Good nooks

Ed

A cosy snug, a wee dram, a good book. Is there a better way to pass a winter’s afternoon in Freo? Here’s our picks.

Nook: The Local Hotel
Book: Fremantle Football, The Origins 1885-1904. By Dr Norman Ashton
(New Edition Bookshop)

Colloquially known as Helen’s Bar after a former regular, this cosy snug has night cap written all over it: fire place, Chesterfields, plush sofas.

If it’s game day, the contest will be on the front bar’s big screen. More reflective moments can be spent in the cloistered surrounds of the Whiskey Bar, cradling a single malt Yamazaki and–if you really can’t get enough AFL–rifling through a book detailing 20 glory years of football in Fremantle. Colloquially known as Helen’s Bar after a former regular, this cosy snug has night cap written all over it: fire place, Chesterfields, plush sofas.

Nook: Miss Chat’s Bar and Kitchen
Book: In the Days of Tall Ships. By RA Fletcher
(Bill Campbell Books)

It’s an old world bohemian vibe at this West End establishment. Inspired by its namesake Miss Chatelaine– “a well heeled adventuress with a fondness for trinket collecting” –the room brims with warm wood and curios, and the bar reflects Miss Chat’s love for wickedly good cocktails. Since we’re casting back in time, order an Old Fashioned and leaf through the photos and yarns in this ode to the 19th century Sailing Ship.

Nook: Little Creatures Next Door
Book: Batavia’s Graveyard. By Mike Dash
(The Chart & Map Shop)

Pick a blustery day. Pull up a plush lounge overlooking the harbour. Order rum. Let your high perch put you in a maritime frame of mind, and sink your teeth into the true story of the mad heretic who led history’s bloodiest mutiny, just up the WA coast. Interest piqued? You’re a brisk walk from the WA Shipwrecks Museum, where the Batavia’s original timbers are on display.

Nook: Mrs Brown Bar 
Hook: Culture: A Memory Game
(Kate & Abel @ MANY 2.0)

The retro kids book menu covers are a clue; so is the magnetic poetry wall. There’s a sense of play in this quirky watering hole, and it’s not uncommon to see people imbibing with Connect Four or Backgammon for company. You might like to BYO memory game–this one showcases iconic works of art, architecture, design and literature. Everyone wins: it’s a walk through of some of the world’s greatest ideas.

Cosy up in the side bar of the building that once housed Fremantle’s first 75 convicts, and consider how far we’ve come. 

Nook: Ball & Chain
Book: Eyrie. By Tim Winton.
(Elizabeth’s Bookshop)

There’s history in here–including a rusty ball and chain at the bar–but the feel is both classic and modern: honey-hued leather arm chairs, warm wood, copper bench tops and a spirit wall for added warmth. Cosy up in the side bar of the building that once housed Fremantle’s first 75 convicts, and consider how far we’ve come. Winton evokes the streetscapes and the warts-and-all temperament that is modern Freo.

Nook: Moondyne Joe’s Pub & Bistro 
Book: Moondyne Joe: The Man and The Myth. By Ian Elliot.
(Fremantle Arts Centre)

Embrace a bit of wild bushranger spirit at this salt-of-the-earth pub on Freo’s fringe. You might spy a few characters in the sports bar channelling Moondyne Joe’s wily, never-give-up attitude. The Governor’s Bar offers a more intimate space to dip into a tome about the colourful bushranger who’s the pub’s namesake. Escaping from Fremantle Prison more than once? That deserves a raised glass.

What’s your favourite good nook in Freo? Share it @fremantlestory

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