Tag Archives: perth

ElizabethQuayPerth

How Perth got cool: article for Rough Guides

I’ve been visiting Perth for many years and, yes, it did used to live up to its Dullsville name.

But not any more. On my most recent visit to Perth I found a hip city shaking off its early-to-bed past and emerging as a city break destination to rival any other in Australia.

My article for Rough Guides introduces the new Perth, one of hip bars, cool restaurants and luxury hotels.

You can also find out more about Perth here.

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Grown Up Guide to Western Australia for High 50

People say that Western Australia is the “real” Australia – and it’s certainly the state I’ve fallen most in love with.

So I was delighted to work with Tourism Western Australia on a project for High 50, putting together a series of articles introducing this fantastic destination’s adventures and vast landscapes to their readers.

Read my articles on the links below.

A thirst for adventure: five top WA adventures

48 hours in Perth

A foodie guide to Margaret River

Marine encounters: from whale sharks to manta rays

Five top treks: from flying across the Kimberley to cycling the Munda Biddi

Itineraries for the perfect trip: 4 days, 7 days and 14 days

A year-round destination: when to visit WA

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Hotel review: Best Western Queens

Location, location, location. What more could you ask for from a hotel? Well, how about an indoor swimming pool? And an on-site restaurant? Perhaps sweeping views over an ancient city?

The Best Western Queens hotel in Perth has all these things – plus an enviable location right next door to the bus station and across the road from the train station.

It is also just a short walk from the city itself, and I spent my days strolling through the parks that hem in this stately ancient city and sitting outside cafes enjoying the sun and the excellent
local produce – soft fruits from Perthshire, seafood from the Scottish isles.

Each time I returned to the hotel my room seemed to expand. I had what amounted to a dressing room, with just the wardrobe and suitcase stand to occupy the floor space, plus a large desk, a separate table and chairs and an armchair, all arranged around the bed.

And then there was that view. Out over the rooftops of Perth towards the hills, seen from three different aspects from my multiple windows.

It tempted me out again and again, but each time I was glad to return, making full use of the swimming pool and the comfortable lounge bar with free wifi.

Yes, location is important, but so too are facilities – and so the Best Western Queens has plenty to offer, whether you’re catching that bus or train or not.

Check out the latest offers from Best Western.

Norfolk Hotel, Fremantle

Staying above a pub may not sound to you like the most glamorous experience – and in many respects you would be right.

Taking a room above a pub often means entering through a back door, passing the kitchen on your way upstairs. It often means a compact room, equipped with just the basics. But it often also means plenty of traditional character, a great central location and friendly service.

This is what a stay at the Norfolk Hotel is all about. We arrived in the afternoon and were checked in to our cosy room with a warm smile. It may not have had a luxurious bathroom or a surfeit of space, but it did have free wifi, a powerful shower, a flatscreen TV and plenty of teabags.

And so we relaxed – for about five minutes. Because we were not in Fremantle to hang around in a hotel room, we were here to explore the town’s famous nightlife, and this was Friday night.

There is no better place to spend a Friday in Fremantle than Little Creatures brewery and so we headed straight for this warehouse building on the waterfront, arriving just in time to see the sun dipping below the horizon – it was beer o’clock. We dined on delicious mussels and kangaroo and knocked back the microbrews until it was time to head back to the hotel, a short walk away in an unbeatable location on South Terrace.

The next morning, that location really came into its own. South Terrace is also called the “Cappuccino Strip” and there are so many bars and cafes along here you could eat in a different place every day for a week. We selected Gino’s, something of an institution in these parts, and ordered eggs benedict and flat whites to enjoy in the sunshine.

Back at the hotel things were just getting started for the day so we took advantage of staying in the heart of the action with a drink in the bar. The wine list at the Norfolk is superb and we relished a cracking Sandalford Estate Chardonnay from Margaret River, just a few hours south. As lunchtime rolled around we found it impossible to leave and so we stayed, sitting out on the terrace to share a seafood plate of scallops, salmon carpaccio, tempura whiting, Szechuan seasoned squid, chilli mussels, prawns, cayenne pepper whitebait and chips. Hours passed as we relaxed in the sunshine, the buzz of Fremantle surrounding us.

Yes, staying above a pub may not be glamorous. But choose the right pub and it can certainly be the right choice.