As you walk out of the waves at the ‘The Bluff’, make a beeline for Drift – this beachside cafe and restaurant welcomes wet boardshorts and sandy feet with open arms, feeding the hungry souls that drift on by.
A serendipitous series of events saw Dane Layton buy the iconic spot in 2015. Working as an architect in nearby Launceston, he was looking for an opportunity to move back to his hometown of Devonport, to be closer to family and the beach. As it happened, the previous owner, who was looking to sell anyway, started dating his housemate. They started talking, and the rest is history.
With the purchase, Dane injected a youthful feel into the casual and fun space, which is informed by its beachside location and the sense of place it evokes. As a result, staff are super friendly and the all-day menu is fresh and full of flavour.
The creator of said menu is Head Chef, Simon Bold. Over breakfast, lunch and dinner, he whips up a myriad of dishes that celebrate the beautiful produce Tasmania has to offer. With a career spanning 23 years, Simon could be considered an expert when it comes to fresh ingredients – a skill he puts to good use when sourcing his produce. He preferences free-range, organic and ethical farmers and producers, and works with the seasons, meaning the menu changes regularly.
Drift’s offerings are split into two parts: Drift Restaurant and ‘Drift-Away’ takeaway bar. After a Saturday morning swim, drop by for breakfast, with smashed avo bagel or berry pancakes waiting. If you’re short on time, grab a smoothie to go – the liquid breakfast includes banana, chunky peanut butter, oats, coconut milk and honey.
Lunch is an everyday affair and Drift-Away celebrates the humble burger. Hungry hippos should opt for The Lot, with a beef patty, lettuce, beetroot relish, fried egg, tomato, onion, bacon, barbecue sauce and tomato relish, while vegetarians can chow down on the Yoga Instructor – a sweet potato rosti, grilled haloumi, pear chutney and walnut pesto.
A selection of small and large plates are also on offer in the restaurant for lunch and dinner. Share a dozen oysters before turning to the dukkah-crusted fried haloumi, served with heirloom tomato salsa, rocket, olives and a fresh lemon cheek, or the baked lamb lollipops with a coffee and chocolate crust, roast pumpkin sauce and minted pea salsa.
If you’re after something larger, it’s hard to look past fresh Tasmanian salmon, served with truffled asparagus, chimi churri sauce and blistered cherry tomatoes, or the honey mustard pork fillet with sour apple remoulade, celeriac carpaccio and bacon gravy. After your meal, grab a beanbag on the lawn with a glass of local wine or beer and enjoy the views.
If you’re around at the right time, attending a Drift event is a must. Dane and the team emphasise providing culinary experiences that celebrate their unique location, so it’s not uncommon to see sunset degustation dinners atop the headland, live music as part of their Summer Sundaze series or open-air cinema nights by the beach.
At Drift, Dane and his team have created a spot that truly celebrates the best parts of the Bluff Beach. With casual weekend brekkies, delicious long lunches and dinner by the sea, it’s the perfect introduction to the delights of Tasmania.