Mount Lawley is one of Perth’s oldest suburbs and arguably one of Perth’s most arty suburbs so it is fitting that it is our first suburb of the season.
Mount Lawley is situated close to the CBD to the north of Perth city. I personally have a long time love affair with Mount Lawley as I lived there for some time many years ago and even now, am often heading up Vincent Street to the Beaufort Street / Walcott Street precinct to meet my friends for dinner, coffee, a drink or a show.
Beaufort Street is the main street running up the middle of Mt Lawley and is home to many restaurants and cafes. Some of my favourites include Cantina 633 for dinner, The Beaufort Street Merchant for breakfast and Japanese restaurant TanPoPo for lunch. (they do amazing sushi)
Another jewel in the Mount Lawley crown is Hyde Park which is situated along Vincent Street. Hyde Park is a leafy oasis in the centre of the suburb. There is a water play area for children and lots of gorgeous old trees and a large lake in the middle. It is a fantastic place for a picnic as it is well shaded and there is street parking all around the park. Look out for the groups of little old Italian men that walk in the park each day and have probably been doing so for decades. I must warn you though it could be referred to as “Jekyll and Hyde Park” as there are some interesting creatures roaming the park at night. Don’t let this put you off going there during the day though, it really is a family park especially in daylight hours.
If you wander about the streets of Mount Lawley you’ll probably notice that it is also home to the hipster, you can see a lot of men with skinny jeans and beards roaming the streets and a lot of colourful women wearing ironic thick framed glasses. I’ll never forget when I saw comedian Joel Creasey, funnily enough at the Astor theatre in Mt Lawley, for the comedy festival and he was talking about the hipsters in Mount Lawley. He said that you can often see them riding their bikes down Beaufort Street claiming to be environmentally friendly. He pointed out in his show that “darl, you may be doing it for the environment but the more likely story is that you can’t afford a car because your soy candle business didn’t work out.”
Ah Mount Lawley, it’s like a skinny latte wrapped in a vintage scarf.
The Flying Scotsman is the pub on Beaufort Street and it has a steady stream of regulars and just as many newcomers. It is a friendly, easy going pub and is in a great location. They do lots of food specials which are all outlined on their facebook page. Attached to the pub is Defectors bar upstairs which is a more classy drinking establishment- think leather couches and flocked wallpaper. There is also the Velvet Lounge which is a small room attached to the pub where they have comedy nights and music/DJ gigs.
As far as theatre spaces go, the Astor theatre has pride of place just up from the main intersection of Beaufort and Walcott Streets. The Astor hosts many comedy and music acts throughout the year. The old art deco building used to be a cinema but now functions more as a live venue.
WAAPA (West Australian Academy of Performing Arts) the place where Hugh Jackman trained, is also situated in Mount Lawley and you can see a lot of high calibre theatre and musical theatre here from up-and-coming stars and thespians.
Interestingly another venue which is hosting more and more theatre, cabaret and comedy is the Mount Lawley Bowls Club. (how hipster is that!) The retro bowls club does regular theatre sports nights and was one of the venues for the comedy festival earlier this year. We took some photos of the patrons of the comedy fest which you can have a look at here.
A big event on the Mount Lawley calendar is the Beaufort Street Festival which is coming up on the 15th of November. It is an arts, music, fashion and food festival along the main street and gets a great turnout each year. You can read about it in more detail in our festivals section here.
Mount Lawley has many quaint little shops and places to get a great coffee and the vibe in this busy little pocket of Perth is lovely. So why not come down for a bite to eat, bring your book, do some people watching and enjoy the atmosphere. Over a skinny soy latte of course.
*Please note that Seasons Online was not paid, encouraged or bribed to feature any of the businesses we did in our write up. We wrote about them because we genuinely like them and like promoting the arts and culture in our city.
What’s your favourite place to eat / drink / shop / hang out in Mount Lawley?
Do you know any other businesses in this suburb that deserve a mention?