If only! It’s been great to decompress down at Ocean Grove on the back of 2020 and all that seems to have befallen me these past couple of months. As I’ve said, I’m looking forward to starting my new year all over again next month. While we had a strange 24 hours in Melbourne attending my step-mum’s funeral, we decided to return to the beach given we’d paid for a full fortnight and a holiday in a green zone seems to be one of the greatest luxuries at the moment.
After playing ‘Spot the Porsche’ in Blairgowrie last summer, we moved on to ‘Spot the Ford Ranger’ in Ocean Grove. It’s one of the top suburbs for first home buyers and a different demographic given it’s more affordable. While perhaps a bit more rough and ready than the polished Mornington Peninsula, I really like the Surf Coast – it has a different feel.
My kids had their first ever surf lesson at Go Ride a Wave managing to get up on their beginner G boards. Friends who are surfers recommend doing 3 lessons in a row, similar to skiing, to really get the hang of it. If you’re a competent swimmer, then I think surfing is a bit of a no brainer in Australia – we’re an island continent surrounded by water and it’s been incredibly therapeutic to be by the sea.
I was lucky in that two sets of friends were holidaying nearby and we caught up with the first group at the Ocean Grove Bowling Club, which serves consistently good food although the air con was turned up high and we were one of the last tables to leave as we were in the 7pm (not 5pm) booking session. I think they’re used an older crowd who have dinner early, and leave early!
With our second group of friends, we dined for the first time at The Dunes which has ocean views set amongst the sand dunes of Ocean Grove near where my kids did their surf lessons at the beach (and where you can grab coffees from their kiosk window). It gives this more stylish establishment a great atmosphere and the service and food were excellent.
Our last night in Ocean Grove was spent at Japanese restaurant Cha Cha on the main drag and while the interior is fairly sparse, the food is very good although I’m not sure the sliver of Japanese cheesecake was worth $16! Maybe pass on the dessert if you go.
It was cool the last few days we spent there so we did end up returning to the Grubb Road industrial estate to visit the Salvos store which was OK, the Vinnies store which was much better and Mr Rosanna had a quick drink at local brewer Brewicolo although we were too early for the food truck which doesn’t open until 5pm. We also popped our heads in to the Hive Gallery which is worth a visit if you’re in the area and located in the same building as Zero Point Yoga.
We packed up yesterday after walking to Kyosk (related to but separate from Japanese furniture retailer Kyo) to grab takeaway coffees (which you can pre-order using the Skipp app) before jumping into our very packed car and driving home here to Rosanna. Mr Rosanna and I had an interesting week at the beach, which I’ll explain next time, suffice to say that a new year always rings in changes and this year is no different.