The very best guide to Perth

With a keen eye for detail and love of both fashion and food, stylist Elizabeth Clarke’s suggestions will have you and your next trip west deliciously and stylishly sorted. Slick boutiques with gorgeous designs, locales for good wine and stunning scenery all guaranteed.

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“At first glance it’s a little conservative, but once you peel back the layers, you’ll find it’s gorgeous and beachy with its heritage intact. It’s a little like Sydney… but on Xanax!”

“Beautiful, chilled and evolving” is how in demand stylist, fashion and beauty writer Elizabeth Clarke describes her adopted city of Perth, that seemingly far flung metropolis of Western Australia where she and her family have now resided for five years. The relocation was for her husband’s work, and seeing neither had been before moving the young family across the country from their native Brisbane was slightly daunting.

Fast forward and Clarke now has the lay of this western landscape. She views Perth as a city set apart from others not just for the lack of proximity – “It’s far away from everywhere!”, but for its burgeoning and distinct creativity. Something in Clarke’s mind is strengthened by its distance from other Australian capitals, “The isolation encourages creativity in all areas and makes it a close-knit community”.

A creative community that Clarke is very much a part of. She’s a weekly contributor for The West Australian, as well as the not so close, but ever so chic British GRAZIA. She works as an in demand stylist, with previous clients including Bulgari, David Jones and Burberry. As well as that great and natural western born beauty Megan Gale. Clarke is also the co-editor of fashion, food, fatale, the daily destination for “couture and cuisine to kill for”, and is very much a fiend for fine offerings orientated towards the two.

One with great curated taste, Clarke makes for the perfect Perth resident to give us the lowdown on Perth and her list of local loves.

 Easily the coolest spots to caffeinate at are… Typika at Claremont, Sayers Sister at Northbridge and Boucla (best cakes!) at Subiaco.

If after a long celebratory meal we’ll head to any of the below restaurants… Nobu at Crown, The Trustee or Greenhouse on St Georges Terrace or Pata Negra in Nedlands.

Saturday brunch is best spent tucking into the fare at… Eamon Sullivan’s beachside bistro Bib and Tucker on Fremantle Beach. I love the sand on the floor, its vast communal tables and addictive salted caramel milkshakes.

If guests are in town, we’ll show off the city by… taking you to The Art Gallery of Western Australia followed by lunch at Cantina in Mt Lawley (the sardines on toast are fantastic). An afternoon shopping on luxurious King Street is a must followed by a long grazing and sipping session at Il Lido Canteen on Cottesloe Beach.

The best route for a walk/run (perhaps to ward of jetlag!) begins at… Cottesloe Beach, starting at the Fremantle end of Marine Parade. It runs all the way down the beach and boasts spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, as well as some fab coffee pit-stops along the way.

I’m easily talked into savouring a Sunday lunch at… The Cottesloe Beach Hotel. Its chic and cool and boasts a stellar menu. The Hot Shells Cocktails are haute and the lamb pizza and pulled pork salad are to-die-for.

The city’s slickest independent boutiques are…  ELLE Boutique (think Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Celine and Givenchy), Love Story (best and coolest casual garb like Lem Lem, Ancient Greek, Bassike and Eugenia Kim) and accessories heaven Cultstatus (Saint Laurent, Valentino, McQueen et al).

Special gifts for loved ones can always be found at… Ricarda in Claremont and Subiaco. Browse fab fashion labels like Peter Pilotto, Jerome Dreyfuss and Isabel Marant, and pick your way though amazing homewares by Areaware, Tom Dixon and Kartell.

One of the coolest precincts for a browse would be… Myre is housed in the old Myer department store in Fremantle. It houses incredibly talented WA artisans and emerging furniture and fashion designers, as well as a soon-to-be opened drive-in-movie theatre – on the roof! When you are shopped-out, head to Bread in Common, a brilliantly renovated old warehouse on Packenham Street. It is a chic bakery-come-bistro and serves up huge sharing platters of cured meats, breads and organic produce. The coffee is fabulous too.

If stocking up on beautiful produce and supplies for home entertaining, best to get them at… Xarcuteria, a Spanish deli in Claremont. Their cheeses and meats are extraordinary. They will even look after your paella pan for you and whip one up when required. My other go-to is The Boatshed at Cottlesloe Beach. It is the original site where Australia II was built. It stocks an extensive array of fresh produce, seafood and meat as well as fresh flowers and dishes-to-go. It is arguably Australia’s most coveted fresh food market. It’s total food porn.

A unique mini break outside of the city is… Absolutely anywhere in the Margaret River region. Even if you are not a beach-head, its beauty will absolutely blow your mind.

We’re pleased to announce that Elizabeth has joined the Pepper Passport team as our correspondent for Perth. We’re looking forward to reading her updates on all the good and eclectic things happening both in the city, and surrounding areas.

Image credits: Elizabeth Clarke (supplied), Bread in Common (Helskitchen), Asparagus at The Boat Shed (supplied), Valentino purse (Elle Boutique),The Beach Club (Cottesloe Beach Hotel) and Bib and Tucker (Where/To/Next).

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