Weekend away: Perth perfection

The Thirsty Travellers recently spent our second long weekend together in Perth and absolutely loved it.

While it might seem a bit crazy for Sydneysiders to fly to Perth for a few days, the laid-back city has so much to offer and some great day trips within easy reach.

We combined business with pleasure – a board meeting and an anniversary celebration – and if it hadn’t been for a cancelled flight home, which was a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, it would have been a perfect getaway.

We stayed at the Intercontinental in Perth, which is located in a part of the CBD that has a lovely European feel to it, with quaint little streets and lots of designer boutiques. But it’s also just a few hundred metres to the pedestrian mall if you need to pick up a cheap polo at Target.

It’s a very stylish and luxurious spot to stay, however the Holiday Inn across the road is great if you’re on a budget and also offers offers a barista in the lobby.

We toasted our arrival at the Intercontinental with a beer and a Moscow Mule Spritz in the hotel’s outdoor bar, which was very delicious and refreshing on a balmy Friday evening.

The next morning we headed to a funky café down near the river called La Veen that’s recommended by Qantas flight attendants. Ginger hoovered down smashed avo with beetroot puree and feta on sourdough toast.

She was carb loading before our big drive to see The Pinnacles, which are around a two-hour drive north of the city.

The woman sitting next to us on the plane tried to dissuade us from making the trip north of the city, saying the Pinnacles were disappointing. She suggested we go the Swan River wine region instead.

However, we decided scenery won out over wine and hired a car for the trek. You can read about our desert day trip by clicking here.

The next day was equally fabulous, as we fulfilled Ginger’s fifth anniversary wish to get a selfie with a quokka on Rottnest Island.

Rottnest Island would be up there as one of our top 10 day trips together, it was incredible and we can’t wait to return for a longer visit. But in the interest of keeping this post to a reasonable length, click here to read more.

On Monday, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Mount Street Breakfast Bar, which features inventive cooking and kitchen full of fresh, local ingredients whipped into delicious dishes by – according to the website – “handsome Basque chef Fernando”.

One of Fernando’s popular creations Turkish poached eggs has recently been named as one of the four finalists at the 2019 Australian Eggsellence Awards.

Unfortunately, Ginger chose the butter beans, piquillo pepper, sicilian pork sausage and green ‘all i oli’ with sourdough, which she swears tasted fabulous, but create a five-metre garlic breath exclusion zone around her for the next 36 hours.

Not ideal on a romantic weekend away.

Afterwards, I headed off to a board meeting at the local hospital and Ginger pottered around the shops until it was time for dinner with a few board members at a restaurant called Juniper & Bay in Como.

We had a pre-dinner drink at the bar and the waitress was very startled to hear us talking about Mount Street Breakfast Bar as that’s her second job – the world is too small.

The chef at Juniper & Bay is a jovial German bloke who popped behind the bar to serve us beers with very impressive heads on them.

The restaurant was great value at $59 for three courses. Ginger had Bouillabaisse-Style Fish Soup with Grilled Scallops, Croutons & Rouille, Roast Duck in Port & Prune Jus with Red Cabbage and Dumpling and Crème Brulee.

I had Crumbed Prawns with Sweet Corn Puree – Tomato Pesto – Mustard Sorbet, Beef Fillet Steak under Green Peppercorn Crust with Smoked Cauliflower, Grilled Mushrooms & Spring Onions and Beetroot Puree, and I forget what else as there was also quite a bit of wine involved.

We spent the next morning on a Captain Cook Cruise down the Swan River with every pensioner tourist in Perth. We were about to write it off as a a little boring when dolphins decided to frolic alongside the boat, which was glorious and a wonderful way to finish the trip.

An hour after disembarking, we headed to the airport, where Ginger tried her first-ever pink pinot grigio in the business lounge while inhaling free pepperoni pizza. Then our flight was cancelled.

We spent the next few hours stuck in endless queues, before being given free cab rides to the Hotel Ingot for the night, plus a couple of dinner vouchers.

We ate steak and chips in the hotel bar and paid for a few enormous glasses of $8 wine beside its electric blue pool (as the vouchers are strictly for non alcoholic beverages), as panicked staff struggling to handle hundreds of unexpected guests.

And then we were up bright and early the next morning for our second attempt at getting home. Due to the time difference we finally tottered through our respective front doors around 6.30pm that night.

But it hasn’t put us off, we can’t wait to get back to Perth and those cute quokkas.

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