline and hugely significant to the Bunurong people. With the installation of new camping facilities, you can now stay overnight in this magical location.

The Point Nepean Discovery Tents are situated on timber platforms just meters from the beach near the old Quarantine facilities and are available to book from Sept to April each year.

As Lisa Patroni – Executive Director Visitor Experience at Parks Victoria tells us, there were a lot of considerations in opening the site up to overnight visitors.

Point Nepean Camping

‘It’s a very rich site in regards to indigenous history, natural history colonisation history, military history and obviously, it’s loved by many’ says Lisa.

‘So we tried to find a way to activate it in both a culturally and environmentally sensitive way, just to enable more people to be able to experience the site perhaps less traditionally than they have to date’.

The standing-height canvas tents are available in two-person or four-person configurations and are all set up ready for guests to arrive, who will only need to pack a sleeping bag, pillow, food and personal items.

Visitors to the discovery tents also have exclusive access to the heritage-listed isolation hospital ward, which has been refurbished with a communal kitchen, BBQs, hot showers and toilets.

As Lisa tells us, the goal has been to make camping in the park accessible to everyone.

To date, they’ve been a great hit and we’re seeing a real combination of people that have never slept in a tent, particularly in a national park before.

The introduction of camping has been a long time in the making, with planning commencing before the covid lockdowns. A lot of research was conducted into how the site could be activated with minimal impact on the environment.

The 36 tent pads are made with 100 per cent recycled materials and are designed in a way that require no holes or concrete. Native plantings have also been conducted in order to rehabilitate the ecology of the site.

Point Nepean Accommodation

‘We’ve made sure that all the boxes were ticked and to date the feedback’s been really good and our environmental partners have been really pleased with the light footprint and how we’ve gone about it’, says Lisa.

The facilities are stage one of the State Government’s $4.5 million Point Nepean Master Plan. A redevelopment of the Boiler House and Foul Luggage Store was completed in 2020 and the rollout of media designed to bring to life the overlapping historical use of the site, including by the traditional owners, is currently underway.


What: Point Nepean Discovery Tents
Where: Point Nepean National Park
When: September to April
How much: $120-$165
More information: Parks Victoria

We wish to acknowledge the Bunurong people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

New festival is heading to Flinders in February curated by celebrity milliner Melissa Jackson

Words by Richard Cornish
Images supplied

This February, for three days and nights, the seaside town of Flinders will be home to some of the nation’s most talented artists and performers in a brand-new festival curated by celebrity milliner Melissa Jackson.

From February 17 – 19, 30 different performances, events, walks, talks and workshops will be taking place around town in different venues from the iconic Flinders General Store, historic St John’s Anglican Church, Flinders Ocean Beach and the Flinders Hotel.

Some of the highlights include appearances by Melbourne Opera and Soul Circus plus a new work called DIRT by internationally renowned cabaret performer, pianist, and composer John Thorn. This is a clever and witty collection of songs exploring the existential crises we all face in these first decades of the 21st century. With titles such as Why Are We Here? And Inconvenient Fruit this is a good chance to see this talented man in action.

Also performing is Sunny Reyne, daughter of musician and presenter David Reyne, with her smooth summery songs. She will be singing at the Flinders Bowls Club as will young artist Holly Hebe, known for her beautifully introspective and thoughtful songs. This is also the venue for a screening of a documentary made about the Flinders General Store called House of Commons. Made by local filmmaker Tasma Pittock it tells the story of local storekeepers Frank and Olive Commons who ran the store in the mid-20th century, a time when the fire brigade siren was inside the back door and people made their doctors’ appointments at the counter.

Foodies will not be disappointed as ABC breakfast TV star Alice Zaslavsky will be appearing at a literary lunch at the Flinders Hotel. Flinders Pier’s famous resident weedy sea dragons will also be celebrated with the creation of giant weedy sea dragon puppets by master puppeteer Ian Cumming.

With beach foraging, choirs, kite-making workshops and even former Sale of the Century host and Flinders local Tony Barber hosting a British pub singalong this is a beautiful celebration of place and people. Artistic director Melissa Jackson, a person with strong ties to the area, says “The festival will celebrate the beauty of the Mornington Peninsula’s natural environment and create economic benefits and opportunities for … local artists living on and frequenting the Mornington Peninsula. This event is truly diverse, and people of all ages will be excited by the mixed music and creative arts program on offer. There will be something for everyone.“


What: Brand new festival in beautiful Westernport village
Where: Various locations around Flinders
When: Fri 17 – Sun 19 February 2023
Who: The Mornington Peninsula’s best artists plus some talented out-of-towners
Why: Stunning landscape, some free events, great performers, summer on the Peninsula!
More Info: Flinders Fringe Festival

We wish to acknowledge the Bunurong people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Our guide to exploring Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula

Words by Gwen O'Toole
Images Mike Emmett

From heart-pounding adventures to award-winning wineries, family adventures, natural escapes, culinary indulgences and so much more, visiting Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula is certain to satisfy any type of traveller.

Wander the laneways and tuck into delicious cafes, enjoy a locally made craft beer in the sunshine at Little Creatures or a tasting paddle at the Queenscliff Distillery. Indulge in a bit of retail therapy in Hesse Precinct Queenscliff; a historic street packed with boutique homewares shops, bookstores, clothing, gifts, eateries and more.

Alternatively explore local wineries and fine dining at the award-winning Provenance Wines where head chef Nathan McIver will make your senses explode with his take on modern Australian cuisine featuring considered, local and seasonal ingredients. Likewise, pack your appetite because La Cachette Bistrot is a fine dining experience worth travelling for. If you’ve got a sweet tooth or you’re travelling with kids, make a stop at Scandinavian Ice cream Co for a real treat.

Bring an empty esky and visit the farm gates and gourmet provedores, there’s no way that esky will come home empty.

Feeling outdoorsy? The Portarlington waterfront is an ideal day at the beach with cafes and accommodation steps away. The recreational reserve area here offers a dog-friendly area, picnic spots, playgrounds and the like. Alternatively, Buckley Falls is a scenic spot to stand in awe of the cascading water into the Barwon River.

There are walking trails here with plenty of spots to stop and take in the view. While you’ve got your comfy walking shoes on, take a stroll along the tracks at the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse. Built in 1902, the lighthouse is still manned today. Walking tracks circle the lighthouse and extend down the rocky headland to the beach below.

Feeling nostalgic? The Bellarine Railway in Queenscliff has heritage train rides and special events for kids including Thomas the Tank Engine-themed days and serves as the boarding location for the gourmet Q Train dining experience as well as the popular Blues Train.

Why not stay and explore? While both Geelong and the Bellarine are close enough to make for a great day trip, there’s plenty here to keep you discovering something new and exciting every day. Book your stay at any one of the incredible range of accommodation options from boutique B&Bs to serviced apartments suiting couples, families and even your pooch at the R Hotel. It’s also only a 5-minute walk to the beach!

Families might also enjoy the range of options at BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Queenscliff Beacon, it’s perfectly positioned across the road from the beach, at the entrance to Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale on the Bellarine Peninsula. From villas to apartments and campsites, there’s an option for all types of travellers and it features all the facilities Big4 are known for including a tennis court, playground, indoor heated pool, the famous Big4 jumping pillows and more.

Getting There:

Getting to Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula is easy. Geelong is just an hour’s drive from Melbourne and you can continue to the Bellarine just another 20-30 minutes onward along the coastlines, weaving through views of Port Phillip Bay and rolling vineyards.
Alternatively, hop on a V/Line train from Melbourne’s South Cross Station and make your way straight to Geelong. Ferry services also operate between Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula and Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula, as well as Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula or Geelong Central and Docklands in Melbourne.



Appearing in videos:

Basils Farm
La Cachette
Geelong Cellar Door
R Hotel
Proveance Wines
The Range @ Curlewis
Ingenia Beacon Queenscliff
Portarlington Grand Hotel
The Bookshop at Queenscliff
Bellarine Distillery / The Whiskery
National Wool Museum
Little Creatures

Sydney’s iconic Italian eatery Totti’s is coming to Lorne

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images supplied

Sydney hospitality group Merivale has announced they are bringing their beloved Italian restaurant Totti’s to the Surf Coast.

In what may one day be known as the act that ended the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, Totti’s Restaurant is set to open on the ground floor of the Lorne Hotel in February 2023, bringing their famous woodfired pizzas and house-made pastas to Victorians for the first time.

At the helm is Surf Coast local chef Matt Germanchis, who is no stranger to fine dining, having worked at some of Melbourne’s top restaurants and with partner Gemma Gage ran the much missed Captain Moonlight in the Anglesea Surf Club. His knowledge of, and knack for, championing local produce will see Totti’s menu tie together its lauded Italian classics with local fare.

The “classic” half of the culinary team is kept in style by Merivale’s Executive Chef Mike Eggert, who is responsible for making all of Totti’s four outlets such successes. He says that Totti’s in Lorne will maintain the same vibe and signature dishes that Sydneysiders have come to love, while also paying homage to its new southern oceanic locale.

“It is an amazing opportunity to bring Totti’s laid-back style and signature dishes to one of the most iconic coastal locations in Australia that is Lorne. Totti’s is a restaurant where you can walk off the beach for a quick bite and glass of wine or stay for a long lunch with friends and families, which fits Lorne to a tee and pairs perfectly with the ‘choose your own adventure’ nature of the menu,” Eggert says.

Lorne’s prime position for seafood will be celebrated across the menu, with the region’s finest local produce on display; from calamari, mussels, and crayfish to King George Whiting. The drinks offering will be filled with crowd-pleasers and a focus on local Victorian vineyards and producers. All to be enjoyed with panoramic views of Louttit Bay and the coastal bush no matter where you are seated in the venue.

This breezy, downtempo atmosphere makes Totti’s the perfect spot for an idle lunch, weeknight dinner, or celebration amongst friends. Both booking and walk-ins will be available.

Totti’s will be taking over from MoVida, who have moved on from the downstairs outpost after Merivale acquired the iconic Lorne Hotel in May 2021. The opening of the relaxed, yet sophisticated Italian restaurant marks the first step in the 150-year-old pub’s new era, which—under Merivale’s experienced team—is set to be defined by the same easy-breezy elegance.

WHAT: Totti’s Lorne
WHERE: The Lorne Hotel | 176 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne VIC 3232
WHEN: February 2023
MORE INFO: Merivale

We wish to acknowledge the Eastern Maar people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Drop and flop, or hike and surf; The OHO guide to the beachside resort of Lorne

Words by Richard Cornish
Images Supplied

Halfway between Geelong and Cape Otway, the village Lorne sits on either side of the Erskine river as it flows into Louttit bay.

The town originally survived on fishing and timber logging until the Great Ocean Road was extended in 1922, unleashing a constant flow of caravan-towing tourists seeking seaside frivolity.

More recently the development of luxury apartments draws a sophisticated crowd who break up a day of sunbathing, surfing and fishing with quality coffee and high-end dining.

Use our itinerary below to rediscover the coastal haven of Lorne and surrounds.