New venture as iconic Bellarine restaurant & wedding venue re-opens

A collaboration of four talented Geelong region hospitality trailblazers has breathed new life into formerly iconic Bellarine Peninsula fine dining, function and wedding venue.

Merne at Lighthouse is set to fill the void (and then some) left by the closure of the acclaimed restaurant Loam, which called the idyllic Drysdale location home until 2013.

The Merne at Lighthouse team consists of former Pettavel and Vue Grand Hotel frontman Caleb Fleet, Matt Dempsey, who was head chef at Pettavel and opened Gladioli at Inverleigh, Graham Jefferies, also formerly of Pettavel and head chef at Geelong West’s Tulip, and Tulip sous chef Joshua Smith, who also has experience at Dunkeld’s Royal Mail and Gordon Ramsay’s Maze.

Merne and its menu is inspired by the restaurant’s surrounding produce-rich landscape, which features a thriving olive grove and emerging vineyards. Dairies, farms, vegetable growers and orchards also occupy neighbouring properties and provide a pristine backdrop from the elevated restaurant.

Local wine and beer is also features prominently at Merne, complementing the chef-designed menu of delights created from produce reliably sourced locally and from further afield.

We’re proud of our new restaurant, the food we cook, ambience we provide and panoramic views on offer at our pristine Drysdale location. For those reasons, we are also a great choice for a function or wedding venue on the Bellarine Peninsula. Merne at Lighthouse offers several all-inclusive wedding packages, including the complimentary services of a wedding planner and the use of the restaurant’s grounds for the ceremony.

The Merne at Lighthouse team are excited to meet you and show you what we, and the region, has to offer.


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