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Ballarat’s Underbar moves, Pencilmark Wine Room opens

Ballarat’s culinary pride and joy, the hatted restaurant that is Underbar (oon-de-bar), is set to move to a brand new wonder locale of its own.

Owned by Ballarat locals Chef Derek Boath and partner Lucy Taylor, the award-winning restaurant is moving to a purpose-built dining space located within the up-and-coming luxe accommodation offering Hotel Vera.

The Swedish adjective for divine, gorgeous, lovely, marvellous, and wonderful, Underbar will officially open its doors in spring and will continue to offer a totally unique dining experience to guests on Friday and Saturday evenings, with a tailored wine pairing to accompany its ever-evolving tasting menu.

According to Derek, the past five years has seen increasing numbers of visitors seek out the Underbar experience from out of town, particularly weekend visitors from Melbourne and regional Victoria.

‘With this trend in mind, we saw a perfect synergy in working with Martin Shew and David Cook-Doulton of Hotel Vera to offer a holistic culinary and luxury accommodation experience,’ he says.

The sleek new purpose-built restaurant space will be inspired by the colour palette of Ballarat and surrounds and will boast a beautiful private dining room seating up to 14 guests.

Situated on the site of a mid-1880s gold rush era premium medical building – Hotel Vera will provide guests with a personalised lifestyle experience to delight all senses, making for a getaway characterised by history, charm, warmth and poise. It too is set to open its doors in spring this year.

Coinciding with Underbar’s move, Derek and resident wine expert Anthony Schuurs will open up Pencilmark Wine Room in its wake – a relaxed and fun space to enjoy good tunes and fine nibbles, while drinking interesting and delicious wines.

Located in Underbar’s current premises, the Wine Room’s food offering will be curated by Derek and follow the Underbar ethos of sourcing high quality ingredients while keeping intervention low, with the team working with both local and not-so-local purveyors to keep the food simple and complement the wine room’s ever evolving wine list.


WHAT: Underbar and Pencilmark Wine Room
WHERE: Hotel Vera and 3 Doveton St N, Ballarat Central
WHEN: Spring 2022

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