Where to shop in Northbridge

Northbridge is home to some of the most unique and independent shops and boutiques in Perth, just ask any of the friendly locals. They carry everything from curated traveller's trinkets to clothing by indie designers. Vibrant, colourful and full of personality, here is a list of the best shops in the neighbourhood.

Getting there

Northbridge is separated from the Perth Central Business District and Perth City by the Fremantle and Midland train lines. It can be reached with a short walk over the horseshoe bridge from Wellington Street across to Roe Street. A footbridge linking Forrest Chase to the Perth Station is another avenue of exploration, providing a more artistic route as it leads on to the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Perth Cultural Centre, one of the major art hubs in WA.

The closest bus station is the Perth Busport which can be entered at King Street, Queen Street or Yagan Square and will bring you right to the Northbridge doorstep - Roe Street. If travelling by train, Perth Station is the best stop to alight from.

Northside Books

Discover a range of titles spanning arts, cooking, philosophy, fiction, travel and history at Northside Books. Go on adventures with characters and settle into a world other than your own. There are books for readers young and old, including comic books, graphic novels and biographies. 

A visit to Northside Books comes with its perks, as gelato from neighbouring gelato parlour Chi Cho Gelato is also welcome. If books weren't enough, you can purchase board games, occasion cards and journals. Pull up a seat and get comfortable with a best seller or ask the staff for some recommendations.

Northside books perth iamsuanlee
Northside books perth iamsuanlee
Northside books perth iamsuanlee

Beans & Bunches

Beans & Bunches is tucked away in William Arcade. The store offers fresh and seasonal blooms in a relaxed and natural setting. Owner Stacey, is a dedicated and experienced florist, who draws on her organic aesthetic and appreciation for natural beauty as the basis for her arrangements.

When Stacey isn't handpicking the freshest botanical materials for her clients, she can be found in her store preparing centrepieces for corporate events, bespoke bouquets and flower crowns for garden weddings. Beans & Bunches also offer private lessons and run a series of floral workshops where you can learn how to make flower crowns, create beautiful arrangements and discover the principles of floral design. 

Co-located with Beans & Bunches is Safari Record Shack which is run by Stacey’s husband John and looked after by their border collie named Bobby. Call in if you want to browse some records or if you're seeking to buy your favourite band's album on vinyl. The only issue is resisting the need to purchase any of the beautiful stems on show.

beans & bunches perth iamsuanlee
beans & bunches perth iamsuanlee
beans & bunches perth iamsuanlee

Eillo

Eillo is an airy and bright concept store selling homewares and coffee. This store of curated goods is white, bright and minimalistic. You'll find everything here for the on-trend homewares enthusiast, such as marble clocks, nordic inspired crockery, simple stationary and even body scrubs. 

Eillo also stock the Palm Beach Collection, an Australian run business that make a series of fragrances, hand-poured scented candles and reed diffusers that will remind you of the Aussie coast.

To truly feel at home, order a cup of coffee and head to the back of the store where you'll find a private indoor space and a court yard. Eillo support and stock Perth-based Micrology Coffee Roasters and serve coffee in sizes "Tiny" ($3.00 AUD) through to "Bloody Big" ($5.00 AUD). Choose from a selection of savoury toasties, muffins and croissants before heading to the courtyard outside to soak up the sunshine.

eillo perth iamsuanlee
eillo perth iamsuanlee
eillo perth iamsuanlee

Ware on William

Ware is a little shop along William Street that stocks a range of quirky and unique gifts, personal accessories and homewares for all ages and occasions. It's a treasure trove of urban and eclectic style. 

Here you'll find kids toys, stationary and journals, bags and dresses. The good old whoopee cushion makes an appearance for the young at heart. And for the slightly more sensible, you can purchase calendars and cook books.

With its rare finds and contemporary goods, it's a great store for the collectors and globe trotters. The Dandy Barber is also located at the back of the shop, cutting and trimming away. Not a bad place to go if you’re in need of a quick fix me up!

ware on william perth iamsuanlee
ware on william perth iamsuanlee
ware on william perth iamsuanlee

Ruck Rover General Store

Ruck Rover General Store is full of personality. It's a bright and colourful shop filled with vintage inspired pieces for women. That's not to say there isn't anything for the average Joe, as the store also stocks odd socks and graphic tees, in addition to colourful clothes for children.

Ruck Rover proudly support small labels and independent designers. They also have a penchant for indie clothes, patterns and general cuteness.Flip through Australian magazines and browse occasion cards designed by local artists and printed by independently run Western Australian print shops like the Whiteman Park Print Shop. 

You can get a good feel for their stock in their online store, but I find rifling through the racks is always preferable!

ruck rover perth iamsuanlee
ruck rover perth iamsuanlee
ruck rover perth iamsuanlee

Periscope Clothing

A place doesn't win awards for no reason. Periscope Clothing has made a deep impact on the Perth Fashion Community as an independent womenswear clothing, accessories and shoe boutique. Each piece is carefully considered - be they lightweight summery styles or basic wardrobe staples. Periscope also stock fair trade fashion and manage to strike a balanced and unique approach to classic and modern style.

ruck rover perth iamsuanlee
periscope perth iamsuanlee
periscope perth iamsuanlee

The Bronze Snake Shop

The Bronze Snake Shop is hard to miss when walking down William Street. The outside is covered with emerald green tiling and the inside has an assortment of clothes for men and women.

The store was originally established in Melbourne in 2006 and has since become a store of Australian street style staples. If you don't already have a solid collection of hats, you may do some serious damage at Bronze Snake Shop. The items stocked are not only stylish but also sell at a fair price point.

bronze snake shop perth iamsuanlee
bronze snake shop perth iamsuanlee
bronze snake shop perth iamsuanlee

The Butcher Shop

Remember to support your local butcher and visit The Butcher Shop. The name is a little misleading as The Butcher Shop doesn't stock meat. It does however, stock a solid selection of Herschel backpacks, clothes for men as well as cards and art supplies. 

The store also stock graphic design magazines complete with works from up-and-coming designers. It's the perfect store for creative types and the space works to engage local artists and independent Australian designers. You can purchase spray cans, paint and copic markers in an array of colours for those who are a little more artsy.

the butcher shop perth iamsuanlee
bronze snake shop perth iamsuanlee
butcher shop perth iamsuanlee

William Street Cycle Co

Bicycles and coffee? Who would have thought it. Well the brains at William Street Cycle Co certainly did. They are exclusive Perth stockists to the beautiful Tokyo Bike and Chapelli Vintage in an assortment of colours. You can grab yourself a helmet, canvas rucksack or of course, a new urban steed.

While the focus is obviously on the bicycles you’ll also have an excuse to peruse a small selection of baked goods as the William Street Cycle Co houses a small cafe at the back. We're talking donuts, gluten free cakes and toasted sandwiches. Fiori coffee is also served up here, so don't be afraid to pop in, even if it's for a cup of coffee.

william street cycle co
william street cycle co
william street cycle co

William Topp

William Topp has operated for nine years at the Top of William Street - hence the name. This charming store stocks vintage goods, artisanal homewares and other bits and bobs. There’s something for everyone here. They even stock practical and well designed household goods for the kitchen and bathroom, including brushes, scissors, tableware and tools. 

William Topp specialises in a curated collection of beautiful things and is a culmination of old and new, featuring handmade and handpicked pieces. It's a perfect place to visit when challenged with the prospect of gift giving, as owner Kate is more than happy to meet the challenge. While the store has a sign hanging in it saying it’s "a large fancy room filled with crap" it’s far from it and is worth a visit.

william topp
william topp
william topp

Beau est Mien

Beau est Mien is a treasured shop and printmaking studio, frequented by an array of members of the artistic community and those with a penchant for beauty. It translates to "Beautiful is mine". Perfect for the maker or the art admirer, this bright, pastel-hued boutique and studio stocks products from across the world.

It's here where you will find a selection of goods designed and illustrated by store founder and artist Magali. The lovely store manager and equally talented artist Alina will be more than happy to help you in your choice of artwork. 

Enroll yourself in one of their exposure screen printing classes, or their travel inspired dry point and etching workshop. Have one of your own photographs turned into art and take home a little piece of Perth with you.

beau est mien perth iamsuanlee
beau est mien perth iamsuanlee
beau est mien perth iamsuanlee

Discovering the Margaret River Region

This article originally appeared on Townske and was published on Australia.Com, the official tourism website for Australia!

Escape Perth for a few days and head down to the Margaret River region

Just a three-hour drive south of Perth, the Margaret River region has some of the most varied scenery in Australia. This region receives approximately fifteen hours of sunshine during the summer, and while this gives you plenty of opportunities to work on your tan, it also gives you more hours in the day to explore, shop, eat and drink. A trip to the Margaret River region promises gourmet food, unspoilt beaches, friendly locals and stunning scenery. You can stock up on cheese and wine, go fruit picking, truffle hunting and visit a farm and harvest some local ingredients. Alternatively, if you're the more adventurous type, you can ride shotgun in a helicopter, go horseback riding in the countryside or even take a selfie with a kangaroo.

Getting there

For a truly local experience, hire a car and bring along your best road trip playlist. Take the Kwinana Freeway from Perth and make your way to Forrest Highway. Bunbury is the perfect pit-stop to stretch your legs and have a bite to eat. Once you’re ready, follow the signs and continue via Bussell Highway.

Take a leisurely detour through the Ludlow Tuart Forest road, just north of Busselton. It’s the last pure tuart forest in the world. Once you’ve passed through the trees, keep your eyes peeled for Busselton, as it marks the gateway to the Margaret River Region.

If you would prefer to be driven around, the South West Coach Lines depart daily from Elizabeth Quay Bus Port, and Perth Airport. Alternatively, you can take the train by purchasing a one-way or return ticket with Transwa. Find out more

Mile End Glamping

Mile End Glamping

Choose to stay in a two-story beach house, rent a caravan or try glamorous camping (glamping). Mile End Glamping in Yelverton offers beautiful domes for you to spend your mornings and nights in.

The elevated domes are lovingly furnished and are completed with a full kitchen, bed, washing machine, bathroom, spa, barbeque and even a dishwasher. Enjoy the sunset with a glass of wine or read a book in the spa.

Meelup Beach

Meelup Beach is known for its turquoise water and perfect swimming conditions. Natural bushland and sand dunes surround Meelup Beach, offering the best of both land and sea. You can walk along the coastal trail at Meelup Park or even rent a bicycle from Dunsborough Bike Shed to get around faster.

Geographe Bay, Peaceful Bay, Prevelly Beach, Gnarabup Beach, Smiths Beach and Bunker Beach are also ideal locations for swimming, snorkelling and long walks.The region has more than enough coastline so the beaches are never too crowded. You will always have uninterrupted views of the sea.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

Panoramic views will welcome you at the top of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta. The tallest mainland lighthouse in Australia has its perks, providing the best place to whale watch from May to September. Visit just before sundown to be rewarded with a spectacular sunset over the horizon, where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.

Canal Rocks

Canal Rocks in Yallingup is an unusual geological feature, offering rock climbing of a slightly different fashion. Just don’t get distracted by the waves crashing against the unique granite rocks. Spend your time searching for hermit crabs around the rocks or brightly coloured starfish in the rock pools. A narrow timber bridge links one side to the other and is a great spot for photos.

Also located in the Yallingup area is a rock pool known to a select few as the Natural Spa. A series of rock formations separates the natural water reserve from the ocean, allowing the waves to flow into the pool in a way that resembles a waterfall. To get there, head to Wyadup Road and venture left at the car park. Continue left and climb over the rocks and you’ll find it on the right. Be aware that signage to the Natural Spa is limited as it is a truly local secret.

Eagle bay brewing company

Eagle Bay Brewing Company

For a crisp craft beer or a refreshing cider, Eagle Bay Brewing Company has you covered. But that is not all that makes the Eagle Bay Brewing Company special. This charming family owned microbrewery, is also a restaurant and vineyard that often hosts beautiful wedding receptions. There is a laid-back vibe to this venue but the service is still fantastic.

All food is cooked fresh to order. The classic wood fired pizza works a treat. The steak sandwich is tasty and the unpretentious beer battered fish and chips make for a delicious choice. As for drinks? Well…as per the Eagle Bay Brewing Company motto: “Life is short, drink craft beer”.

Not far from the brewery are a few other alternatives for lunch. If you're after a meal with a beach view, then enjoy the quality produce at Bunkers Beach Café. Also, not too far away is, Morrie’s Anytime, which also offers a delicious and casual bite to eat. The best bread is found at the Yallingup Woodfired Bakery. Dedicated locals wake up at 4am to purchase freshly baked bread straight out of the oven, after all, it’s best enjoyed warm.

Aravina Estate

Want something more upscale? Wander through Aravina Estate’s grounds and delight yourself in a two or three-course menu. The estate’s team of chefs create seasonal menus using the finest ingredients sourced within the region. The Margaret River region is synonymous with good food for a reason.

You’re almost going to need a second stomach dedicated for the desserts. Try the apricot parfait with lemon curd and almond streusel, the glazed chocolate domes filled with liquid strawberry centres or the white peach sorbet with honey cremeux and a coconut financier. Add the option of matching the desserts with a delicious Rosé, Shiraz or Semillon.

Wandering through the grounds is an experience in itself. Its green gardens, vineyard, vegetable patches and children’s playground are enough to keep everyone occupied. There's even something for car fans too, a sports car gallery housing the likes of a 1984 Porsche 924 Carrera GT and 1957 Mercedes 190 SL, is just a stroll away.

Cape Naturaliste

A magnet for view chasers, Cape Naturaliste offers walking trails of various lengths and difficulty levels. Wear sneakers for this activity. Western Australia has a plethora of wildflowers and Cape Naturaliste is a prime location for photographing them.

Missed out on the whale watching season at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse? Look out for some along The Whale Lookout Walk, which spans 1.3 kilometres (0.8 miles) and is by far the most popular walking trail at Cape Naturaliste. It’s easy on the legs and offers picturesque views of the dramatic coastline.

As you may have guessed, the Whale Lookout Walk is a prime spot for watching whales migrate through Geographe Bay. You should visit sometime from September through to December. You could even do one better and go on a Whale Watching and Deep Sea Fishing Charter with Legend Charters, for an up-close and personal experience.

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

The Margaret River Chocolate Company takes great pride in perfecting the balance of cocoa, milk and sugar. The company sells chocolate, truffles, chocolate sauce, gift hampers and even body products. There’s also a viewing window to watch the magic happen.

For your tasting pleasure, white, milk and dark chocolate drops are held in large glass bowls throughout the establishment. But here comes the best part, tastings are free and unlimited.

Make sure you save some stomach space as the Providore is located just behind the Chocolate Company. You can fill up on crackers just by sampling the multitude of chutneys, marmalades and vinaigrettes on offer. Take home a little jar of fig chutney, organic olive oil or unprocessed honey as they make for great gifts for friends and family.

Sunflowers animal farm

Sunflowers Animal Farm and Farmstay

Sunflowers Animal Farm is located about six kilometres (3.7 miles) out of the Margaret River town center. If you’d like a taste of farm life, stay on the farm or pay a visit during admission hours (9am – 5pm). If you stay at the farm there are free tractor and pony rides for younger guests.

There are over two hundred animals of thirty different types roaming around the farm. The animals include cows, kangaroos, lambs, emus, ostriches, llamas and even guinea pigs. Try to resist sneaking a fluffy chick home in your pockets.

You can also visit Jester’s Flat Equestrian Farm, located about twenty minutes’ drive from Sunflowers Animal Farm and offers unique and adventurous horse trail rides and tours.

Xanadu Wines

Leeuwin Estate

The Margaret River region plays a big part in putting Western Australia on the wine-making map. Famous for its wine, quality food and concerts, Leeuwin Estate is a must visit at any time of the year.

Behind the doors of the estate sits an award-winning restaurant, art gallery and cellar door. Open daily for lunch and Saturdays for dinner, the Estate has cemented itself as one of the five founding wineries of the region.

There are over a hundred different vineyards to be visited in the Margaret River Region. Rows of grapes stretch for miles, waiting to be harvested, crushed, barrelled and aged. A range of tour companies like Taste the South Tours and McLeod Tours can offer you these experiences. Fill your glass and wander from cellar door to cellar door at Voyager Estate, Xanadu, Vasse Felix, Cullen Wines and Aramia to name a few.

No matter which part of the region you decide to explore, you'll never go hungry or thirsty.

Top Paddock

Top Paddock
Top Paddock

Sweeten the palate and sweeten the soul. Top Paddock is a place where maple syrup oozes from within fluffy pancakes and poached eggs come in pairs on plates. It's where people go for morning fixes and others go for long lunches. Repurposed teacups hang from the ceilings, offering more than just a nice feature. They cast light across an array of cakes, slices and even the difficult to get your hands on croissants from Lune. 

In good Australian fashion, there are more than two barista stations located within the beautifully set up cafe. For that extra coffee kick, you have the option of sitting right next to the the coffee counter while you enjoy a choice of fruit toast, oat porridge, pork belly or chilli scrambled eggs by the sun-lit windows. 

Top Paddock
Top Paddock
Top Paddock
Top Paddock Melbourne

It's even open for weddings and events, and with a spacious and naturalistic decor it somehow makes sense. Lines outside are long but the turn around time is decent, with a maximum wait on a Saturday morning going anywhere between ten to fifteen minutes. If the Melbourne weather is not suffering from its regular mood swings, it's an opportune time to soak up the sun with a take away coffee while you wait. 

What appears to be your usual breakfast suspects - eggs benedict for example, is actually somehow altered in an exciting way. Eggs benedict arrives with poached eggs (of course!) but also with yuzu compressed apple, bacon crumb and pork jowl ($19.50). I am seriously loving this sudden interest in yuzu that has begun to pop up throughout the Australian culinary scene.

Top Paddock Melbourne
Top Paddock

Other interesting menu options include Juniper and lime cured ocean trout, pickled baby beetroots, poached eggs and goats curd ($21.50), of which my mother ordered and thoroughly enjoyed.

The pickled beets looked like shining gems and the potato galettes were thinly sliced layers of carb heaven. The trout was cooked just enough so that it still retained a lush pinkness in the middle. The skin was crispy and the poached eggs exploded in precedented pops of orange across the plate. The potato galette was a fancier and more delicate version of scalloped potatoes and bode well with the rest of the items on the dish, balancing the creaminess of the goats curd and the tangy beetroot. 

Top Paddock Melbourne

As mentioned before, almost everything on the menu comes standard with two poached eggs. How refreshing. After a little encouragement, my brother decided to steer away from the cereal and oats option, challenging a slightly heartier definition of breakfast - that being the pork belly with pickled and burnt onion, apples, poached eggs and fried bread ($21.50). This dish reminded me a little of Christmas, but I suppose that is what is to be expected when pairings of apple and pork play on the tongue.

Top Paddock
Top Paddock Melbourne

Although there are plenty of 'see your cake and eat it too' options, it is far too hard to be able to have the heart to try them, specifically given the fact you're more than likely going to skip over the muffin and go straight to the main stars on the menu.

No matter how determined I was to try out one of their pretty cakes in the windows, my stomach was less than compromising given after one full dish and a few mouthfuls of others, I had absolutely no room to house a further delight. 

The coffee is good, too. Surprised? 

Top Paddock Melbourne

What seems to be a permanent fixture on the menu is the blueberry and ricotta hotcake with berries, maple syrup, seeds and cream ($21.00), with good reason. It's as delicious as it is pretty. I admit I had my suspicions at first, but the hotcake was in no way disappointing. This hotcake is pretty hot stuff and when you have such a winning recipe, you'll keep it and even replicate it at your sister cafes i.e. The Kettle Black. 

The seeds and nuts added texture and crunch and the blueberries were riddled throughout the hot cake as well as on top. You'll find yourself eliciting an "mm" as a deep and earthy maple flavour exudes from the hotcake. I have to say though, this one hotcake is more filling than you would think and I failed to finish a good three spoonfuls of it and the remaining seeds and petals.

It is much more of a cake than a pancake, that is for sure, as it is thick and fluffy. It is also... what's another word for moist... Fresh? Dampish? Dewy? Either way, it is certainly not dry. The flowers are all edible too, of course.

Top Paddock Melbourne
Top Paddock Melbourne
Top Paddock Melbourne

Top Paddock does not disappoint. The hype is real here. Pretty and delicious modern Australian food is served up in an open and well designed cafe. The owners are the same minds behind Two Birds One Stone and The Kettle Black, of which attract a crowd on the regular in their own right. Much like the other cafes, Top Paddock's menu is a little more upscale but still offers the old breakfast and lunch favourites.

Definitely a place to add onto the Melbourne food list.

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday 7am - 4pm
Address:
658 Church Street, Richmond, Melbourne

A Glimpse at Egyptian Cuisine and Culture

Egypt's cuisine has been inspired by many of the best dishes coming from the Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African countries. Their meals are usually a combination of meat, vegetables, and aromatic herbs and spices. After learning so much about Egypt through primary school research projects, I was lucky enough that when I visited Dubai last year I was able to sample some Egyptian cuisine and reconnect with a dish I remember being brought in as part of Cultural Day. This was a delicious experience in itself. 

Usually, a modern Egyptian meal starts off with soup made with beans, tomatoes, onions, and green vegetables. Garlic is often used in making soup to give the appetiser a strong kick. Then, a slow-roasted meat covered with herbs, or fish accompanied by couscous, is served. Instead of bread, like what many European countries serve their guests while waiting for the dishes to arrive, Egyptian restaurants serve salads with dips as pre-appetisers.

As for desserts, Egyptians usually serve pastries made with honey, yogurt, dates, and figs.

Food

Below are some of Egypt's most popular dishes that I hope you have the opportunity to try:

Ful Medames - This is a dish made with Fava beans topped with hard-boiled eggs, and sliced vegetables

Image credit: epicurious.com

Image credit: epicurious.com

Samak Makli - A fish dish that is a specialty of Alexandria.

Image credit: curiosityme.com

Image credit: curiosityme.com

Molokheyya - Okra soup flavoured with coriander and garlic.

Image credit: mbhedmonton.blogspot.com

Dawood Basha - Dawood Basha is a meal that is made from kofta balls (ground meat seasoned with onions and parsley). The kofta balls are cooked in tomato sauce and then served with rice and pine nuts.

Image credit: dreamstime.com

Image credit: dreamstime.com

Koshari - You should look out for this delicious dish sold by street vendors all over Egypt. It is a tasty street food made with lentils, fried onions, rice, pasta, and tomato sauce. Vinegar and garlic are used as condiments to elevate the meal.

Image credit: daringgourmet.com

Image credit: daringgourmet.com

Drinks

Egypt is a nation of tea drinkers. Karkadeh is a traditional Egyptian drink made by boiling dried hibiscus flowers. Karkadeh is also high in vitamin C.

 

Aseer asab is another popular drink in Egypt. Like Koshari, it is sold by many of the street food vendors that litter the streets of Egypt. This is a popular drink that sells really well especially during the warmer months of the year.

Image credit: wikimedia

Image credit: wikimedia

Things to know

If you are invited to dine with a family and they serve you poultry, lamb, or veal, then consider it an honour. Since ancient times, Egyptians have regarded meat dishes as a luxury. Additionally, pigeon is seen as a delicacy and cooked with great care for honoured guests.

Many Egyptians talk about their Pharaohs in high regard. They are proud of their culture as well as their humble beginnings. Cleopatra, for one, is highly regarded as a woman who possessed great wisdom and beauty, and many modern Egyptians still see her as a role model today. Cleopatra's legend is so well known and revered that she still features in Hollywood movies and video games.

One of the most popular games of all time centring on Cleopatra is the "Pharaoh + Cleopatra" game, which is a simulation title where players build and defend a city. Another successful game is a casual title simply called "Cleopatra" that depicts the Egyptian Pharaoh's beauty and elegance which can be played on your computer or mobile. However you must always talk about the pharaohs and Cleopatra carefully in Egypt as these icons are still highly revered.

Tipping

Unlike Australia, tipping is expected in restaurants. About a 5% - 10% tip to servers is expected from guests and with a nice tip, if you return to the restaurant, the likelihood is they will look after you even more upon your return.

Egypt is a country rich in national treasure and history. Don't be shy to join tours inside pyramids as well as other historical sites in order to enjoy the country to the fullest. It’s a country of wonder, and is an education in itself.