Back in 2007 over a few brews at the local pub, two friends hatched a plan to bring guided walking tours to Perth. Seasoned travellers will always say the best way to unearth gems and stories, hidden deep within a city, is to book a walking tour with a local guide. Roll on eight years later, Two Feet and a Heartbeat have been helping tourists and locals alike unearth the history, culture and hotspots of Perth.
Having discovered abandoned warehouses in Berlin, the best cheese in Amsterdam and Prague’s hidden art exhibitions thanks to wonderful tour guides, I thought it was time to hit the pavement with Two Feet and join their small bar tour through Northbridge.
Our first stop was the Northbridge Brewing Company an oasis for beer lovers overlooking the Northbridge Piazza. Although the Autumn weather has made evenings a little fresh, the Piazza was brimming with beanbags, many huddling up with homemade popcorn to watch the Ultimate Frisbee Film Fest. The curators of Northbridge Piazza are known for their quirky programming, injecting vibrancy and life into what used to be the shadier part of town.
We detoured through China Town and Nick’s Lane where our wonderful guide Casey shared Northbridge’s dark history of gambling and brothels. The once grim and deserted alleyways are now laced with splashes of colour thanks to Form’s incredible public art campaign. We stopped at the entrance of Sneaky Tony’s and The Standard learning about Perth’s evolving small bar scene. Whilst we were all hoping to sneak in for a cheeky rum or two with Tony, it was lovely to take in the incredible artworks and work up a thirst for our next stop.
It was then on to Lot Twenty where we tucked into sharing boards and cocktails on the deck. Whilst the cocktails were top notch (and brimming with sweet foam), the social aspect of the tour was surprisingly my favourite part. We met the most amazing bunch of women who all live on the same street with over 20 kids between them. Crabbe Place sounds like the kinda place I’d want to raise a brood, where children safely play in forts on the street and neighbours become good friends. We could have stayed and chatted for hours but it was on to our final destination.
Past the Alex Hotel and Joe’s Juice Bar, Casey led the way towards Francis Street sharing the history of the Old Swan Barracks, from army drill hall to bustling backpackers hostel. The last stop was Dominion League where we enjoyed a welcomed (and mammoth) feast. Some kicked on with cocktails, whilst I ended the evening snacking on that delicious smoked chicken accompanied by Averna on ice and wonderful conversation with new friends.
The team at Two Feet and a Heartbeat sure know their stuff and play such an important role in shaping Perth’s cultural landscape. The Small Bar Tour is a great way to eat and drink your way through Northbridge with a bonus historical lesson on the side.