Five of Perth’s best pubs

One of the things I like to do when I travel is try the local restaurants and the local pubs because you get to mix with locals and discover what makes their town tick.  With that in mind, here’s a guide to five of the top pubs in Perth, Western Australia (as voted for by their patrons):

The Inglewood Hotel, 803 Beaufort St, Mt Lawley

A short bus ride from the city centre, The Inglewood is located at the corner of Beaufort Street and Fifth Avenue in Mt Lawley, It features contemporary surrounds within a heritage listed building, it’s the perfect place to relax with friends and catch Live Sporting Action on 11 big screens.  Bear in mind that watching sports is a popular past time in Australia. The hotel has two bars surrounded by leafy Alfresco Gardens, an a la carte Restaurant and a drive in Bottle Shop specialising in fine wines.

The Flying Scotsman, 639 Beaufort St, Mt Lawley

Also a short bus ride from the centre of the city but a few blocks closer to the city than The Inglewood.  The Scotto, as it’s now known to regulars, seems to have firmly earned its place in this uber-cool part of Mt Lawley. The Scotto has a quaint little restaurant section next to the open kitchen where you can watch your order being prepared fast and fresh. If you can’t secure a table inside, you can always eat in the alfresco area and be entertained by local characters, arty types and the occasional famous face. There’s live entertainment from Wednesday to Sunday nights ranging from DJs spinning chilled out beats to live bands playing anything from punk to funk. The Velvet Lounge (adjoining The Flying Scotsman) is also a great spot to drop into for a night cap after your dinner. It doesn’t really matter how old you are, where you come from or where you’re headed, everyone is made to feel very welcome at the Scotto.

The Balmoral Tavern, 901 Albany Highway, Victoria Park

An easy bus ride from the centre of Perth, just across the Swan River in Perth’s southern suburbs.  Built in 1932, the Balmoral Tavern has emerged from its latest makeover with an appealing mixture of the stainless steel and modern lighting that is currently so popular with renovated pubs, and the authenticity of exposed original bricks and roughly finished plaster. The menu includes the compulsory parmigiana and steak options, but also offers more interesting creations such as the duck sausages with polenta and tamarind chutney, or the kangaroo Wellington. Weeknights see the kitchen offer special deals: from Tuesday night’s barbecue in the courtyard to Friday night’s ‘pizza and pint’ deal. On fine days, many families and festive groups retire to the relative peace of the courtyard with its palm trees and subtle lighting.

The Rose & Crown Hotel, 105 Swan St, Guildford

This historic hotel is located in Guildford, on the edge of the Swan Valley. By public transport it is an easy walk from Guildford Station.  Opened in 1841 the Rose & Crown is Western Australia’s oldest pub, and it is still one of the best.  The pub is housed in a brick building that has a very deep cellar that is sometimes used for fine dining.  The main focus these days is the beer garden, which is a perfect place to sit with friends and enjoy fine food, excellent ales and local Swan Valley vines.  The Rose & crown is a good place for spirits too, as it is reputed to be the home to several ghosts, believed to be convicts who helped build the hotel.

The Norfolk Hotel, 47 South Terrace, Fremantle

Another great historic hotel.  It’s easy to get to Fremantle by public transport either by train or bus.  South Terrace is Freo’s “Capuccino Strip”, and the Norfolk is opposite the famous Fremantle Markets, so impossible not to find. The Norfolk Hotel is a Fremantle icon that has been the social hub of the harbour city since 1887. This corner pub is still the most engaging, eclectic and entertaining destination in Freo.  Offering quality food, wine & beer, convenient & comfortable accommodation, and the best intimate live & original venue in Fremantle this historic pub features the best limestone-walled, alfresco courtyard in Perth.

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