Three of Perth’s best local secrets
Shhh! These Perth city secrets are just for locals...
Looking for a delicious weekend away? Perth’s got your back. The epicentre of the state’s acclaimed Gourmet Escape festival has emerged as a significant culinary player in recent years, with a swag of hatted restaurants and some heavy hitters in the five-star space – but it’s not all fine-diners and fancy nights out. Slip on your cossie and indulge in a tasteful beach break, or sling on your sneakers and embark on a visual feast as you walk. Whatever you choose, these three escapades deliver big on local flavour.
1. The local’s beach break
Vera View Beach in a distance, as seen from the main stratech of sand at Cottesloe Beach, Perth: credit Tourism WA
Curl your toes in the pillowy sands of Vera View beach (unofficially named for its location perpendicular to Vera View Parade; also sometimes referred to as North Cottesloe beach) and look again: yes, the water really is that hue of spearmint and yes, it’s as gin-clear and lazily calm as you thought. Genetically blessed Perthians gather at this local secret to swim and socialise before scarfing exceptionally sticky cinnamon scrolls, oven-warm and fanatically loved, from nearby North Street Store. Later, a meal at breezy seaside cantina Il Lido will deliver a tag-team of WA produce and the city’s best Italian wine list; North Cott (as it’s lovingly known) makes for a perfectly lazy week by the beach. Airbnb it (just don’t tell anyone else).
2. The urbane adventure
Street art in Leederville, Perth, Western Australia: credit Tourism WA
Huge murals coat laneways in whimsy and colour at Leederville’s Oxford St strip, where grungy cafes and art deco architecture meet lovely old trees and some of the city’s best concept stores in a hip hood of inner-city cool. Start your art tour at the giant barracuda splashed onto the side of Kailis Bros Fish Market before ambling north; there’s more to see beyond Luna Cinema but it thins out from there. Along the way, shop for records, fresh flowers, kooky gifts and perhaps a beer at The Garden; back in the CBD, rest your head at The Adnate, where a 25-storey exterior mural hints at the hotel’s street-art-covered interiors.
3. The taste of the city
The bar at Heath restaurant, Ritz Carlton Perth, Western Australia: credit Ritz Carlton
It’s been open a hot minute but Heath, the on-site restaurant at Ritz Carlton Perth is already streaking up national hot lists for its unusual ingredients (see: native boab tuber) and exceptionally talented team. (Head chef Jed Gerrard moved here post-regency at the city’s reigning culinary destination, Wildflower.) Wander the waterfront beforehand – the city’s flourishing Elizabeth Quay precinct is an alluring mix of heritage and cutting edge development – then rest your head upstairs. Ritz Carlton it may be, but cookie-cutter hotel it is not: as sensitively developed as the unfurling precinct around it, the hotel is as unmistakeably Western Australian as the tuber you’ve just eaten.
Words by Georgia Rickard; published Tuesday 24 December, 2019