In May I trekked over to the western state for the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference. Perth was definitely a lovely surprise. A big city with a small town feel, and it had a lot to offer. Granted I did spend most of my time in the Convention Centre, but I did however get a chance to do some exploring before, after and in the evenings. The city itself is so quiet compared to Sydney. Nowhere near as many people and I didn’t see a single traffic jam. Sounds idyllic hey? And it was. The only problem was when heading out on the Saturday night there wasn’t a crowd to follow! Common guys, it’s Saturday night, where are all the people?! In Sydney you’d be pressed to find somewhere without people on a Saturday night. Anyhow, we managed to find some cool trendy places such as The Aviary, Mechanics Institute Bar (both on William St) and a couple of nice restaurants.
The Aviary was a multilevel semi-rooftop bar with slightly overpriced drinks but good food and a cool vibe. Mechanics Institute had a large outdoor balcony area and even provided blankets for those chilly nights exchanging conversation over a few local brews. There was a restaurant down near the ferry terminal called Annalaxmi, an Indian restaurant where the whole place is run by volunteers and there are no set prices for the food. You simply eat what you want from the buffet style serving station and then pay what you think it is worth. Quite a cool concept, delicious food and a great location right on the water. There was a fair bit of construction underway down by the Swan River with plans to build a ‘Circular Quay’ like area, which will be great for this underutilized space.
For accommodation I hired a room with my friend Amelia through Air Bnb, and our host Luke was lovely, had great tips for places to eat and drink in the city and even took us to the jazz club he manages (The Ellington, in Northbridge) one evening. A band from the US was playing and although I don’t know much about jazz music, it was a great evening made even better by the hilarious ‘in the moment’ facials the bass player was pulling.
The Equine Veterinary Association “Equine and Dine” dinner was held at the Stables Bar (how fitting) on Hay St (oh it just gets better), which was also a very cool venue with great canapés. I’m such a sucker for tiny delicious morsels of food.
The Gala Dinner for the conference was Bollywood themed and held at the Convention Centre. The effort the events team went to was phenomenal! Gorgeous decorations, bollywood dancers, henna tattoo artists, tarot card readers and Tania Zaetta, a former Bollywood star, was our MC for the night. The champagne flowed, the food was delicious and the chocolate dessert tower was an absolute treat! We hit the dancefloor with some classic Bollywood moves such as ‘changing the lightbulb’ and ‘patting the dog’. The night continued on to some sort of gay bar with transsexual dancers that looked fabulous. It was somewhere in Northbridge, I couldn’t tell you what it was called but we all had such a fun night dancing in our saris!
On my final day I ventured by train to Freemantle (about 30mins from Perth city). You can also catch the ferry but it was a bit pricey and I was also pressed for time. I loved loved Freemantle. Funky trendy little shops, local designers, cute cafes, gorgeous old buildings, the ocean and it was sunny and warm, so a perfect day really. Such a stark contrast to the city of Perth. I trundled off to the Little Creatures brewery that is right on the water and offers a number of different dining/drinking experiences and also tours of the brewery. I didn’t have time to stay for the tour but managed a beer while relaxing in the sun on the back deck.
Perth, you were a wonderful host. I can’t wait to come back and explore. Rottnest Island, the wine regions and more….