Loam restaurant
Award-winning Loam restaurant on the Bellarine Peninsula. Photo: Eddie Jim EJZ

Beach-going diners found themselves denied one of the Bellarine Peninsula's great pleasures when they found award-winning restaurant Loam closed unexpectedly over summer.

A recorded message at the restaurant told prospective customers the restaurant was closed due to "extenuating circumstances" and would reopen in the new year. Those with reservations were advised their bookings were cancelled.

Co-owner and chef Aaron Turner told Espresso he and wife Astrid, who is the restaurant's manager, needed time to focus on some difficult family matters they preferred to remain private. In Turner's words: "It's a small restaurant and it could not run without either of us there."

On top of that, a troublesome septic tank was causing further problems. The Turners had considered closing indefinitely but recognised "they had been bestowed a special gift in Loam".

Turner apologised to all guests whom had had been disappointed by the closure, thanked them for their understanding and said they would take steps to accommodate those guests wishing to rebook. Loam will reopen for the Australia Day long weekend.