Ok, with setback after setback, we are all too familiar with the effects COVID-19 is having on our ability to get out and about, explore our country or even the world. However, one thing is for sure, when we can move freely in our own state, there is a heap we can sink our teeth into. One such location which is perfect for a staycation is Fremantle – our best kept little secret. This destination really has it all, including insanely good restaurants, great activities and now so seriously impressive accommodation options. So, we thought we would write up a small 48 guide to experiencing this port area.
9 am: Arrive in Fremantle: Coffee & Breakfast
First things first, espresso is crucial to start your day strong. Fremantle is blessed with a large collection of independent roasters, all paying homage to the coffee bean. Our pick for today is certainly Ootong & Lincoln. Leading the charge is the head chef Kate Gibson who has developed a super eclectic menu where veggie and vegan food is front and centre. Coffee is also taken very seriously. Our pick is the good ol’ steak sangers or okonomiyaki pancakes to get a hit of Japanese tradition in the heart of South Freo.
11 am: Antique Warehouses & Homeware Trail
So it would be rude to not visit some of the amazing antique houses while down in South Fremantle after your awesome breakfast. Take the time to peruse East-West Design – a neverending warehouse filled to the brim with one-off designs. After here, take a stroll up South Terrace to see some smaller designers such as Ginger Morris, Mokoh Designs and some of the best op shops in Perth.
1 pm: Lunch In South Fremantle
Before heading back up to the main drag in Fremantle, you MUST stop for lunch at potentially the best taco spot in Perth at La Cabana. This, for us, is a game-changer. If there was one thing on the list you can’t miss, it’s this one. Make sure you order the burnt corn, a Tommy margarita and a tray of coconut battered local fish tacos. If you are chasing a solid wine to wash that all down, jump next door to Magdalenas.
3 pm: Check in to Warders Hotel
This very special boutique hotel has just opened in Fremantle and occupies the old convict barracks just next to the Fremantle Markets. Coming in hot with all the bells and whistles, rooms are individually designed with sparking and still water taps, a variety of local artwork and amenities, and plush linen. The best part about this hotel is it’s virtually within walking distance of everything and is super discrete. We recommend looking into this one early as it’s becoming very popular.
5 pm: drinks at the Republic of Fremantle
Ok, for those into gin, this one is your answer. This brand new venue opened recently and really is taking gin to a whole new level. Distilling on-site, you can either choose tastings where they’ll pair the best of their best with great tonic, or you can even lock in a distilling course, where you’ll walk away with your very own bottle. Either way, this one can’t be missed.
7.30 pm: Dinner at Bread in Common
Just a hop, skip and jump from the Republic of Fremantle is your dinner venue – Bread in Common. Hailing from the group that also manages some other big venues in Perth, such as Coogee Common, this location is a special spot. Boasting huge, long communal tables, dark and broody lighting, top-notch local cuisine and really attentive staff, Bread in Common is our pick for dinner.
10 pm: Bed Time at Warders Hotel
Back at the Warders Hotel, you’ll actually want to spend some time in the rooms. Obviously full and potentially slightly tipsy, it’s time to get some rest as tomorrow will be a big day.
9 am: Breakfast and Coffee at Gimlet
The best thing about the Warders Hotel is that breakfast and coffee are included (and it’s really yum). Gimlet downstairs from your room has a heap of fresh pastries and coffee to pick from. You’ll also have a nice start to your day as it’s got limited seating, so you won’t feel overwhelmed if you are feeling mildly dusty.
11 am: Checkout Fremantle Markets
After you’ve returned for a quick lie down post breakfast, it’s time to check out (unfortunately) and head to the Freo markets, which backs onto the hotel. This deserves a good few hours to just walk to each stall and even have a second breakfast in the food section. You’ll also be spoilt on a Sunday as there are usually local artists playing around the perimeter which attract some serious crowds as the day goes on.
1 pm: Fremantle Prison
I mean, a trip to Fremantle would not be complete without a tour of Fremantle Prison. The knowledgeable guides are on hand to educate you on why almost 10,000 men were transported from Great Britain and Ireland to reside here. You can experience the jail cells, gallows and even an underground waterway tour.
3 pm: Rooftop Drinks at Old Synagogue
After you’re done with your education for the day, it’s really now time for a few drinks on a rooftop to watch the sunset. Conveniently situated about 200m from the front door of Freo Prison is a great beer garden, with an even better drinks menu and food. There are actually 4 venues for the price of one within the Old Synagogue so you are spoilt for choice.
6 pm: Transport Back to Perth
Ok, so it technically hasn’t been a full 48 hours in Fremantle, but it’s time to head back to Perth. As we’ve suggested a fair few bars in this article, responsible driving is paramount. If you are doing this weekend with a big group, we can help plan your transport to and from Fremantle and can be your designated driver for the day. Or, if it’s just you and a special other, uber is your way to go.