Let’s first start with an acknowledgement that I have nowhere near scratched the surface on all there is to do here, but these are the experiences I’ve loved so far that I had to share (in no particular order, except for Fremantle – it’s my fave):
Fremantle | old historic buildings, cappuccino strip, craft brewers, gelato – so much gelato! And ever much more, Fremantle is an interesting contrast of cafes, restaurants, craft breweries and extensive history all wrapped up within in a few cobblestone blocks.
This is actually not a restaurant or cafe (for once), but a very sweet shop with an eclectic mix of clothing, jewellery and trinkets. I think it spoke to me so much because it reminded my of my favourite store at home, V de V (though nowhere near as good, because let’s be honest, nothing is better). The point is – go here for a sweet take-home piece whether its ring, necklace or something small for your home.
Little Creatures Brewery
A hot spot you’ll deservedly find on every Fremantle “to do” list. It’s massive with a waterfront patio, an open-concept kitchen serving up pizzas and tapas and seafood galore – oh, and they make their own brews all on-site as well (I’m being smug, obvs that’s what they’re known for!). It’s a WA staple and you’ll find their products in every bar/resto worth going to here.
Duck, Duck, Bruce
Yes, I went in for the name (love it), and for the fact that they have the sweetest little side-street space, but that was only the bait and once I bit I was hooked. This place is as cheery and quirky as it sounds. Adorable and delicious, cheeky in every sense of the word, it delivers with good vibes only. If you go nowhere else, go here!
So as we know I’ve picked up a “drinking problem” since being here. Whereas I used to maybe have one shot of espresso per month (cloaked in a sugary-sweet dessert-in-a-glass flavoured latte), I’ve now upped the ante to often having 1 (sometimes 2) coffees PER DAY! It’s still in the form of a Latte or Flat White or Dirty Chai Latte (okay this one’s still more of a sweet treat), but nonetheless I’ve dubbed myself a self-proclaimed expert on the subject matter, and thus on cappuccino strip you can’t go wrong. I’ll also toss out an honourable mention to a place off the strip called Two Rubens Espresso (currently for sale…should I?).
Bread in Common
Another well-known staple, and for a reason. The space is beautiful with brick and boards and industrial lighting softened by draping greenery all over the terrace and venue itself. The menu changes daily and offers the perfect medley of fresh ingredients cooked simply and purposefully to bring out only the best of each item on the plate. It’s not inexpensive, but it’s worth it.
Northbridge | The Queen West of Perth, with speakeasy’s, bars, cafes, and endless shops – it’s a hipster paradise. And call me a hipster then, because I didn’t want to leave. I could totally picture myself at anyone of these cafe’s settling into a relaxed Sunday morning routine.
William Street Cycle Co.
The trendiest of trendy bike shops with cruisers, racers or commuters available for sale, coupled alongside a delicious stand-alone cafe counter to serve sandys and coffee at a (finally) reasonable price. The back courtyard is a peaceful retreat to relax and enjoy your cafe treats.
The Hummus Club
In Hummus We Trust, reads their neon pink sign inside, and based on these sound morals, I trust them too. Turns out I’m not alone in that because this place is PACKED. Dishing out middle eastern classics, and some with a twist, it’s light and fresh and thankfully not super expensive which means I can dine here more than once without breaking bank.
Faun and Flora
Completely unassuming, this spot is nestled down a back lane with outdoor seating and counter service for take-away. It’s setting is private enough that you can comfortably sit for a causal iced coffee or hot cup to enjoy on their shaded patio.
Guildford | Swan Valley is where I’ve been stationed for a few weeks so I’ve had the most exposure to the Midland/Guildford/Swan Valley region which is historic and quaint and just a lovely place to be able to slow down for a while. Easily accessible from the city, definitely take a day-trip here if your schedule ever allows.
There is plenty of wine country, breweries and countryside itself to be enjoyed in the Swan Valley region, though my favourite places were found in old heritage buildings and garden cafes of Guildford:
Little Guildford + Little Vines
Oh I just LOVE this spot! It was the first place I went to when I was job hunting, and I fell head over heels for the look, the menu, the coffee (okay, chai latte), that I told myself I wouldn’t apply. I didn’t want to spoil it for myself by trying to work there, so from day one this was my gem, my happy place, and my local Guildford go-to.
The Guildford Hotel
This is where The Ace Hotel meets Freehand meets Broadview Hotel meets the Drake. I also knew right away this is where I wanted to work, and it seemed as though the feeling was mutual! These were my people, my place and my stomping grounds and it was absolutely perfect. With trivia nights and live music and restored architecture and SO much history to it, I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to fuel-up the old bank account while working here.
Guildford Town Bakery
I only wish I could bottle up how good this place smells, share it with you, and carry it with me everywhere I go. Man it was amazing. With freshly baked breads, pastries, cookies, meringues, squares, bars and tarts, my sweet tooth was sufficiently satisfied. I had to only allow myself in one in a while because there was no question I’d walk out with something in hand!
Cottesloe | for the tourist, but hey I’m not not denying that’s what I am! I did also have a patron at work tell me (unsolicited I might add), that if I’m looking for a rich boyfriend – this is the place to find him. Truthfully he planted the seed and I thought maybe I could at least befriend someone who owns a boat, #shameless, so down to Cottesloe I went. I didn’t walk away with a yacht, but I did get a decent tan…silver linings?
Head a little further North to Scarborough and visit the Thursday night markets for a taste of…literally anything you want! There are endless vendors and food trucks serving delicacies of differing cultures from French to Italian to Malaysian to Balinese to Japanese to Spanish to Mexican…and I think I’ve made my point! Sweet, savoury or blended there is something for everyone.
Rottnest Island | it’s a must. With the beaches and the wildlife and the island cafes – this absolutely trumps the TO islands (ha, as if that’s even a fair comparison to make). On that same token however, it’s the perfect escape from the city for an afternoon, full day or overnight, and it’s definitely worth taking advantage of the roughly $30 ferry ride (cheaper on Tuesdays, more expensive the rest of the week $22 – $35 each way) to reach this tropical oasis. Oh, and the quokkas. Did I mention the quokkas?!
Alright, so I’ve been here for about a month now and I think I’ve covered a lot of ground in that time while having started work right away! Still to explore is King’s Park, more of Leederville, Trigg Beach, Highgate and whatever else pops up. I’ll update this as I go in case there is anything to add the list.
I think Perth gets overlooked by the East-Coasters/East-Coast travellers because it’s pretty far to get out here, but the sights, scenes and sounds definitely rival Melbourne and the like so give it some thought next time you find yourself on this side of the globe 😉