After several days of backbreaking work trying to get our new home into a habitable state before moving in, in early January we had a few days to relax and recover down at Mollymook. It is a pleasant three hour or so drive from Sydney, and you can opt for a scenic coastal route or drive through some nice green towns with cosy looking coffee shops, bakeries and antiques.
Opening in December 2015, Bannisters Pavilion is the new little sister of Bannisters by the Sea. The interiors are stylishly coastal and unfussy.
The look continues in the bedrooms which are a pleasant size. We have two interconnecting rooms – ideal for a family – one with a bath, one without. I do wonder though how the blue carpet will fare after a few years of sand!
The hotel staff are delightful, and arm me with necessary reading for the stay as well as some good local guides.
On the roof is a small pool and plenty of deckchairs to relax. There you’ll also find the Pavilion’s great casual dining space, The Rooftop, which is set to be a hit with locals and visitors alike. It is a great airy space with a menu that will easily ensure return visits.
Enticed by my recent Moscow Mule experience at J&M, I start with a refreshing North Molly Mule.
We nibble on some eggplant chips, which is one of a handful of daily specials.
Followed by a lovely Summery panzanella salad
The soft shell crab tacos were delicious and had a bit of zing
The calamari was also nicely done.
A classic bistro style steak with chips was well executed.
Breakfast is included in your room stay; there’s a selection of fruit, cereals, pastry and a couple of hot dishes.
In between the breakfast area and grill were these fabulous oversized swinging chairs, which were a hit with young and old alike. I’d love these for my verandah!
The next night we feel like some local fish and chips, and everyone tells us we have to go to The Fish Shop at Burrill lake, which is a 10 or so minute drive. There’s a good selection of fish on offer, and both the battered and the crumbed are very tasty, it is obvious how fresh the fish is.
Of course on most people’s list when they head down to Mollymook is a meal at Rick Stein’s restaurant. You’ll find it at Bannisters by the Sea a ten minute walk or very short drive away.
There is, as you’d expect, plenty of fresh seafood on offer. The pricing is punchy overall for the experience but the ingredient quality is high. Children are catered for and that evening there are plenty of young families.
The local oysters are excellent
So too are the mussels, with a fragrant broth, delicious
The prawns saganaki though are a disappointment and a little bland
We also try the lobster salad topped with a little foie gras. The lobster is succulent but the salad overall is not a wow.
But we both just love the fish pie, a tasty textured crumb covering the creamy veloute with a nice variety of seafood. I tracked down the recipe in a UK newspaper and I’ll definitely be making this at home. Stay tuned.
Milk Haus and St Isadore were also highly recommended restaurants, but unfortunately they were not open the days we were there.
Do note though that the Pavilion does not have beach or ocean views, it is on a residential street. But don’t let that stop you – the beach is a very short stroll away.
Bannisters Pavilion, Tallwood Avenue Mollymoook