After having experienced some fairly average coffee in recent visits (in fact, 27 reviews and 57 days since my last 4.5 star review), I was overdue to find a really stand-out coffee. The good news is that, today, I found one – at Piknik at Swan Bay.

Piknik is located on the main Portarlington – Queenscliff Road (closer to Queenscliff than Portarlington), about 5kms from the Bellarine Highway. The cafe appears to have been an old roadhouse (I’m guessing a Mobil roadhouse, judging by the shape of the sign out the front), quite literally in the middle of nowhere. There are two reasons why you would visit Piknik – either because you stumble over it, driving between the two towns or because you know that it’s there and you go out of your way to visit. There appears to be no other reason for being out in that neck of the woods.

The building has been tidied up more so than renovated and whilst clean and well-presented, by no means could you describe it as stylish and funky – which as you would know from other reviews is no impediment for me giving it a good review.

It was pretty busy which, I guess, is no surprise, given that I arrived right on lunchtime. I sat at a bench in the semi-outside area and ordered my coffee which arrived in quick time. It was beautifully presented in a white tulip cup with a perfect crema. In my mind a good test is to be able to drag the teaspoon through the crema and watch it “heal” itself which today’s coffee did. If I had one criticism of the service it would be that I wasn’t offered any water to drink with my coffee.

All in all, it was a really great coffee experience and I’ll certainly be going back. When you think about it, the location is remote and only likely to be found by accident, the cafe is, as indicated above, not the most stylish I have visited and the wait staff were pleasant and attentive and not trying to be groovy the whole time. And yet, Piknik was really busy. That tells me that given what we might call “speed humps to success” discussed above, they are still being really successful so they must be doing something very right.

Like serving outstanding coffee …


Address: 1195 Portarlington-Queenscliff Road
Suburb: Swan Bay 3225
Web Site: www.piknik.com.au
Telephone: 03 5258 5155
Recommended by: Steven
Open: Five days per week (closed Monday and Tuesday)
Open 7 days between 26 December and end of January.
Price: $3.80
Coffee Suppliers: Allpress Espresso
Headline: Really, really good coffee in a location that you might only find by accident. Not artificially groovy or “hip” but thriving based on great coffee and what looked like great food too. Really well worth the drive if you are heading out from central Geelong.
Coffee Rating: Four and a half stars