This month we were invited to an intimate lunch at The Newport, wow! We couldn't  get enough of Merivale's newest venue. With it's warm Mediterranean tones & Hampton's style decor, being at The Newport makes you feel like you're on holiday's. Better still, you've left dinner, drinks & the dishes up to someone else. With or without kid's it's the place to be, there is a gymnasium to entertain the kids with ping pong tables, a giant magnetic Scrabble board, and exercise bikes that can charge mobile phones. On top of that, with all the beautiful large open spaces, it never feels over crowded. What ever your reason for attending this amazing place you will be accommodated, but more importantly satisfied. Don't stereo type it to a summer venue either as I have recently experienced it on a cold Autumn night and was only to content sitting around one of the beautiful big fire pits.

Food wise they have it covered, there are four different style food stations and the meals are priced between $10 - $32. You can check the full menu out here.

We were able to chat with new owner Justin Hemmes to see what makes him tick.

Describe your style…

When designing our venues, my focus is always on authenticity, quality and beauty, it’s important that they all have atimeless aesthetic. There is nothing more uncomfortable or more dated than a place that has been over designed. The key is to make people want to feel comfortable and excited about a space - everywhere you look, sit and touch should be thought out. For my home, I have a very relaxed approach. I believe that a home should be a reflection of how you like to live and what makes you feel comfortable. It’s not a project that has to excite. So for me, it is always about creating an atmosphere with great food, excitement and fun.

Your typical Day? 

No two days are the same, that’s for sure. I’m still spending a lot of my time at The Newport – meeting with the chefs, builders, architects – as we solidify everything we have done with the outside area and plan the next phase for the venue. There are several new venues that we are also working on, in Paddington and Enmore. I am extremely hands on in the business and I have a very clear vision for the group, and I see it as my role to work very closely with my team, providing the direction they need to bring visions to life.

If you could invite any three people in the world to dinner, who would it be & why?

Prince, The Rat Pack and my partner Kate Fowler.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself before you became a Dad?

Trust your instincts and enjoy every moment!

What have you loved most about buying The Newport?

It has been amazing to become part of the Northern Beaches community. The community has this amazing sense of solidarity – and people have so much pride and love for the area, their home. The Newport, in particular, is home to many wonderful memories for the locals, so it was incredibly important for us to honour this as we create the new chapter in its history. I’ve really enjoyed meeting so many people and hearing their stories about what The Newport means to them.