Athelstane House was built as a guesthouse in 1860 and remains true to its origins as a 10-room boutique hotel and restaurant today. Young upstart Laurel Hill took over the ageing beauty in 2016, and has maintained the hotel’s quaint seaside feel.
The restaurant offers bistro-style meals in a casual setting. A single chef and waiter run a swift operation that’s relaxed and friendly. The dinner menu is kept small and simple, from pan-seared barramundi with roasted chats, crisp prosciutto and celeriac remoulade; to duck a l’orange with cauliflower puree, greens and housemade apple-and-sultana chutney.
At breakfast, home-style breakfasts such as the “kitchen sink” omelette of three eggs with bacon, mushrooms, tomato and spinach meet more surprising dishes such as honey, nut and cinnamon couscous with Middle Eastern fruits and yoghurt. There are vegetarian and gluten-free options on both the breakfast and dinner menus.
Produce is sourced locally, including eggs from Kossies and hydroponic tomatoes from Lonsdale Tomato Farm up the road. Housemade muesli, jams and relishes also feature on the menu and are available to take home.
The wrap-around verandah is a nice spot for a lazy afternoon glass of local wine. Otherwise there’s a sunny internal courtyard with a few tables and vines climbing up white walls.
Explore Queenscliff further using our detailed Out of Town to Queenscliff guide.