|Lifeguard’s hangout – Cottesloe Beach|
Fremantle in Western Australia is fast making a name for itself as a very cool destination with lots going on, and an up and coming restaurant and arts scene. A great way to see this part of the world is on the back of a motor trike. You can spin up the gorgeous Indian Ocean coast on the back of a Swan Valley Rewaco Bom Trike (it’s a German make but you can buy one from an outlet in Essex if you fancy it) and take in the city of Perth and the famous King’s Park. Another popular route is along the famous Swan Valley where you can stop en route to sample the local wines and beers at the numerous wineries and artisan food and drink outlets.
Swan Valley trikes is run by Pete Barnfield who will come and pick you up and take you home again on the back of his super comfortable mega vehicle. Pete is a mine of information about the local area, and sitting up there on my wide leather seat spinning down the highway, surveying the landscape, I felt rather like the Queen of Sheba. Of course travelling this way is greatly enhanced by the fact that the weather is generally 30 plus degrees centigrade, it would not be half so much fun in the UK where you need to dress like a mummy before you get on a motorbike of any description.
|The iconic dingo flour mill|
Pete drove me along the highway past the famous Dingo Flour building, and we stopped at the postcard pretty Cottesloe beach, where the annual seaside sculptures were on show. We rode all around the bay of Perth which is set on a series of lagoons, some of the city is actuallybuilt on reclaimed swamp land. The blue blue water is dotted with white sea going craft – Perth has a high level of boat ownership.
We drove through Kings’ Park where we sniffed the leaves of the lemon gum tree, and paused to take in the view out over the bay at the posh suburb of Peppermint Grove. Ask about the twilight tours as well – the sunset here is legendary.
|Pete and his Swan Valley Trike|
Another super fun thing to do is the Perth Escape Hunt experience. These interactive games are all the rage now in every city, and the one in Freo gives you quite a few scenarios to choose from. You get sixty minutes to solve the clues in room in order to escape from a tricky situation or to solve a mystery in a limited time. There are five rooms in Freo. It’s excellent entertainment and gets you to use your brain too. These games are also very popular for corporate events as well as for groups of friends. In Fremantle the rooms are Murder in the Tavern.
“Bob was a frequent visitor to the local tavern. One night disaster struck and Bob was murdered in the tavern. You are famous London detectives and have one hour to solve the crime and catch your boat back to London. There are many suspects and the clock is ticking…are you up to the challenge?”
Escape from the mine is another one and we tried the ‘Poisoning in the Cafe’ room where you were looking for an antidote to a mysterious poisoning of a famous Australian cricket player with sixty minutes before it would be all too late!
|Oliver always has a clue!|
It does help if you have someone on your team with a logical mind and who is good at cracking codes. While in the room, faced with multiple conundrums, you need to think outside of the box, to mix a few metaphors.We loved it, but Oliver, the owner, did have to help us out a bit which he did very well without making us feel completely dim! I’m sure they get easier the more you do, just don’t forget to look under the table cloth. Check out the options at Perth Escape Hunt
|We’re on the case!|
Fremantle is becoming a real foodie destination too and we tried out a mini Food Loose tour with resident Freo foodie expert Justin. Justin has years of experience working in the hospitality and catering industries and was inspired to set up Food Loose in Perth by a food tour he tried in New York in 2014. Things are really taking off in the culinary department in Perth and Fremantle and Justin specialises in knowing just where the best eateries are, sometimes a little off the beaten track. He only takes you to local independent restaurants and ones which tend to use mainly fresh local produce. It really is a labour of love and Justin is passionate about showcasing the world class food and beverage scene here. You get to explore the sounds and tastes of the city and interact with your guide and fellow Food Loosers.We ate the best sushi I have ever had at The Modern Eatery in Fremantle. We tried the Kamikaze which was a superb prawn,crab and avocado creation and the salmon Oshi beautifully prepared and slightly seared by a blow torch, which was totally delicious!
|Justin tries some Kamikaze sushi|
We moved onto the next eaterie. The Manuka wood fire kitchen in Fremantle, which champions unsurpisingly, cooking things in a woodfire oven. Manuka is the brain child of Kenny from New Zealand who loves his wood fire oven and specialises in making local produce the centre of the dish. He changes the menu regularly and we tried his signature dish of wood grilled chicken thighs with pickled red cabbage and miso sauce, which won best dish at the Taste of Perth festival this year.
|Award winning wood roasted chicken|
I particularly liked the grilled plums with Feta cheese and quinoa. This is great fresh food in unpretentious relaxed surroundings. Justin describes the aim of the experience as conversational dining, breaking down the bar/restaurant barrier. Check out the options for different themed Food Loose tours here Food Loose Tours.
|Wood fired wonders at Manuka|
There’s so much to do in fabulous Freo you will be spoiled for choice – but don’t forget to fit in a trip to the beach!