Torquay: indulgence to a tee
What’s a getaway without trying something new? A winter escape to a seaside destination proved the perfect time for Victorian blogger Chantal to hit the green and try her hand at golf.
Winter at the beach! You’ve got to be kidding right? If you think that going to the beach is an exclusively summer thing, then you really need to head down to Torquay during the winter months and see just how much more this great little town has to offer than a dip in the ocean.
Peppers The Sands Resort
When we arrived at Torquay it was dark, cold and windy. It was one of those evenings where the air is so cold that it stings your skin.
However, in our studio apartment at The Sands Resort, it didn’t take long before I was sipping on my Yalumba Shiraz, munching on dark chocolate, and curling up on the king-sized bed in our spacious—and warm—bedroom.
In our luxurious deep bath, I soaked up the ambient atmosphere of the resort, set amongst the sand dunes along Torquay’s coastline, and set upon The Sand’s golf course, readying myself to tackle a round of golf the following day.
Time to tee off
Let’s get something straight before I go any further: I have never, ever, EVER played golf! All I know is that there’s something called a birdie and some guy named ‘Tiger’.
And yet, there I was, about to tee off for the first time ever.
After an abysmal practise run on the driving range, I admit, I was more excited about riding in the golf buggy than trying for an ‘eagle’, but once the salt air hit me and the sunshine came out, I actually started to enjoy myself.
The Sand’s has set up a most idyllic golf course surrounded with natural wetlands, an atmospheric view of the nearby White’s Beach, and a great place to grab a coffee or beer at Hanners restaurant.
Shopping by the sea
Famous for its impeccable beaches and excellent surfing conditions, it’s little surprise that worldwide surfing brand names like Ripcurl and Quicksilver originated in Torquay.
With such iconic labels on offer, Torquay is a great place to shop. Surf City Plaza is a must-see and a great place to spot many famous athletes from time to time.
However, don’t forget to head to nearby Baines Crescent where you’ll find some major labels heavily discounted in the warehouses.
While out shopping, make sure you pick up a surfboard and a wetsuit, and then head down to the legendary Bells Beach.
Home to the Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition, which attracts champions such as Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and Sally Fitzgibbons, we decided to join the tradition and took a stroll on the famous shoreline.
Despite the 10°c conditions, the water was swarming with keen surfing enthusiasts, but with numb fingers and toes, I was not keen to join them.
With all the golf, shopping and beachside strolls, it was no wonder we were starving, so it was lucky that Torquay has some great places to tuck into a good meal.
Back at The Sands Resort, we were treated to a three-course meal at Hanners restaurant. The chef was more than happy to cater to us vegans and presented us with our own menu.
We were treated to a hearty Moroccan soup with crusty bread followed by a tasty green Thai curry and a berry and apple crumble: lots of delicious comfort food to warm us up from our day on the green.
Before heading back to Melbourne, we decided to sneak in a breakfast at The Greenroom on Bell Street. This cute little café-style restaurant whipped up a delicious vegan brekky for us consisting of sautéed mushies, spinach, grilled tomato a slather of avocado, sourdough bread and very tasty basil salsa.
While you might think of Torquay as being the perfect summer destination, don’t skip it as a great winter retreat. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.