If you’ve made it to Balmoral Baths, then you’ve pretty much got the location sorted. Tick one for Public Dining Room.
After an extensive 2009 makeover by designers Hecker, Phelan & Guthrie, this venue has taken over where the Watermark left off, but with a decidedly more relaxed air, refitted with a Scandinavian-meets-beachside aesthetic that keeps design smooth, clean and simple. Huge dome lights punctuate the open space, floor-to-ceiling windows open right up in balmy weather, and there’s uninterrupted flow from the airy indoor space to the protected deck area (heated for cool times). Light timber floors echo driftwood and are complimented by blond wood tables and white Eames chairs, with an elegant white marble bar for the cocktail hour.
Apron-adorned waiters flit here and there, refilling water glasses discreetly and providing knowledgeable service with a smile. The focus here is on casual fine food – supporting Australian ingredients, suppliers and sustainable seafood wherever possible. Breakfasts of smashed avocado on Sonoma toast with Yarra Valley fetta vie with seasonal Portobello mushrooms covered with grana padano. Lunch and dinner options run from oyster selections, to vodka-cured trout or Thirlmere duck (confit and smoked).
And the picture perfect view (out over the baths, which date to 1898) is just part of the winning combination – no matter the weather.