I was in Perth last week to attend Dr Wayne Dyer’s lecture at the I Can Do It! conference. I’ve been exploring his books and CDs for a while, which have been incredibly helpful in my personal self-development. So when I learnt this would be his last public appearance in Australia, I knew this opportunity to hear him live was not to be missed.
The lecture itself was an incredible learning experience and I’ll definitely be working on the principles he covered, which dealt with living your life’s purpose.
During my trip, I took the opportunity to meet up with local food and wine writer Jason Boudville and his partner Bec. We’d been corresponding for some time and it was great to finally meet in person. They’re such beautiful, fun-loving people and an absolute joy to be around.
As it was my first visit to Perth, I also did my share of touristy sightseeing. Perth is an incredibly beautiful city, with its friendly residents, wide avenues, clean streets and efficient public transport. (Did I mention the amazing trains and buses that are safe, on time and incredibly clean? Can we get this in Melbourne? Please?)
While those of us in the eastern states tend to view Perth as a small-town cousin, it’s evident that the mining boom has brought a wave of prosperity to the city. New developments are going on everywhere in the CBD, while a burgeoning café and small-bar culture is evident. I can definitely see Perth begin to rival Melbourne in the café/bar stakes in another couple of years. Lets hope Perth can do so without the London-esque bogan behaviour that’s now rampant in Melbourne’s CBD on Friday and Saturday nights.
On the other hand, the small-town feel was evident when I discovered that nearly everything in the city shuts after 5pm, including most cafés and restaurants. Since I was staying at a CBD hotel, I discovered that my dinner options were quite limited. And even KFC(!) in the city closes at night.
I also found Asian food in Perth to be a hit-and-miss affair. I came across a few places that made decent Asian fare, but found the majority to be 1970s-era chop suey swimming in cornstarch. Quelle horreur! Or, as we’d say in Asia: Ai-yah! Given that Perth has a large Asian community, I have no idea how they put up with such travesties masquerading as Asian cuisine. Perhaps it’s easier to take a 4-hour flight back to the Motherland, where you can get proper laksa at the source.
Thankfully, Perth does have great food, if you know where to look. For instance, I had a tasty gourmet beef burger and fries at Botanical Cafe in Kings Park, one of the best I’ve had anywhere. Jason and Bec also brought me to some great eateries, namely The Bonsai Restaurant & Toast Bistro, which I’ll review in a separate blog post. And the donut made from organic flour I had at Fremantle Markets was worth every calorie.
Good coffee is also fairly easy to find in Perth, which I’ve grown accustomed to since moving to Melbourne. Most of the coffees I ordered in cafés arrived with varying degrees of latte art, and it’s always a good sign when the baristas take pride in their work.
In all, Perth is a great destination for a short getaway and I highly recommend it. I didn’t get around to exploring the wine regions of Swan Valley and Margaret River, but they’re definitely on my list of holiday destinations. I would suggest planning ahead with restaurants and cafés to ensure a consistent dining experience, but otherwise it’s one of those cities you can land in and explore at your leisure.
Oh, and the weather there is great too. Unless you’re a Melburnian like me who tends to bring the weather with you.