Think You Know Perth? Think Again

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Apr 30, 2018

by AMY RICHARDSON, Writer

In partnership with Tourism WA

In case you haven’t heard, Perth is having a moment. From its shapeshifting riverscape, which curls around a brand-new sports stadium and Elizabeth Quay, to a multitude of cultural and hospitality hubs – many in revitalised heritage buildings – the city is changing so rapidly it’s hard even for locals to keep up. Case in point: nine hotels have opened in the past year and 10 more are scheduled by the end of 2020. But there’s more than just a makeover afoot. The small-bar scene is pumping, laneway art is blooming and some of the country’s most talented chefs are upping sticks to go west. Think you know Perth? It might be time for another look.

Eat

Breakfast at Hampton & Maley

Carolynne and Hadleigh Troy’s Restaurant Amusé once set the benchmark for fine dining in Perth. Now their new Victoria Park café, Hampton & Maley, is doing the same for casual eating. The sleek concrete-and-wood décor matches the imaginatively modern menu: blue swimmer crab omelettes and bowls of fluffy jasmine rice cream topped with sorbet and fruit. 

Lunch at Henry Summer

The latest venue from Clint Nolan, who’s done more than anyone else to take Perth to the next level, Henry Summer draws the shiny set come cocktail hour. But the bright and breezy fit-out – all pastel-pretty pinks and greens, rattan furniture and trailing plants – and the solid food menu make it a top choice for lunch, too. Seafood, hearty salads and mains such as chimichurri-soaked beef are the heroes. 

Dinner at Garum

Perth is firmly on the radar of celebrity chefs these days, with Guy Grossi the latest to cross the Nullarbor. His new eatery, Garum, is the crown jewel of the hospitality offerings at Hibernian Place in East Perth. Roman cuisine – modern and ancient – informs the menu so loosen your belt for a feast of pastas, including carbonara and all’Amatriciana, alongside meaty highlights such as suckling lamb and saltimbocca.

Stay

InterContinental

It’s hard to beat the location of InterContinental Perth City Centre, which is adjacent to trendy King Street, but its biggest drawcards are within: elegant rooms, a collection of almost 700 works by Western Australia’s leading artists and two of the best new places to eat in town, Spanish grill room Ascua and tapas restaurant Heno & Rey.

The Westin Perth

This just-opened property by the Starwood group offers some of the most luxurious rooms in Perth, with rain showers, espresso machines, 250-thread-count linen and floor-to-ceiling windows. The spa is operated by local pamper purveyors Bodhi J, plus there’s a large workout centre and infinity swimming pool. The Hibernian Place complex, which also houses Hadiqa rooftop bar and Garum restaurant, is proof that the formerly overlooked east end is now open for business.

Explore

Crowd-pleaser

Perth’s no stranger to shiny new developments but few compare to Optus Stadium, perched like a futuristic bird’s nest on the Burswood Peninsula. A feat of engineering built from anodised aluminium and more than 21 Olympic-pool-sized loads of concrete, the stadium incorporates 60,000 seats, 51 food outlets, two 340-square-metre screens (the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere) and exceptional views of the city. Many argue that its features make it the best stadium in Australia. Make up your own mind on one of the four daily guided tours on which you can visit spaces normally out of bounds for punters, such as the players’ change rooms, the coach boxes and VIP areas. You can also experience the stadium in full throttle during an AFL match. Round things off with a bite and a beverage at The Camfield next door; the sleek venue features six bars, an onsite microbrewery and many vantage points from which to admire its slick neighbour.

Themed walks

Did you know that Perth has more restaurants per capita than any other capital city in Australia? That’s just one of the surprising facts you’ll hear on a Two Feet & a Heartbeat walking tour – the passionate guides love to debunk preconceptions. Itineraries in the city and Fremantle are built around themes such as progressive dinners, the best small bars and coffee shops, hidden laneways, street art and sordid convict history. Owners Ryan Mossny and Ryan Zaknich recently added three new tours to their stable: a fromage appreciation wander; cocktail sampling; and an exploration of Kings Park.

SEE ALSO: A Weekend Escape to Perth