So it has reached that time of the month again where I get to dust of my camera and hit the streets of one of Perth's wonderful suburbs for a day of food, shopping and just general tourist fun.
It is so easy to become caught up in our day-to-day routines that we forget how wonderful our hometowns can be. So it is my mission to remind you, and myself, to take the time and really explore your city - I want to challenge myself to really look around me, to remember to look up and view my city as if I were a tourist in my fun series Become A Tourist In Your Own City.
This month Claire and I headed to the lovely suburb of Leederville. Located just north of the city, Leederville is always a bustling hub of cafes, eateries, boutique clothing and gift stores to keep you exploring all day long.
I had violin students all over the city Saturday morning, but with one of them in Leederville I wandered around the corner to refresh with a cup of tea from the scrumptious Dapper Jack, located in Studio Bomba.
Studio Bomba is a curious little Co-op that houses a number of studios working in a variety of mediums such as fashion, marketing, illustration, interiors, lettering, photography and print. Not only is there a beautiful shop, but you can also see these creative souls hard at work in their studio, whilst munching away on yummy treats.
On top of all of this (and possibly my favourite part), Studio Bomba run a series of workshops throughout the year where you can learn how to make everything from your own leather satchels, silk flowers or the art of applying vintage makeup!!! I will definitely be keeping my eye on this place!
With my official work done for the day it was time for the real fun!
The main hub of Leederville is located on the city end of Oxford Street, there are fascinating finds further north (Kitsch Bar and The Re-Store) but as time is somewhat of a constrain we decided to keep things easy and stick to the south.
We started at the lovely little Francois Patisserie. Tucked away off the main street Francois is a delightful French style cafe specialising in Swiss Pastries and Chocolates.
If you are ever in need of a couple of delectable treats, or a freshly made cake to take away I highly recommend checking them out! Otherwise it is the perfect space to simply curl up with a book, or gossip with a girl friend over a cup of tea.
There are so many lovely cafe's in Leederville that it was quite hard to decide where to go. We made it to as many as we could (I visited 5 cafes in one day!) but there are many other notable coffee stops including Sayers (great for Breakfast, Lunch and afternoon tea!), Sweet Remedy Cafe (your perfect stop for a cupcake treat), and Foam Coffee Bar (open from Breakfast, Foam offers a large menu for all meals and is open late for a delectable after dinner dessert). Any of which I would be perfectly happy to sit for the afternoon.
Leederville is dotted with a number of lovely little boutiques. Fashion Boutiques such as Varga Girl, Harry & Gretel and Atlas Divine have a very unique feel and hold a number of independent labels, many of which are local Australian designers. Unfortunately the price-tag tends to match the unique items sold, but they are still worth a flick through the hangers.
But for me, shopping in Leederville is perfect if you are looking for a gift. With stores such as Remedy, a gorgeous store holding unique gifts and home-wares from many local makers, you are always able to find something unique and beautiful for every type of person.
Other places such as Henry Hiccups (The cutest children's toy store!) Urban Records and Urban Deport, Wild Poppy and Gypsiana Leederville are well worth checking out.
We continued the afternoon strolling the streets, nattering away before making a quick stop at 50mL for a refuel and continue down the other side of the strip.
50mL is a quirky little cafe filled to the brim with retro seating, lamps and lights covered with bright read colanders. They offer a large selection of tea (yay!) and many cakes and sandwiches to keep you company as you sit on the street watching the world go by.
As the evening went on we wandered around to The Garden for a pre dinner drink and discussed our finds for the day.
With not 1 but 3 burger joints (Grill'd, Jus Burgers and The Burger Bistro), a hotdog place (Snags & Sons), a couple of pizza places (Little Ceasars) and a mexican (Zambrero), I often think of Leederville as a perfect non fuss, gourmet take away dinner stop. But there are a few lovely hidden places worth knowing about. Places such Amani Wine Bar, Ria, Kitsch and Pinchos each have a great selection of food and drink to keep your tastebuds going, but we went for Duende, a spanish tapas bar with a wonderful reputation.
I hadn't been to Duende before, but would recommend it now! It is a beautifully cozy tapas bar hidden at the back of the main strip on Newcastle St.
I always love going into a restaurant where everything on the menu sounds amazing - this is definitely one of those places. It makes the selection process difficult, but in the best way possible!
(I unfortunately wasn't able to get any decent photos, but hopefully our chosen list will get your tastebuds going!) Our dinner included jamon & leak croquetas, patatas bravas, marinated olives, char grilled squid choirizo and fenal salad and slow braised beef cheek with pumpkin, goat's curd and roasted beetroot. All accompanied by a delicious glass of Spanish red. Everything was perfectly cooked, seasoned and so delicious.
The restaurant itself, although packed, was very cozy and to me wasn't overwhelmingly noisy. All in all highly recommended! Just make sure you book! I know I will be :)
We finished up dinner and popped back across the road to Greens & Co for a piece of cake before our late movie.
One can't really head to Leederville without at least a glimpse in Greens. With its iconic paper lantern lighting filling the celling and poster covered walls, this cafe has become quite the image of this little suburb.
Although Greens it is quite expensive for what it is, and doesn't have table service it is open late and always has the biggest selection of cakes. But I feel cafe's such as Foam and 50mL with their extended opening hours may start to rival this beloved Leederville cafe.
To finish the day we headed up to the funky Luna Palace Cinema to watch a late session of The Double. I always love Luna, with its small cinemas capacity and unique selection of screenings it is always an experience. As well as art-house and independent film screenings, the Luna screens performances fro the New York Met Opera and National Theatre Live screenings and during the summer Luna extends outdoors with their open air cinema in the courtyard.
It is always a fun day out when visiting Leederville, and I was so pleased to spend the day wandering through and reminding myself just how many places there are to visit along this busy strip of Perth!
If you want to take advantage of this quirky suburb, and make your evening an experience to remember I would recommend heading over to Leederville Food Safari - A designated progressive dinner through Leederville by Rickshaw!!! I haven't been yet, but being cycled around and eating at 3 wonderful locations sounds like a heap of fun to me!
I have spent a lot of time on this busy strip over the years, yet as Perth is continuously changing and it I always look forward to having the excuse to get out there and really see the change. I can still find places to discover and learn more about these slightly hidden areas of the city. What I love about this series is that it forces me to take myself out and gives me an excuse to venture to places that I hear about yet never go... and, I hope that it inspires you to do the same.