Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove go hand-in-hand. The neighbouring coastal towns compliment each other with the bustling, vibrant and trendy Barwon Heads offset by a more relaxed, laidback and old-school Ocean Grove.
Like many Victorians, I spent my summer break down by the beach. Ocean Grove has long been my boyfriend’s family’s holiday of choice and it’s fair to say I slotted into their tradition without a fuss.
The seaside suburbs are a perfect fit for a weekend getaway or summer’s daytrip and sit about half an hour from Geelong and an hour from Ballarat on the Bellarine Peninsula. Besides doing the obvious and taking a break on the beach there is plenty to keep you busy.
If you’re looking for some interior design inspiration then Barwon Heads is the place to go.
The main street is lined with homeware stores and once you’re done with shopping there is a plethora of cafes and restaurants to unwind with a glass of wine in both the Heads and Ocean Grove.
Top boutiques to visit in Barwon Heads:
1. Kiitos Living by Design
Kiito’s specialty is without doubt its extensive collection of Marimekko products. From fabric, to bed and bath, kitchenware and apparel they have it all. They’re also your go-to place for the ever popular Salt Water sandal with just about every colour imaginable available for your convenience.
2. S&R Boutique
If you need a last minute date night outfit or want to embrace the beachy vibe then S&R Boutique has got you covered. Upon my visit I gladly obliged to a pair of Viktoria+Woods track pants and somehow held my will against racks of Talulah, Cameo, The Fifth Label and Senso.
3. MOSS Grotto Emporium
MOSS Groto offers the perfect mix of eclectic and on-trend pieces for your home. What they have is different but cool at the same time. I could easily spend half an hour scouring the shelves and asking myself the question, ‘Will this work in my home?’
Top eateries to visit in Barwon Heads:
1. Annie’s Provedore
What makes Annie’s unique is its produce-filled walls that are bursting with life, colour and plenty of flavour. Annie’s embodies an authenticity that sets it apart from its competitors. The provedore proves to be so popular that you’ll likely be left lining up for a seat if you don’t get in early. It’s worth hanging around for as the most perfect pizzas, antipasto platters and salads are served in the evening.
2. At The Heads
Situated where the river meets the sea there is no better view in Barwon Heads than At The Heads. Seafood is their specialty but their menu also offers restaurant standards such as Chicken Parmigiana. Book ahead to secure a table by the window for the perfect romantic spot for two.
3. Natural Harry
This pop-up van is relatively new on the foodie scene but has wasted no time in garnering a loyal following. Specialising in 100% organic smoothies and handmade raw desserts, a visit to Natural Harry’s is 100% guilt free!
My top eateries to visit in Ocean Grove:
1. The Driftwood Cafe
The Driftwood Cafe was an obvious choice to stop for a coffee and bite to eat along Ocean Grove’s main street. The eatery’s open frontage and outdoor seating offer an inviting setting as well as a generous all-day breakfast menu. The service is professional, friendly and efficient which makes for a 10/10 experience.
2. Ocean Grove Bowling Club
The local Ocean Grove bowls club goes a long way to breaking the average bowls stereotype. With one third sports bar, one third restaurant and one third member’s bar you’ll be sure to find a suitable spot for a refreshment or meal.
3. Marvos Fish and Chips
This wouldn’t be a post about the beach without mention of a fish and chip shop. Marvos Fish and Chips on the main street fits the bill perfectly with its wide variety of seafood, salads and favourites such as dim sims and potato cakes.
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