eat & drink

Geelong’s distinctive new dining experience, Alma

The recent modern Australian-meets-South American dining experience Alma is bound to put Geelong even more firmly on the culinary map of regional Victoria.

Owners Jesse Hughes (former chef of Vue Grande) and Matt Baird teamed with the insanely talented Shonel Bryant of Nomad Styling, to create something unique among the city’s top restaurants. Alma, which translates to “soul” in Spanish, delivers a menu that is inspired by Jesse’s love of South American cuisine.

But the real reason we’ve fallen in love with Alma is for the interiors, which are out of this world. Shonel is renowned for her attention to detail in her styling, having become a household name throughout Geelong and Melbourne, and Alma is only a reflection of this. It’s hard to believe that this is her first commercial interiors project!

When creating the space, Shonel focussed on giving customers a true “talking point”, as she explained to The Local Project

“There are a lot of great places to eat in Geelong, but not many places that you could walk away and describe what the venue looked like to someone when you got home.”

On entry, a mural created by Sydney artist Jessica Cochrane welcomes you. Splashes of pink over Jessica’s signature prints give Alma a contemporary but edgy vibe.

The restaurant itself features a black concrete wall finish supplied by Clements and Co, thrown with tones of charcoal and teal, giving the space an incredibly moody atmosphere. The custom teal banquette seating matched with black leather bolsters was upholstered by Inform Upholstery, with furniture to match from Obodo Design.

From the terrazzo-look tiles to the neon lighting, playful signs and detailing of the cheeky door handle, which reads “Push It Real Good’ and created in collaboration by Good with Wood Co. and Sketch and Etch creative – Alma is full of quirks and charm.

Alma also offers an upstairs function space that is considered a polar opposite to the dining room itself. Featuring natural wooden floors, white walls, and a bright light space, it is definitely far from the aesthetic of the dining room below.

No detail has gone untouched by Shonel, and the owners of Alma – Alma is an experience that is not to be missed. Take a look…

Photography credit to Hails and Shine Photography

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