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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews The Telegraph Hotel, Geelong West

pub of the week
Article image for Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews The Telegraph Hotel, Geelong West

The Telegraph Hotel

2 Pakington Street, Geelong West.
5222 2471

When? July 8, 2022.


At the Melbourne end of beautiful Pakington Street, Geelong West, the Telegraph is an imposing fixture in this popular street which is replete with dining options

Art Deco exterior, lovely modern renovations inside, award winning rooftop terrace and bar looking towards the bay, the Telegraph always features in “best ofs’” for hospitality  on the Bellarine, but in truth it is one of the best pubs in regional Victoria in my opinion.

The public bar is relatively small but more than accommodating and looks fabulous with old world tiles shining and timber the dominant features. Then, with table lamps dotted throughout, with comfortable green felt bucket seating, the bar has a warm clubby feel that offers a perfect alternative to the equally impressive bistro restaurant with its full table service.

Its heart is very much one of a traditional pub, and with the addition of a superb rooftop bar, the socialisng options are many.  And, in its own curious way, the beer garden with the bridge to the town center heading over it, carrying a stack of traffic, appeals.

All credit to the owners, Sam and Rhonda, who have transformed this pub over the past 15 years from being a defacto TV Ringside venue, to a most desired location.

The Telegraph aims higher at all levels of hospitality, but the manner in which its food/wine menus are presented confirms that the pub wants to be known as an all things/all occasions to all.

And to that end, it succeeds brilliantly.


Extensive higher level pub grub, coupled with an encyclopedic range of wine options demands that you look for something more than a Parma/Pot/Glass of the house red.

Entrees number around 6, but even then an extra level of effort is obvious from the menu, e.g., Duck spring rolls, w/orange, star anise, dipper (2/$14), or Lamb kofta, apricot and rosemary glaze, pistachio, baby cos (2/$16).

Mains cover all bases, but the choice is limited to a manageable 11 choices, but each coming plated with interesting additions.  Beef Cheeks, mash, beans, davidson plum jam, almond dukkah ($38), or Chicken Scallopini, w/creamy mustard and peppercorn sauce, smashed chats, bacon, buttered beans @ $34.

Rockling is the house fish and chips, Chicken schnitty or parmas around 27/29, with a fully plated Roast always on the menu.  All meals come fully plates, but there is a range of sides if you  want extra.

A range of Commercial – Carlton D tried, well served @$7/pot (hmmm) and craft available and the wine list, for a pub, is monstrous. Always wonderful, Bests riesling, $13 pg, never, ever misses.

The average (bistro) prices are;

  • Entrees – $16
  • Mains – $34 (steak, redgum striploin, is $42)
  • Dessert – $15.

Tried was;

  • Szechuan Calamari. $16 e. More than enough for an entree, this feast is supported by spring onion, sticky soy, roasted peanuts, herbs and with a spicy, light coating the dish arrives hot with all flavours working together with a fabulous, fresh. As a rule, pub calamari falls down on two fronts; first, the dish arrives tepid-warm (taste resembling an old Dunlop Volley after 5 sets) and second, the coating is too thick. Not here, beautifully executed.
  • Nasi Goreng. $28. Big dish, suitable for sharing, has all the ingredients: Prawns, chicken, egg omelette, bean shoots, cassava crackers. Again a dish that can be easily stuffed up, the fresh ingredients, plentiful, rich and generous, makes this a signature dish of the pub.


The Telegraph, simply put, is an excellent pub.

 The epitome of balance between a welcome front bar  for a beer and catch up,  serious pub food to a higher standard, or a gorgeous rooftop terrace and bar, it is obvious on entering that this pub is deserving of the accolades afforded to it by the AHA, the peak hotel body in Victoria.

Staff is hospitable and friendly, the interior looks fabulous, all parts of a successful business under a long ownership, is evident.

The Telegraph, Geelong. Contender for the 2022 DeBortoli Pub of the year.

SCORE: 16/20

pub of the week