Don’t let winter stop you from exploring Perth. Fire up, get excited and brave the cold to visit my Top 15 Cosy Winter Hangouts in Perth.
FYI: I wrote the below article for Ventura Homes, the premier home builder in Perth. As it’s such a great, resourceful article, I’m re-sharing it below:
As Perth’s temperatures continue to drop in one of our most coldest, frostier winters yet, making the effort to go out can prove to be quite the challenge.
So, let’s take a look at some of the cosiest winter hangouts in Perth for those winter evenings. “What constitutes as cosy?” you may ask. Well for me, cosy means places that have heaters, fireplaces, comfortable plush lounges, an interior that is dim lighted and spaces that are small and intimate.
Before I get to my top 15 cosy hangouts in Perth picks, I’ll fill you in on what cool events (mind the pun) are happening in Perth this winter.
Perth Winter Arts Season 2014 runs from June right through to August, delivering a whirlwind of cutting-edge theatre, music, opera, comedy, cabaret, dance, film, literature, community events and visual arts for everyone to enjoy. One such event they’ve organised which will warm your belly is the Winter Supper Club, where Perth Town Hall under croft and foyer transforms into a colourful food market with an array of street food vendors, beverages and dessert options and live entertainment. It will be on the last Friday of each month, 27th June, 25th July and 29th August. It’s free entry, meaning you can spend more on food, hurrah!
Winterland is another awesome event happening this Perth winter, being the first ever inner city outdoor ice skating rink that will “transform the urban surrounds into a magical winter wonderland” from Friday 4th to Sunday 20th July 2014. The James Street Amphitheater (between the State Library and PICA) will be converted into a 250sqm outdoor ice skating rink complete with a winter themed bar and cafe, as well as food stall offerings. It’s suitable for all ages, offering a truly unique experience in the heart of Perth city that has never been organised before. This will only be for a limited time only, so be sure to pre-purchase your tickets here.
So get out of your onesie and into your best clothes to check out my top 15 cosiest winter hangouts in Perth. Fire up the courage to brave the cold and explore all of them before this winter ends.
1. Luxe Bar
Luxe Bar is located at 446 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley. It is a true cocktail lounge, known for its wide selection of new world and old cocktails in spaces smothered in velvets, suedes and plush furnishings. They also have an underground den called Rogue that has candy red booths, ottomans, a full cocktail bar and even your own DJ bar should you want to plug in your own laptop or ipod for music. I hosted my 22nd birthday in the Rogue den (my birthday falls in the middle of June) and my friends and I absolutely loved it. Great atmosphere, really cosy.
This popular Mt Lawley venue also has an outdoor area features an urban garden and extravagant amphitheater called bamBOO, which is known for hosting live music and theatre events, as well as fashion parades, Luna Palace film screenings, product launches and much more.
2. Brisbane Hotel
The Brisbane Hotel is located at 292 Beaufort Street (corner of Brisbane Street), Highgate, Perth. The building was previously a decaying old icon that has since been transformed into a vibrant venue with strong pub values. It’s somewhat a reinvention of the classic pub, but rather set in urban and contemporary surroundings. I’ve attended quite a few birthday functions here. It’s in a great, convenient location that draws a friendly unpretentious crowd.
They’ve got a large courtyard filled with palm trees and a lush terraced beer garden, as well as a water feature on the inside. The interior walls are lined with stylish artwork and there’s even an open fireplace surrounded by low comfortable lounges. The decent sized food menu, premium wines and cocktails are also winners.
3. Clarences Bar
Clarences is a small neighbourhood bar located in the heart of Mt Lawley at 566 Beaufort Street. Their leather booths, wooden furnishings, quirky decor, exposed brickwork and dim lighting fixtures create a dark and intimate ambiance inside. Outside, they also have a leafy, rustic courtyard that has a quirky charm about it. This place is comforting, warm, different and exciting, and it fits in with the Beaufort St vibe just right. They’ve been getting positive reviews so give them a check out.
4. The Moon Cafe
The Moon Cafe is situated on 2/323 William Street (Corner of Newcastle Street) in Perth city and is fantastic to go to late at night, like, after midnight kind of late (and they serve food late!). It has a bohemian atmosphere with it’s mismatched vintage furniture in the back spaces, while at the front it has a 50’s style diner, reminding some of the ‘flower power’ days.
It has a certain grubby but funky charm that people love to hang out in. They also host retro video games, poetry readings and live music gigs. Oh and did I mention, they serve food really late, and no, I don’t mean kebabs. They have awesome menu choices ranging from pasta, burgers, nachos, calamari and prawns, salads and pizza (even dessert pizza!). Vegetarians and those who like it gluten-free will have their choices too. That’s right – you can get gluten-free food after midnight! Wowsers.
5. The Bakery
The Bakery can be found at 233 James Street in Northbridge, Perth City (behind Metro City nightclub). It’s a very popular event venue that hosts “freshly baked” entertainment and live performances regularly. It may not look like much from the outside, but on the inside it offers a unique, relaxed and cosy atmosphere, whether it be for checking out the contemporary art decor, having a drink or seeing your favourite band.
It’s outdoor area makes great use of old sea containers that have been cut open at the bottom to create unique undercover areas to socialise in, with another old sea container having been converted into a bar to service the outside area. Much of the seating has been covered in astro turf, complemented by wooden stools and benches of various shapes and sizes.
6. Five Bar
Five Bar on Beaufort Street in Mt Lawley, offering a contemporary and rustic decor atmosphere to relax and enjoy your food and drinks with friends. For a small bar, it has a great layout that is light and spacious with its funky leather lounges and wooden furnishings. The bar also has large windows that soak up the afternoon sunlight, and are opened up if the weather is just right to let that breeze come in. You definitely get your breathing space here. The main bar has an attractive charm with its exposed brickwork, creating a quirky but welcoming vibe that make you feel like you’re right at home.
I so love the colour scheme of this place, it’s moody and romantic at the same time, with its shades of browns and deep reds.
7. Ellington Jazz Club
The Ellington Jazz Club is located at 191 Beaufort St, Perth (near the corner of Newcastle St), offering live music 7 nights a week with a dress code of smart casual. It is heavily influenced by the New York Jazz club style, showcasing Perth’s up-and-coming jazz, soul, and R&B artists in a suave jazz club, sensually lit environment. It has an intimate and comfortable setting, also offering an upstairs lounge area where patrons can relax and drink away from the music.
So… you interested in listening to some Jazz, Daddio? (had to go there).
8. Little Creatures Fremantle Brewery & Creatures Next Door
Little Creatures Fremantle Brewery is at 40 Mews Road, Fremantle, a great place to finish off after exploring the Fremantle shops and markets. I’ll admit that yes, Little Creatures is big, busy and can get very noisy (if you go during peak hours), however that just shows how popular it is. They still have their cosy offerings, especially if you sit outside facing the Freo’s harbour. They have numerous heaters so you’ll still feel warm while basking outside in the scenery. For those who may get claustrophobic with small-spaced areas, then Little Creatures’ wide open space is for you.
Creatures Next Door (known formally as The Loft) is located at 42 Mews Road, close-by to its big brother Little Creatures. It’s an awesome late night lounge and live music venue that provides a laidback space for you to enjoy with friends while taking in scenic views. They do live comedy every Saturday and a live Jazz band every Sunday. I’ve been here for a comedy show once and it gets my stamp of cosiness approval.
9. Mojos Bar
Mojos Bar is on 237 Queen Victoria Street, North Fremantle. You really won’t be able to miss it, it stands out with it’s brightly lit front paint job.
I first discovered this place when Caspian (a really awesome band from America that does epic melodic instrumental music) came to play there on March 22nd this year. It’s a decent sized venue to hold an intimate music gig and there are couches on the side if you don’t want to stand. They have a quaint little quirky courtyard too. Mojo’s is a truly awesome hangout spot with an unpretentious, friendly crowd. I can’t wait to go back again.
10. Kitsch Bar
Kitsch Bar is rated the #4 bar in Leederville and for good reason. Found on 229 Oxford Street, this place is only a few minutes walk from Leederville Train Station offering an eclectic mix of authentic Asian cuisine and eye catching decor with a random twist (for example, a ladder that doubles as a chair, which perhaps might get cosier to sit on the more you drink). It’s intimate, modern and not at all claustrophobic, with a courtyard set under a huge franipani tree with lights strung around it, giving an almost exotic foreign feel to perfectly complement the Asian cuisine.
Don’t worry about getting cold in the courtyard either – they always keep it nice and warm. This place has been getting positive reviews for its food, I do suggest checking it out next time you’re in Leederville.
11. Defectors Bar
Defectors Bar is on 639 Beaufort St, Mt Lawley, situated upstairs above The Flying Scotsman. It’s an intimate cocktail bar lounge that has a plush, luscious interior with vintage red furniture that is so seriously sexy it makes people envious (note: not sure if being envious of furniture is an actual condition, if so, seek help immediately). It’s such a romantic space, filled with polished wooden floorboards, Parisian wallpaper and a balcony view over the hustle and bustle of Beaufort Street that it is the ideal, super cosy hangout.
I’ve been to a few functions here, and their cocktail menu is out of this world made by extremely talented bartenders.
12. Greens & Co
Greens & Co is located at 123 Oxford Street, Leederville. It is a large and visually striking cafe that has quirky interior decor with eye-grabbing lighting fittings, mismatched lounges, pool tables, board games and retro arcade video games in the back. This place has a comfortable grungy feel to it but is uber trendy at the same time, where every square centimeter of wall space is covered in band posters. The coffee is deemed good and the cakes are deemed even better. Although it can get extremely busy in the late evenings (it is in the heart of Leederville after all) you will still enjoy the uniqueness of this cafe with friends before a night out on the town.
Greens & Co Facebook
13. Luna Palace Cinemas
Luna Palace Cinemas has Perth’s premier independent arthouse cinemas. Their aim is to bring in the very best mix of art house, contemporary and classic cinema from all around the world, as well as hosting specially curated film festivals, Talking Picture events and HD Captured stage performances. In other words, Luna Palace Cinemas are known for showing ‘Indie’ films that don’t make it to all your mainstream standard cinemas in Perth, but they still show a few blockbusters here and there too.
All their boutique cinemas have great style to them, but it is specifically Cinema Paradiso in Northbridge and Luna Leederville that are my personal favourites.
Luna Leederville has an old-world charm and once you sit in their red velvet comfortable seats, you really do feel like you stepped back in time at an old style movie theatre. They run a lot of niche filmography with themed events yearly.
Cinema Paradiso in Northbridge is another great Luna Palace Cinema that I’ve personally frequented quite often for events and the odd date here and there. It’s always been a memorable experience, the films are always A grade quality, the service is always friendly and the interior decor is oh so sleek, so stylish.
14. The Beaufort Street Merchant
The Beaufort Street Merchant is located at 488 Beaufort Street, Perth. You’ll find a bar, brasserie, providore (gourmet delicatessen selections) and a wine store all at this one address. By the way, when I say brasserie I don’t mean you’ll find undergarments for the breasts here (that’s spelled Brassiere – hmm, maybe I’m the only one that got slightly confused there). Brasserie means it’s a type of casual French-Style restaurant/bar.
Their rustic kitchen and wooden furnishings make the atmosphere feel warm and welcoming, with the place constantly buzzing with diners sunk into leather chairs. They have unique gourmet products to buy which look delectable. Although they have comfortable furnishings and surroundings, it can get noisy with loud conversations – but that is the price of a popular, well-frequented hangout.
15. The Village Bar
Tucked away at 531 Hay Street in Subiaco (close to Rokeby Road) is The Village Bar, an unpretentious bar in Subiaco that has luxe navy velvet couches, rustic exposed brick, yellow and white striped awnings and vintage wiles with splashes of greenery. They have 15 beers on tap and 20 wines by the glass with so many dining and drinking spaces to choose from. They also were finalists for ‘Best Steak Sandwhich in Perth‘ and ‘Best Bar Menu‘ in the 2012 and 2011 AHA Hospitality Awards for Excellence.
A few years ago I used to work in a large advertising agency in Subiaco, and let me tell you – this bar is oh so popular as a Friday lunch spot and after work drinks hangout for people working in the surrounding areas. It get’s really crowded but at the same time there’s still breathing space as you will always manage to find somewhere to sit. Shout out to the charismatic iiNet staff who frequent there the most!
If you liked my picks in this list, then you may enjoy my other ‘Top 25 Quirky Bars in Perth‘ list for more awesome night-life places to check out when in Perth city.