The Village Belle Hotel has been around since 1891, but the heritage-listed building certainly didn’t look the way it does today. A 15 million-dollar makeover has given this iconic St Kilda pub a new lease on life.
The new look includes blush pink banquette seating offset by shades of deep blue, dark metallic finishes and a marble bar – and that’s just in the Doulton Room. The updated Public Bar boasts a masculine colour palate, with green, black and white tiling and elegant Thonet-style stools. True to its roots, the bar has sport on the screens every night, live music Thursday through Sunday and brewery fresh Carlton Draft poured on tap. Outside in the lush Garden Bar, large glass windows and elegant blonde tables make the most of the venue’s lofty size.
The new look was curated by Technē Architecture + Interior Design, who also created Garden State Hotel in the CBD, The Terminus Hotel in Abbotsford and The Bridge Hotel in Richmond. But it’s not just the interior that has been given an all-star makeover; Chef Mat McCartney, formerly of The Lakehouse Daylesford and Chateau Yering, has created a new and equally alluring menu.
Dishes run the gastropub gamut from fresh oysters to antipasti, pizza, parmas and four different kinds of steak. However, Mat’s focus is in creating classic fare with an elegant twist and a few surprises. His Mini Corn Dogs served with chilli jam stray from the norm, as does his Whey Risotto served with seasonal vegetables and his dessert Lemon Meringue Cocktail with Licor 43 and Agwa.
There’s no shortage of spots to settle between Doulton, Public and Garden Bars, as well as the upstairs Balcony Bar – though the latter is arguably the best spot to sip on a Belle-ini or Vanilla Margerita (yes, please). But whether you want sport on the telly and beer on tap, a sunny spot to enjoy oysters and champagne or a glamorous corner to sip cocktails with your friends, Village Belle Hotel has it all.