Monday, 30 March 2015

Bob's Bar & The Aviary.

Whenever I'm in Perth Anna always takes me to the coolest places, as you may already from previous posts, like when she took me to Gold Bar and Malt Supper Club. This time was no exception, first she took me to The Classroom, which is an uber cool school themed bar in North Perth that does e p i c innovative cocktails, and then a coupla days later we headed into the city to check out the rooftop bars. 

Despite being the most isolated city in the World (it's quicker to fly to Bali than Sydney!) Perth is fast becoming the hottest place to go to for food and drink, it's a foodies paradise, and a cocktail connoisseur's mecca. Needless to say it's one of the reasons I love it so much! The latest craze in Perth is rooftop bars, so we decided to check out two of the best; Bob's Bar, which is part of fine dining establishment, Print Hall, and The Aviary, which is right on the main shopping street of the city.

I really wanted to go for dinner at Print Hall while I was over here, but sadly I just don't have time (classic case of too much to do, too little time), so I settled for drinks on the rooftop at Bob's Bar. Now, Perth isn't exactly the cheapest of places, and is pretty close to London prices. Cocktails average at around $18-$25 depending on where you go, which is roughly £10-£13, so it can be pretty easy to very quickly spend $150+ on one night out just on a few cocktails.

Anyway, Print Hall is right in the CBD, and it just oozes stylish sophistication, it's housed in the old 'The West Australian' newspaper printing house, and Bob's Bar is named after Australia's very own prime minister from 1983-1991 (the year I was born!), Bob Hawke. The bar is full of quotes from the man himself, and not only do they serve great cocktails, but I hear the food is pretty darn good too.

There's even the original 'The West Australian' neon sign! Sadly my camera couldn't get it all in, so I got the most important pat 'The West' - yes, the west side of Australia is the best. Sorry east side. Like all places in Western Australia, the dress code is varied. Some women dress up to the nines, others chill out in 'thongs' and singlets, and the men are the same; some in shirts and some in tees.

In honour of Bob, Anna and I had the 'Bob-zie' sharing cocktail, but in two glasses (I'm not very good at sharing...). It was delicious, and absolutely full of different types of rum!

After our cocktails at Bob's Bar, we headed down the road to The Aviary and The Nest. The Aviary is the restaurant part, and The Nest is the rooftop bar. We were getting a bit peckish by this point so we ordered some food. I was driving so didn't have another cocktail, but they looked mighty fine! 

Food-wise we ordered Popcorn Shrimp and the Salt and Pepper Squid. I adore seafood, and try and make the most of it when I'm back in Australia as it's always so fresh! Both were so delicious!

I really loved The Aviary/Nest, it was a bit more fun and relaxed than Bob's Bar, whereas Bob's was more classy. It was also much bigger and the perfect place for drinks with a group of friends! Also check out the view of the City's skyscrapers...

We had such a great night, it was pretty chilled as I was driving, but it was lovely to catch up with Anna and just soak up the atmosphere of the city!

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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Why I Partly Agree with Katie Hopkins.

There. I said it. I partly agree with Katie Hopkins. But please, hear me out. This is an unusual post from me, you all know it isn't often that I post about such personal topics. Usually this blog is full of happiness and memories. But behind the blogger there are some memories that aren't so rosy, there are some memories that I'd rather forget.

Like that time I was sat in a doctors surgery being told I had depression.

At the time I accepted it, friends and my boyfriend had been telling me for months that there was something wrong, that I wasn't behaving 'like normal'. Eventually the boyfriend gave me an ultimatum, go and see a doctor or it's over. So I did. And I came out with boxes of medication ready to rid me of my 'mental issue'.

But it wasn't a mental issue. You see, the 'strange behaviour' (aka, crying and getting angry at everything and everyone) started months earlier, when someone I loved passed away. But it wasn't just one person I loved that had passed away, it was two, and in the few years leading up to that a number of other people I knew and loved had also passed away. 

I was 19, and I did not know how to handle so much death so close to me in such a short space of time. Over the years I just held everything in and it all just built up until I needed time to just let my emotions out and grieve for all those people at once.

I was not depressed. I was grieving. 

And that's OK. Grief is seen as a weakness, quite similar to depression really. But we (and doctors) need to realize that grieving is OK. It's OK to miss someone, to long for their voice, to want their hugs, to see them again. It's normal to grieve for months, especially if the death was unexpected and took someone so young. Everyone 'gets over it' in their own time frame, there is not one set time frame where at the end of it you suddenly have depression if you're still crying and feeling sad about the loss.

I actually wrote an essay about the common misdiagnosis of depression in my final year of Uni. I got a D. I was told it was a ridiculous topic (the module was 'the sociology of health and illness'), which says it all really. My research on the topic found a number of papers proving that many people (including a lot of grieving parents) were diagnosed with depression just months or even weeks after losing a loved one. And the worst thing? Instead of letting people grieve for their loved ones, doctors are labelling them and medicating them instead of letting the natural grieving process take place.

Katie Hopkins points this out, and one of her tweets on depression is how often it's misdiagnosed. You have to see past her jokes, and see what she's saying underneath the comments such as 'Most depression is just genuine sadness. Like being caught in torrential rain with a bag from Primark' - ignore the last comment, and read the first one. Yes, a lot of depression is just genuine sadness, it was for me, and it is for many other people who have been misdiagnosed, and the problem is many people don't realize they've been misdiagnosed.

What's important to remember though is that yes, some of Katie Hopkins' comments were absolutely vile, and yes depression is awful, yes, we need to talk more about it, and yes, many people do genuinely have it and should have the support and help they need. But maybe if doctors weren't diagnosing people left right and centre, maybe if they accepted grief as a reasonable part of life, then the people who really suffer from a mental illness would get the correct amount of support they need.

Even now, whenever I go to the doctors to try and find an answer for my long-term sore throat and cough, if I appear a bit upset or down about it, they instantly ask me the typical 'depression' questions, insinuating that maybe I'm depressed and that's the reason I'm feeling under the weather, when I literally just have a really sore throat and very annoying persistent cough, and I'm pissed off that I can't remember the last time I could talk normally without sounding a bit like a man.

My point isn't that I agree with everything Katie Hopkins says, because I don't, it's that she has made one specific point that I think is very important and should have more awareness raised for it; depression is commonly misdiagnosed instead of allowing people to grieve naturally and normally for the loss of a loved one. For more information check out BMJ's Medicalising Unhappiness. The below tweets are the only tweets of Katie Hopkins' I agree with, and you have to agree that it's pretty shocking that you can be diagnosed with depression just two weeks after the loss of a loved one. Two weeks is simply not enough time to grieve.

Apologies for the slight detour from the usual subject matter in my posts, I'll get back to telling you all about my trip to Australia now... ;) 

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Friday, 27 March 2015

Cookie Dough, East Fremantle.

With a name like Cookie Dough you'd think they'd do awesome cookies, right? Right. Well they do, but they also do amazing breakfasts. I've eaten breakfast out almost every day since I got here, it's just what you do when you're in Australia. Forget going out for lunch, forget going out for dinner, it's all about breakfast. It's just a thing.

I first went to cookie dough a coupla years ago but we just had cookies....lots of cookies. So this time we went for breakfast, and ya know what, it was pretty darn good. I had the french toast with greek yoghurt, caramelized pineapple (yes.), and blueberries, topped with a drizzle of maple syrup. Mmhmm. I have to apologize for the phone photos, it was a bit of an impromptu visit so I didn't have my camera on me, but it was so good I just had to tell you all about it!

Like most Aussie cafes it's very cool and trendy, and they do a great selection of teas, coffees, and juices. I went for a very boring peppermint tea, but Cait had a flat white...and just look how cute the 'latte art' was!

Also I just had to show you the number holder - a little toy Bugatti. This is definitely my kinda place!

Cookie Dough really is a great place for breakfast, or just cookies if you're not too peckish! The salads also looked amazing, so I might have to try it out for lunch soon.

Another new place I went to the other day but haven't blogged about is Gustav's in Mosman Park, it was amazing. I didn't get any photos other than the ones on Instagram, but honestly, you have to go there!

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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Caversham Wildlife Park.

After our morning at Leighton Beach Cait and I headed over to Caversham Wildlife Park. I've been to Caversham countless times since I was a kid, but I haven't been for about six years, so we decided it was time to go back to see the Koalas and Wombats. It took us just under an hour to get there, and we were horrified to see the prices had gone up to $25! To be completely honest I think that's really overpriced for what it is, and seeing the animals in such small enclosures made us really sad. I don't know why I always do this to myself, I really need to stop going to zoos and wildlife parks then getting all upset.

Anyway, we got to see the most gorgeous golden possum, Cait held a snake, and then we both sat with Neil the wombat for a photo. He really needed to put some trousers on though. Also I was really disappointed that they no longer allow you to hold the wombat yourself, but years ago when you still could Caversham was a really small place where tourists didn't really go, but now it's full of them.

Here's a coupla photos of a 16-year-old me holding Matilda the wombat back in 2007! They're really heavy!

Then it was time to go to the Koala enclosure for the afternoon session of getting up close to them. You can't hold a koala at Caversham (I held one a few years ago at a different wildlife park in Perth), but you can get really close to them and you can stroke certain ones. You must be really careful you don't touch any of the eucalyptus leaves though, because if the koalas can smell the human scent on them, then they won't eat them and then it's a waste of leaves that are freshly cut each day.

I stroked Karen the koala, but she didn't seem too impressed, and wasn't nearly as excited about meeting me as I was about meeting her!

After our wildlife encounter we headed back to Cait's and watched Blackfish (amazing movie, you must watch it if you haven't already!). Then in the evening I went down to Crown Casino to meet Andrew for dinner, it was so good to see him again and catch up! Tuesday was such a great day, and after a very busy few days I was not looking forward to my early start the next morning. But I'll tell you more about that very soon :)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Breakfast and Swimming at Leighton Beach.

Tuesday was a mix of eating, sunbathing and swimming in the beautifully clear ocean, and then shopping, and meeting some Aussie wildlife with one of my besties. Basically all of my favourite things.

Cait and I got up early and went to The Shipping Lane to grab breakfast, it was a cool place, but they got my drinks order and Cait's food order mixed up, and I much prefer Bib & Tucker just across the road.

Anyway, after our breakfast (which was actually really delicious when we eventually got what we ordered), we walked across the road to Leighton Beach, which is one of our favourites. The sun was completely blue, that bright Australian blue that blends in with the water like some magical watercolour, and the ocean so clear we could have been in a swimming pool.

Please excuse my eyebrows, they're pretty gross right now and I need to get them sorted ASAP. Anyway, we chilled out for an hour or so, had a swim, then dried off in the sunshine before jumping in the car and going down the road to Freo.

After two days of deliberating over grey or black, I bought the black hat for just $20 from Cotton On (if you'd seen my Packing For Australia video, you'd know how much I  l o v e  Cotton On), and Cait got some new Birkenstocks! We then headed over to Caversham Wildlife Park to say hi to the koalas and wombats, but more about this tomorrow, I don't want to give you too much excitement in one day ;)

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Kings Park, Perth.

As always my first few days back in Australia have been pretty awesome to say the least. I landed early Saturday morning (2am!) after a 24+ hour flight and zero sleep, and headed to the beautiful and glamorous Fraser Suites in the city (review here). The huge bed, clean sheets, and shower, as well as having my own space was very much appreciated after such a long flight. I slept soundly and then woke up to a welcome message from my best friend.

I called her at her work and pretended to be a customer, but she quickly saw through my accent/voice and screamed down the phone at me! After getting sorted and showered I checked out of the hotel and walked down the road to pick up my hire car. It was only when I was driving through the city that I finally relaxed fully, and the biggest smile crept across my face as I realized I have two whole weeks in this beautiful city of mine to enjoy and relax.

I was driving towards the coast and was about to drive straight past the entrance to King's Park when I thought, 'why am I driving past the park!?'. It offers the best views over the City of Perth, and I wanted to see that view ^^

After wandering around the park and seeing some Navy officers laying flowers at the memorial, I drove over to Rach's house. We chilled out and caught up, doing the usual happy giggly 'Omg I've missed you so much!' and then we went to Scarborough Beach to go for food at Grill'd. It's my favourite burger joint in Perth, which I told y'all about a coupla years ago when I was over.

The burger was amazing as always, and I tried the sweet potato chips, which were a little unusual, but pretty good! Rach is completely on-board with this whole vlogging thing, so we had awesome fun making videos and just having a laugh with it. Then after dinner we went down to the beach to see the sun start to dip.

I dropped Rach home and drove over to Cait's to get changed and ready to go out. Yes. I was back less than 24 hours and they were already dragging me out clubbing. Rach couldn't come as she had study to do for uni, but Cait and the others were intent on helping me get completely drunk to welcome me back to Perth in true Aussie style. 

I was only gonna have one drink, then we got to the Norfolk in Freo and I had a couple more. Then we went to my favourite, The Newport, the first very club I ever went to when I was underage and had a fake ID. Before I knew it we were queuing up for Metros, and despite it's usual reputation of being really shit, we had an awesome time! I love the photos below purely for our drunken faces. My drunken pout is on point.

I woke up the next morning with bruises and a bleeding cut on my leg, and makeup all over my face. So classy. Welcome back to Australia I guess! And ya know what? It feels damn good to be back.

Naturally Sunday was a complete write-off, so we headed to Gustav's in Mosman Park for a delicious hangover breakfast. Can we please just take a moment to appreciate the poached eggs and avo on toast, and the iced chocolate?

Sunday was a chill out day, then in the evening Cait, Rach, Jack, and I thought we'd check out the Noodle Night Market in the City as part of Eat Drink Perth, but found it quite disappointing. The food was pretty good, but very overpriced for the portion sizes and super busy! The queues were huge, so after testing some of the savoury dishes out we bailed and went to our old haunt - Baskin Robbins. It was good.

Yesterday was spent brunching at the amazing Cookie Dough (review soon, sorry!), and then shopping. It was a good day. The past few days have been a mix of crazy busy and super relaxed, but it's so so great to be back, and I can't wipe the smile off my face. I'm even more excited that my brother flies out on Thursday to join me! 

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