What’s hot and what’s not (Perth edition)

Business travel has not figured largely in my professional life despite the occasional possibilities. Particularly the one that involved a personally designed itinerary to visit six of the top sites for public art in Europe. The trade off would have been to babysit a group of politicians but I was happy to sell my soul. The trip was canceled after 5 months preparation and 12 hours before final confirmation was required. Bastards.

Anyway, clearly over that disappointment, I’ve spent the past few days in Perth. It’s a very long way (2,760km), it’s closer to Johannesburg than it is to Sydney and there seems to be a mutual antipathy between it and everything in the ‘Eastern States’ ie. 90% of Australia’s population. So here’s my verdict.

So not hot, it’s bloody freezing:

  • coffee in Perth is shite. At its best it is weak and insipid, at its worst it is undrinkable (seriously: I chose to skip breakfast coffee, it was so bad). Inflight coffee is gourmet compared to Perth coffee.
  • Perth does not exist. They do not like maps. When forced to produce a map, they will not put everything on the same map. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a town map or a campus map. On the three different tourist maps of Perth I managed to procure, none of them identified the tourist information centre. Not even the one from the tourist information centre (which I only found because I decided to keep walking to see if there were any signs of life in the CBD).
  • trading hours would be better if they were medieval because at least you’d have 6-day a week trading. Restaurants close by 9pm, frequently 8pm. Retail shuts down on the dot of 5pm. Or 4.55pm, if they can. They only time Melbourne streets are as quiet as Perth’s is during the Grand Final or the Melbourne Cup.

Quite hot and even rather trendy:

  • tiger, tiger cafe. A complete exception to the rule about Perth coffee. It also serves the best iced coffee I’ve ever had. Plus it’s in a laneway. What more could a Melburnian beg ask for?
  • Fremantle. Although they do the thing with maps as well, it was the only place that managed ‘bustling’ and ‘alternative’. I even saw two women wearing skirts over trousers which is so Eastern States I’m surprised they haven’t been put in the stocks. Though the Fremantle Arts Centre closes early I did find this bit of street art opposite.

FreoStreetArt

  • Little Creatures Brewery. Amazing beer, best pizza outside Florence, and smack bang on the docks. It says something that it’s only other venue outside Fremantle is its Melbourne Dining Hall in Fitzroy.

LittleCreatures

  • Winifred and Bance. I sussed this out before I left and set off bravely into Perth suburbia. I came back with a loverly handmade 1960s green floral summer dress. Apparently I have a 60s figure but not in the Marilyn Munroe sense. More the short hourglass sense.

1950sFrock

  • Coming back home.

*edited to add: don’t forget to look at loobylu for other Hot + Not!

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4 Comments

  1. Stomper Girl said,

    October 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Ha! It’s the same as when I visited ten years ago then, Fremantle is the go and they can’t make coffee. My sister from Canberra rolled her eyes at me and called me a coffee snob when I used to complain about Canberra coffee but good coffee is important! It is!

  2. Ali Wilson said,

    October 24, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    You just have to find an italian (or dago in Perth speak). They have been keeping the coffee thing quiet over there for years. You start with the Re Shop and then follow your coffee loving nose… I only know this from having italian contacts in this distant city.

  3. Stomper Girl said,

    October 25, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Ha! It’s the same as when I visited ten years ago then, Fremantle is the go and they can’t make coffee. My sister from Canberra rolled her eyes at me and called me a coffee snob when I used to complain about Canberra coffee but good coffee is important! It is!
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

    • froginthepond said,

      October 26, 2009 at 10:11 am

      Thank you! It’s very sweet of you. I shall try not to get nervous about my writing!


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