Category Archives: Perth

Taylor’s Art and Coffee House, Swan Valley, Perth, Western Australia

Well here is a quirky, interesting and warm and friendly venue for eats, nostalgia, sculptures, prints, and art both new and old. The yard is filled with relics of the past and objects of great importance once – like a typesetting machine, an old till, a sculpture full of plastic from the sea. There is machinery so big, it makes one wonder how it was put where it was.

We usually book, in the winter, near the very efficient and comforting pot belly style firebox.

The whole place is interesting to look at and the staff are friendly, polite and well trained.

The food is reliable and tasty. We had the ‘carnivore’ this time and shared it for $23.90 Good value for two – plus a lovely pot of tea for two.

Piano books, high chairs, cushions and toys – and an empty birdcage.

Once I was there when there was an Ella Fitzgerald fan, playing some of her music which was a wonderful sound to listen to during our meal.

Silver coated nature and additions
Coffee, local honey and tea from Toodyay!

Taylor’s has been there awhile and its owner and namesake Jude Taylor is renowned for her artwork depicting Western Australian wildflowers.

There are pictures, cards, clothes and other nick knacks laid out around the old house.

There are some wonderfully quirky things at Taylors, like the water tank around one of the tables, and the lovely door handle on the outside door where the toilets are.

Worth a visit if you are in the Swan Valley, and there is Whistler’s Chocolates next door. Also, the wineries for which the Swan Valley is famous, in Western Australia.

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Rottnest Island; off the coast of Western Australia

Day 1 & 2

This place has many fond memories for me. I have not been as often as the rest of my family but the times I come, have created gentle, happy memories which bring a smile to my face to remember.

The little furry marsupials which inhabit the island and for which it is famous, are lovely, quiet little creatures, who attract all comers.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quokka

Quokka: Marsupials – stand about 20cms high.

Rottnest island is not large – Rottnest Island (known as Wadjemup to the local Noongar people, and otherwise colloquially known as Rotto) is an island off the coast of Western Australia, located 18 kilometres (11 mi) west of Fremantle. A sandy, low-lying island formed on a base of aeolianite limestone, Rottnest is an A-class reserve, the highest level of protection afforded to public land. Together with Garden Island, Rottnest Island is a remnant of Pleistocene dune ridges.


The life here is slow and peaceful. There are plenty of places to eat and a day trip really doesn’t cut it. You should stay for a few days and really enjoy the peace and quiet. You cannot drive cars or other vehicles here. The only vehicles here are those used for work or the bus transport – The Explorer – around the island. You can get a hop on and hop off  bus pass which does a continual loop all day from 8:30am until the last route @ 3:00pm returning at 4:00pm. There is a Shuttle that goes to and from accommodation on the other side of the island and to the Airport, and Kingston Barracks. You can drive ‘gophers’ and segways on tours. However, most enjoy the bicycles available for hire. Or if you’re a local you can bring your own bike to the island. Bikes for hire come in a range of styles. Electric. Manual. All are solid well made bikes which can handle the use they get. It’s a very slick and easy system to hire your bike from #pedal&flipper.


There is a plethora of birdlife on the island and due to the 15,000 visitors who come each year, they are not flighty and can be observed or photographed easily.

Pied Oystercatcher

Life on the island is wonderful, mostly. During the day when the ‘day trippers ‘ arrive there is a growth in the population and it is not all good. Some of the population is uneducated when it comes to a Class A Reserve. The animals here need to be left alone and observed. There is an on the spot fine of $150 fine for feeding the quokka. I would love to see that enforced.

There are a lot of different species of birds here and I will add some photos when I have taken them.

There is a ‘settlement’ with a bakery, pizza shop, subway and clothing. There are historic buildings, some built by prisoners held here and a museum housing the historic records of the island.

The #Rottnest_Bakery is renowned and is often the first place people go on arrival.

There are several eateries, like Dome, and the Rottnest Hotel or pub is affectionately called the #Quokka’s_Arms.

The outdoor eating area of the Quokka’s Arms, – photo effect – painting

We ate at Rottnest Hotel yesterday and I had a pumpkin and beetroot salad with goat curd and pepitas. It really was lovely. There was a lot of spinach and rocket but the rest with quinoa on the pumpkin was very nice. Also a Lime and Soda – very refreshing.

Pumpkin and beetroot salad with goat curd.

One word of warning for those eating outside at the pub, Seagulls! They will go for your food at the most unexpected moments. It seems they love it when you look at your phone – they swoop and steal any food they can. Chips are a favourite. Also its a good idea to tell the wait staff when you are leaving, because the birds attack as you leave. We covered our leftovers with napkins and put a couple of glasses down on top – so they weren’t knocked over. Oops, left a glass standing up and it crashed to the ground when the birds arrived – we kept walking. There was nothing we could do.

My suggestion to management are buttons, blue tooth, battery operated – whatever – on the tables with corresponding numbered lights on a display board, where the staff are, and when you are leaving you push the button – light comes on – staff come to your table and collect plates etc to avoid bird breakages.

The local Pizza joint is Frankie’s on Rotto. Haven’t been there but it is well presented and looks spacious and inviting.

The pizza place, Frankie’s on Rotto

There are all sorts of choices, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options at The Lane Cafe.

Another is Geordies Cafe and Art Gallery, I’m hoping we can go there for breakfast tomorrow. It is rated 3rd on Trip Advisor for restaurants on Rotto.

The weather has been great so far. Predicted rain today, it came and went very quickly. Yesterday was 21C and sunny. Gorgeous.

The Ferry ride over was with Rottnest Express – excellent – no dramas – 30mins. Amazing.

Rotto Express Ferries passing.

They deliver your luggage to your door too. We arrived before the cottages were available so went straight to the pub for lunch. I collected a very cool electric bike and rode down to the accommodation centre to collect the keys.

View from our balcony – looking south towards the Thompson Bay Jetty
Our home- front door and courtyard.
The view from the kitchen window looking south

Once we had moved into our accommodation – we realised we were short two towels. So I jumped on my bike and rode back to get some. It is so quick with the ‘assisted’ control.

My magnificent chariot

As I was about to return with towels in a bag, I moved the gear lever on my bike and the chain dropped off – it may have been on the way down but the pedal just went round and it had come adrift. So I slowly backed it back to release the chain. That did not happen so I parked, and fiddled and eventually released the stuck chain and refitted it onto the large front sprocket from whence it had come. But, as a result of my being so capable, my hands and fingers were covered in grease. So I returned to the accommodation centre (Rottnest Island Accommodation) and as I walked into the reception area I raised my hands, asking for tissues or something to use to wipe off the excess oil.

Out came the paper towels and later some hand sanitiser which cleans quite efficiently. The lovely staff at the RIA were brilliant. None thought it was strange that a woman my age would be replacing a chain on a bike.They must meet a lot of very capable women on this island.


Went for a few walks yesterday with camera in hand and found some amazing scenes of tranquility and feverish foraging.

Thompson Bay at dusk
Thompson Bay looking north east
One of the interesting visitors, out for a free feed.
Black ducks on water’s edge, Thompson Bay
Spinifex growing on the beach
Paths to follow
Quokka – foraging in the early evening, near the beach
Beautiful spinifex – love the texture and the patterns
Thompson Bay, late afternoon
A view from the road
Another view from the same road
A place to enjoy the companionable silence

Swell: For breakfast in Perth. Mullaloo Beach

Today was a ‘wild and woolly’ day. The sea was rough and the wind strong, blustery and constant. It made standing on the beach hard for taking photographs.

The breakfast was great. The outside section of the restaurant was closed today, and it looked like a terrible move financially. The manager/owner turned away about 8 potential tables while we were there, due to the space not being available.

The food was good, the service could have been a little better but on the whole all our needs were met. We chose this particular restaurant because it was in our Entertainment Book – which is a book of discounts. The choice was a good one.

The prices were good, and the food tasty. The triangular toast was fun and a novelty. The hash browns were soft mashed almost potato inside long triangular wedges. Now, I love potato any way you want to cook it, but those hash browns were nice, but not what I call a hash brown or a potato rösti.

This is the hash brown. We shared between two THE Swell breakfast, below. Plenty each.

The venue was new, clean and attractive.

I ordered a black tea and this time, that’s what I got. I would say 80% of the time I get milk too. Now, I’m ok with drinking milk, on its own, but I don’t have it in my tea. It would be good if all places could ‘hear’ the order and bring what has been asked for the way Swell did today.

#Globe_Coffee_House_Patisserie and Restaurant

Globe Coffee House Patisserie & Restaurant
Globe Coffee House Patisserie & Restaurant
Had lunch here, with two of my workmates and one beautiful 4 year old. He wasn’t some random child, he belonged to one of my people.

While I waited for my mates to arrive, I set about writing – as I do – about thoughts that whirl through my head.

Here’s what I wrote today:

The crisp air bites at my ears as I cross the road, looking towards my destination but completely missing the crosswalk at my feet. I wondered why that car had stopped for me.

Sometimes, I think I am so in charge of my life and I am enjoying my freedom, but I am apparently away with the fairies at times. Ah well, ’tis real life n’est pas? Pretentious? Not at all. Everyone understands the context, if not the words. The rhetorical question, oft used to pique the reader’s interest. I am currently 8% fluent in French, and my phone app encourages me to add it to my LinkedIn profile. Now, that would be pretentious. How could 8% fluency be an asset in my employment. I am certainly aware of my increased understanding of the language but I am not sure if that would ‘translate’ into a useful addition to my resume.

Just received an email with a list of 14 foods that boost my thyroid. Oh, the constant desire to lose weight, manage weight, spend money on losing weight etc etc.

The venue I am in now is not air tight but not unpleasant. I have covered my bases with four layers of clothing and a scarf. L’ escarp. I think that is the word. Asked a guy in a shop in Paris what the word was and he said ‘escarper’ but that was just the pronunciation. He didn’t seem fazed by my question. I did buy a lovely jumper in Paris. (Made in Bangladesh and its washing instructions were a plastic book attached onto side of the jumper.) So fine and soft and I tried on some pants but nothing was quite right. The shop assistants were not around so I had to make all my rash decisions alone.

The day was just perfect, and I was swayed by the romance of just being in Paris. I loved it and I want to go back and spend more time in France in general.

 

 

 

 

Mandurah – Christmas Lights Cruise

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Christmas Lights to the Max!!!                                                                                                                                         Came to Mandurah this afternoon and checked into the lov

Came to Mandurah this afternoon and checked into the lovely Sebel Hotel. The views from our window are watery and interesting

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The view from the Sebel across the marina

The lights on the canals threw up some wonderful images from the water and the houses were ornate, grotesque, obscene and outrageous, oh, and very colourful.

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The last three images were me attempting stuff when my camera was not sure what to do.  They look fantastic, I think.

Back home – Perth, Western Australia; The Hardware Store – Brighton Cafe and Eatery

The Hardware Store is one of my favourite places to eat.  I have not had an evening meal here but have covered most others several times.image

The vibe here is contemporary and trendy.  Not pretentious but fun.  The water jugs are watering cans. The cutlery is housed in toolboxes, and the sauces in an old fruit box.  The staff are young and friendly and do their job well.  The food is delicious and brought quickly and with a flair for decoration.  The fresh fruit juices are served in the currently fashionable jars with handles.

The building is part of a group of shops which has been in Brighton Road Scarborough for probably more than 50 years.  This particular space was – along with the now Patisserie next door, a hardware store for all of that time before it became a cafe.

It was a terrific place with the owner, knowledgeable and with all the stock required.  You could come to him with a nail, screw or piece of tubing and he would say – which tray it was in or take you to it.  The doorway which has now been bricked up, took you through to the paint section.  The original floor has been covered by aged wooden floorboards which rises up in a ramp at the doorway beside two walls covered with white tiles – the style (subway tiles).

The tables are too high, I always get sore shoulders writing here, and I like to write here.  There are pallets on top of regular tables, with a sheet of glass on top.  They look great, but they are too high. In between the wood panels of the pallet the menus are stored.

The choices are fresh and interesting.  My favourite is the smashed avocado.  Will see if I can get it for lunch today.  Fingers crossed. But if that is not available the Zucchini and Sweet corn Fritters are beautiful – it’s the tomato salsa that makes that dish.