Lorne is a sleepy, yet stylish seaside town located on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. The general population of Lorne is a little over 1,000 people – a number which largely increases during the holiday season. As it was the off-season – we went in September – we had the benefit of choosing from several accommodation options. It was Mantra Lorne’s beach-front hotel that really took our fancy. Plus, it has a pool, spa, restaurant and day spa facilities on site.
Mantra Lorne is walking distance from, well, everything. On the main strip, you’ll find high-end boutique shops, cafés, ice cream parlours and restaurants. The beach is, as mentioned before, on your doorstep. With a range of rooms and apartments, it’s a great option for families and couples alike.
Despite it being the off-season, the restaurant was almost full at 7pm on a Friday. My friend, Alex, and I were greeted and seated by the ever-so friendly manager who told us that we could call him ‘Chi Chi’. Chi Chi ran us through the menu, and we kicked the evening off with a deliciously-strong Negroni.
Alex and I were both sold on the mussels as a starter. The mussels themselves were sweet, tender and submerged in a rich, flavoursome tomato sauce. The sauce hadn’t been puréed and the pieces of tomato and onion added texture and depth. It was a strong start.
The starters were followed by another Negroni, and our mains. Alex ordered the Fish of the Day, which was salmon with seasonal vegetables. The salmon was moist, flaky and rich. The sweet baby carrots went nicely alongside, and they’d successfully made the dish dairy-free for Alex, who is highly allergic. I chose the Eye Fillet, which came as ordered – medium rare and with Lemon and Thyme Butter. On the plate also sat a salad, broccolini and carrots. It was simple, yet heavenly. Sadly, we couldn’t fit in a third, dessert, course. We could, however, fit in another Negroni before hitting the hay.
We booked into a sea view resort room for the one night we were in Lorne. It had a large balcony overlooking Lorne beach – the perfect place for enjoying a drink in the afternoon sun. The room itself was also of ample size, with a comfortably-sized bed, an armchair, table and chairs for two and basic tea and coffee facilities.
The bed didn’t quite compare to some of the more lavish hotels I’ve stayed in, but after a day of travelling and a large meal featuring Negronis, it provided an enjoyable dream-laced sleep.
The bathroom had everything one could hope for, including both a bath and shower. Towels, toiletries and all the usual suspects were provided. All in all, Mantra Lorne was the perfect stop to rest our heads after a day travelling along Great Ocean Road. If you’re in the area, I’d highly recommend stopping by.