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THIS IS MY CITY | Michelle's Perth

Perth is one of those cities that can instantly get stuck in your head, what with its fantastic weather, its sunny outlook and its vibrant, creative energy. And there was only one person we could turn to for a guide to this most coastal of Australian cities - Michelle. We love Michelle's understated, refined blog A Minute Away from Snowing and at Benah we are such fans of her elegant aesthetic. We knew that her tips for her home town would be perfect. Here is Perth, by Michelle.

Photos | Michelle Lau A Minute Away From Snowing | Featuring Benah Large Zip Pouch

one. Best thing about Perth? The endless summers, the bluest of blue skies, the fact that eternal stretches of unspoilt beaches can be as easy to find as a cup of good coffee in this city, and the way people are here for the downtime than the climb up the corporate ladder.

two. Worst thing about Perth? Our non-existent winters – peonies seem to be an endangered species in Perth, and my coats and boots invariably gather dust every year, because it just doesn't get cold enough! The isolation can also be frustrating - Europe is always two plane trips and a good 20 hours away. Once it took me nearly two days to get from Perth to New York City!

three. Favourite secret spot? Sitting by the window sill at Daily Planet watching the sun go down, and the world go by along Beaufort Street. Ordering the soy chai tea has become an essential part of my rare me-time.

  Soy Chai | Daily Planet

four. Favourite everyone-knows-it-but-it's-still-good spot? Moore and Moore in Fremantle. It's a kooky cafe by day and an arts space by night. Everyone who knows what's good for them will order the avocado on 7 grain toast and sit in the sun-drenched courtyard until the sun goes down. I was also so lucky to be married there, so dropping in for brunch or a coffee these days is my favourite, nostalgic thing to do in Freo.

five. What is your newest discovery in Perth? What about somewhere you've been going forever but can't quite give up? I recently stumbled across The Sweet Remedy - a new corner bakery- whilst wandering aimlessly on my lunch break in Leederville. They've just opened (you can still smell the fresh paint!) and the homemade Panniers are one of the greatest things I've ever eaten. The shopkeepers are also so impossibly lovely - happy to chat for hours if you stay long enough. I plan to return just for the strawberries & cream cupcakes. As for somewhere I've been forever and a day... Sparrow in Highgate. It's the best Indonesian in town and one of the cheapest meals you can get in Perth! The lovely owner there always rounds down your change if you're a regular. It's the little things.

 By the river | East Perth

six. Where is the best place for.... morning coffee/pick-me-up? meal with friends? romantic rendez-vous? late night drink? even later-night boogie? I live across the road from Bossman, so grabbing a morning coffee to wake me up on a lazy Saturday is often the best - and essential - part of my day. For brunch with friends, I can't go past the boiled eggs and buttered soldiers down the road at Mary Street Bakery. There's something really nostalgic about dipping toast soldiers into runny eggs. Date nights with my husband are best spent at this cute, blink-and-you'll-miss-it spaghetti bar called Francoforte. After spending some time in Italy a few months ago, we were delighted to find a place that made us feel like we were dining at a cosy friend's place, devouring the ultimate in comfort food. The guy - Julian - who runs the tiny kitchen isn't a trained chef or anything like that; he was simply taught by his mum at home. I love knowing things like that. As for the rest of the evening, I'm usually in bed by 10pm. I'm such a homebody at heart!

seven. Where are Perth's style spots? Where is the best shopping? I've kept this a secret for so long! But... Adam Heath has my sartorial heart forever. It looks like some sort of intimidating place where lavish ladies who like to lunch shop but it's so unpretentious and beautifully merchandised - I love it equally for window shopping and bargain hunting. I always scour the sales racks first, as it's always laden with Carven, Dries, 3.1 Phillip Lim on any given day. My most recent purchase was a pair of Frame Denim jeans and a Nina Ricci skirt at 70% off.


eight. What is something you can get/read/experience/eat that you can only do in Perth?The Secret Cake Club is something that has always intrigued me. The wait lists are always a mile long but I hope to attend one day! The rules are simple: turn up to a secret location every 4-6 weeks bearing your freshly baked goods, before spending the next two glorious hours swapping baking tips and making new friends. It's kind of like a book club, except that you're swapping books with cake. It's probably the only place in the world where you can have your cake - and be able to eat it too.

nine. You can tell a lot about a city from their airport. Describe Perth's. The past few years have seen more change for our airports than the past thirty, put together. Although it's still very much a work in progress, it's undeniable that real and exciting things are happening and that change - a good change - is coming. There's such an energy in Perth at the moment.


ten. How would your describe Perth to someone who has never been there before? Like a breath of fresh air - quite literally. Here, the days are dreamy and nights are filled with the brightest stars. All you have to do is look a little closer. The one thing living in Perth all my life has taught me is gratitude in finding beauty in ordinary things.

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