During Summer, my friends and I took a road trip with the idea to eat mussels at Portarlington as our main destination, but really we just decided to stop at many locations as the trip progressed. The Portarlington town is very nice and has a great pier from which you can walk and enjoy the sea breezes. The waters were still a tad cold so we didn't swim but some braver young kids were definitely lapping up the cold clear water.
For lunch, we decided to try the Portarlington Grand Hotel. They had a number of mussel dishes but we decided on the classic white wine sauce, a huge seafood platter, potato gems and wedges. The seafood platter as very fresh and tasted good. Even the crumbed calamari (usually super chewy) and battered scallops, fish and prawns were nice and fresh. The mussels were a massive highlight. They were some of the freshest, plump, sweet mussels I've tasted. I can't wait to go back and eat more this coming Summer. Lastly, even the potato gems and wedges were great and went well with the various sauces.
After lunch, we decided to eat some dessert at the award winning Portarlington Bakehouse. I was a bit disappointed actually. Everything looked the part but was only ok. The Almond Croissant pastry was good but the filling was not very nice at all, with that strong almond essence taste. The Vanilla Slice was ok, but I found the texture wasn't smooth enough and pastry not crisp enough for my liking. Finally, the Fruit Tart lacked the beautiful creme patissiere that I love.
Next stop on the trip was Point Lonsdale. The pier is really striking, as is the Old White Lighthouse. We wondered around the pier and lighthouse and the views were really beautiful.
Finally, we travelled to Queenscliff to look at the old Fort as well as the Marina and Port. There was lots of beautiful vistas, especially from the newly opened tower that gave you 360 degree views of Queenscliff. We also had a bit of fun and shot some funny photos. Look at us getting shot out of a cannon. Look how high I jumped. No trick photography involved haha.
We had a great time that day and I highly recommend you take a road trip around the Bellarine Peninsula area. There's a lot to see and eat to fill a full day. I would definitely go eat those amazing mussels at Portarlington.