Fremantle AKA Freo, has to be my favourite place in the entire world because it is home to all my favourite places. The food for a start is phenomenal. From the markets to Sandriono’s for Italian and the Mexican Kitchen for the best Mexican feast and fishbowl cocktails of your life, Freo has something for everyone. It’s also made up of those cute late 1800’s to early 1900’s Victorian and Edwardian cottage homes that I absolutely adore and aspire to have one of my own one day. I have so many memories of Freo and that is why it is so special to me. You can escape into a different world while you’re there. A world with cute century old buildings, fabulous food, great views and amazing vintage stores. I really couldn’t ask for more.
If you’re going to Freo and haven’t eaten at the markets, I recommend you do so. Take $50 cash and wander around buying and eating whatever catches your eye. This is in my opinion, the best way to experience the markets which have been around for over a century. My personal favourites are the twisted potato sicks from the fish n chip shop (so many people gasped and asked where they were from when we were walking around with them.) An original hot doughnut from Levi’s Doughnuts is the first thing on my mind when I go to the markets, they are fresh out of the deep fryer and always so fluffy. They are just like the doughnuts from the fish n chip shops back home. The last thing on my must list from the markets is the strawberry tea from Roo Tea. Roo Tea make their teas from locally sourced produce and holy wow! It is the best iced tea I have had in my life! It actually tasted like strawberry juice rather than tea because it is so full of flavour. Normally iced tea tastes like watered down juice (well, to me anyway!) and this tea just had so much flavour, I was in heaven. The way they serve it with the fresh fruit makes it look so much more appealing too!
After the markets, we made our way down to Ohana Acai for a much anticipated acai bowl which was a huge let down. Their granola was paleo with no grains, just seeds and nuts with a sour burnt taste which ruined our acai bowls and after a few mouthfuls, we decided to move on. My sister then took me to a vintage store called Cheep on Market Street where I picked up an acid wash denim jacket for $15 which I was over the moon about because all the ones I had been looking at online were $150+. Winning!
Because I love old Victorian and Edwardian architecture so much, our Airbnb was a late 1800’s cottage and from the moment I saw it online, I was in love. The cottage is in a quiet little part of Freo that is still within walking distance to everything which was perfect for us. The monochrome minimalist décor was like something out of my dream home Pinterest board and to top it off, everything was so cosy and comfy. I felt at home from the minute I walked in the door.
After checking in at our Airbnb, we started watching stranger things which if you haven’t watched, I highly recommend it. Such a good supernatural show if you’re into that kind of thing. We were both craving some Italian (because who doesn’t love carbs?) and headed to Sandrino’s for dinner. I had strangely enough never been to Sandrino’s before. I have tried every other Italian restaurant in Freo and for some reason, never made my way into Sandrino’s. They have all the usual Italian favourites on the menu and their wood fired pizzas are made right next to the entrance so you can see your pizza getting made. We ordered our food and I wanted to get a nice picture of my sister and I before our food came out so I got the camera out and Nicholle was trying to take a picture. She didn’t want to take any more photos because this lady behind us was watching like we were weirdo’s but I didn’t really care because I wanted a nice photo. So I moved seats so I can hold the camera and we take some photos then agree that we should have captured a good enough one. I move back to my original seat and start looking through the photos. What I see is the photo below and I cannot contain my laughter. The lady from behind us has totally photo bombed the best picture that we took of us and the look on her face is hilarious. So I am crying at this point and just hand the camera to Nicholle because I cannot speak and she starts laughing too. At some point she said she was going to leave because I was just losing my shit. Even now when I look at the photo I laugh so hard. Anyhow, enough of the photo bomb and onto our food.
For entrée we decided on the pizza bianca rosemary and sea salt which to be honest was quite dry and not that great. I had one slice and was done with that. Next.
For mains I had the spaghetti aglio olio which is my go to pasta, Nicholle had the cabonara and we ordered a bowl of chips and aioli to share. Holy Wow! The aglio olio was good, it wasn’t the best aglio olio I’ve had because it came with these huge chunky tomatoes and their chillies weren’t overly hot but the chips, oh the chips! The tastiest chips I have had in a long time and the aioli was just garlicky goodness. Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE garlic. Garlic anything. Yum!
The next morning I went to Hush which is my all-time favourite espresso bar (even though I don’t drink coffee anymore) to catch up with my friend Sam. I thought I would have to order a juice because I don’t drink cow or soy milk but alas, they had almond milk so an almond milk hot chocolate it was. They make their chocolate drinks with Belgium chocolate from Kakula Sisters which is a wholefoods store in Freo and any of their chocolate drinks will beat most that you have ever had. The conversation was great and for the first time ever, I had a ‘milk’ drink and didn’t get a sore or ‘milky’ tummy afterwards. Winning!
I then wandered down to the round house which when I lived in Perth, was one of my favourite places to go when I needed time to think or just relax. It is at the top of a little hill at the west end of Freo and I find it so relaxing. There is something special about seeing my favourite town on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. I used to come to the round house or go down to bathers beach which is the beach that the round house looks over so many times when I was younger. I would order a takeaway pizza from Belladonna on the cappuccino strip and walk down to bathers or the round house to get some time to myself.
Across the road from Hush is The Record Finer which is the oldest established record dealer in Australasia with such a great range. I spent about an hour in there and had a great chat with Mark the owner who tried his best to sell me a limited edition white vinyl Pearl Jam record, whilst very tempting, I didn’t bite. He did however have a Sam Cooke record playing and asked if I liked it, which I did. It is such a peaceful and tranquil record that I envisioned playing by the pool with a cocktail in hand on a hot summer day. I picked up the Sam Cooke record along with Nirvana – Live in California, 1991 and Foo Fighters – echoes, silence, patience & grace.
Nicholle and I then went back to Sandrino’s for lunch because we loved it so much and were keen for some more Italian. We ordered the same minus the entrée and tomatoes in my pasta. Again, Freo was amazing like it always is and I can’t wait to go back there, whenever that may be.