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Suburb Spotlight: Mt Lawley

May 15, 2014

Hipster heaven, heritage haven. Call it what you will, but there’s no denying that Mt Lawley wears its heart on its sleeve.

I’ve lived in Mt Lawley for almost four years and, as you can imagine, it will take a lot – or a very good reason at least – to pack up one day and leave this epicentre of fashion, design, food, and lifestyle destination right in the heart of inner-city Perth.

Whether you’re dropping by Perth for the week or you’re seeking weekend inspiration outside your neighbourhood, I’ve put together a local’s perspective on Mt Lawley’s secret hiding spots, must-do and must-eats, and where to find everything from cafes that spill out onto the sidewalk serving up the best coffee in Perth to homemade baklava in the most unlikely of places.

1. Snack on the cheeseburger post-work at Clarences


Picture this: House made brioche bun with coarsely grounded beef, gooey cheese and sliced pickle. Comfort food as its best, the cheeseburger at Clarences has become somewhat of a cult item that hits the spot on any given night.

566 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley

Open every day, 4pm-midnight


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Planet Books

2. While away an hour or two at Planet Books

Make yourself at home on the comfy leather couches with quirky, hard-to-find paperbacks. Sure, adding half a dozen titles to your Book Depository cart can be fun, but nothing beats the nostalgic, tangible feeling of holding a book in your hands for that instant literary gratification. If you’re also after a card that’s more kitsch and less Hallmark, Planet Books is the perfect place to seek one out.

636-646 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley

Open every day, 10am-10pm


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3. Grab the culinary bargain of the century at The Flying Scotsman

Somewhat of an institution in Mt Lawley, The Flying Scotsman is an experience in itself on any given night. Watch the world go by on the busiest corner of Beaufort St as you can take in the pervading aroma of beers on tap and the intoxicating scent of a solid Sunday session. Their $10 pizza and pint pub specials are an essential part of the ‘Scotto’ experience, but keep an eye out for their weeknight deals on their Facebook page.

639 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley

Open every day for lunch, dinner, until late.

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4. See something live at The Astor

An intimate haven in the heart of Mt Lawley, The Astor is an iconic institution. This once-art deco cinema is now home to exclusive events and gigs from the Perth International Comedy Festival to community events and epic live music from local and international artists.

659 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley


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5. Have some of the best pizza outside of Napoli at Ace

With names such as If Looks Could Kale, Mr Federico, and Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, the pizzas are even better than the names themselves at Ace. Grab a booth or a seat by the 50s-style New York-inspired bar and don’t forget to order the fried mac n cheese with your pizza. It’ll be worth every single calorie. Promise.

448 Beaufort St, Highgate

Mon-Sun 5:30pm – late


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6. Create the home of your dreams at Empire

Or, just be content with a good window shop. At Empire you’ll find and be inspired by an eclectic mix of luxury furniture and homewares. Think Missoni throws and tea towels in their signature zig zag pattern, Bemboka cashmere blankets, Ester & Erik candles, and kitchen island benches made of mango wood. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

521 Beaufort St, Highgate

Mon – Fri 9.30am – 5.30pm

Sat 9-5pm and Sun 11-5pm


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7. Catch the sausage sizzle outside Elmar’s on Saturday morning

With the irresistible aroma of their homemade German sausages wafting from the Beaufort St sidewalk every weekend, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Bunnings that could rival this local favourite.

493 Beaufort St, Highgate

Mon 9am – 5pm, Tue – Fri 8.30am – 5pm

Sat 8am – 1pm, Sun closed


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8. Stock up on Aesop products and hard-to-find fragrances at Mariposa Perfumery 

Cult favourite Aesop is only just the tip of the iceberg when you walk into Mariposa. This delicious haven of all things body and beauty is hard to find (tucked away in the same arcade as Cantina) but once you step inside, you’ll find it very hard to leave. Shop Becca Cosmetics, Maison Balzac candles, and coveted fragrances that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in Australia.

Shop 5, Astor Arcade, 665 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley

Mon-Sun, 10am-5pm


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Salted caramel

9. Have the salted caramel doughnut for breakfast at Mary Street Bakery

Ok, I’m kidding. Well, kind of. If you can get past the mouthwatering breakfast and lunch menu at Mary Street Bakery (I personally love the boiled eggs and buttered soldiers), head up to their emporium of artisan baked goods with your sweet tooth in tow. The salted caramel doughnut is, by any standards, the stand-out offering here, but with the likes of hazelnut cronuts, chocolate peanut tarts, and – wait for it – ‘Monuts’ (a cross between a donut and a muffin) –  this relatively new addition to Beaufort St will have you run laps around Hyde Park faster than you can say, ‘Holy hipster!’.

507 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley

Open every day 7am-4pm


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10. Discover Mt Lawley’s best kept coffee secret

Tucked away at the back of the same arcade as Grill’d, is an unassuming, dark (but friendly!) corner that boasts a simple mash-up of chilled vibes, tempting baked goods and excellent coffee. First and foremost, the coffee at Bossman is just that: Boss. I’ve roamed pretty much all of Beaufort Street and although there are a couple that come close, a Macchiato never fails to hit that sweet spot (especially there is the delicious homemade baklava to accompany it). A relatively new addition to the Beaufort St café strip, Bossman is the second instalment from the guys who brought us Lowdown; the stand-up coffee shop that has taken the west end of the Perth CBD by storm.

Shop 3, 669 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley

Mon-Sat, 7am-4pm.


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Further reading:

Beaufort Street Network

Which Perth strip is streets ahead? – Perth Now

Catching Perth’s wave in Western Australia – NY Times


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