You can feel it as the sun begins to rise. A buzz is in the air, growing louder and more vibrant as the minutes tick by. It’s the sound of cyclists and joggers, parents pushing prams and owners walking dogs.
It’s the sound of Henley Beach in the morning. At the centre of all this hubbub is Henley Square, above. Renovated and revived just over two years ago, the Square features seating and grassed areas, shade structures and three restaurants serving everything from breakfast to cocktails overlooking the beach. It’s the place where all those cyclists, joggers and walkers relax and catch up after their activities.
The Henley Beach Surf Life Saving Club is not just popular with families; its bar and restaurant offers uninterrupted beachfront and panoramic views, making it the perfect spot to watch the sun go down while tucking into some quality local fare. Or there’s the Bacchus Bar, which again offers magnificent views with its food.
Across the road is one of the area’s oldest establishments and a firm favourite with the locals, the Ramsgate Hotel.
For those looking to eat on the go, a 10minute walk from the Ramsgate takes you to the Stunned Mullet takeaway, winner of several awards for its seafood dishes.
Turning your back on the beach, a threeminute walk across Seaview Rd takes you to the shopping precinct, where you’ll find furniture at One Rundle Trading Company and fashion at Seed Heritage. Adelaide’s most popular beachside destination, Glenelg’s vibrant mix of tourists and locals gives it an energy all of its own. The main street, Jetty Rd, above, is a mash-up of one-off boutiques, larger chain retailers, cafes, restaurants and bars.
Cardone’s Seafood & Grill, Europa at the Bay, The Strand Cafe Restaurant, Glenelg Barbeque and Mamma Carmela Cafe Pizzeria Inn are just some of the highlights to be savoured on Jetty Rd while, at Moseley Square, which is between where Jetty Rd ends and the ocean begins, you’ll find Indian Spice, The Promenade Restaurant and The Moseley Bar & Kitchen, run by award-winning executive chef Sam Cromwell.
For more dining options, a five-minute walk from Moseley Square takes you to Marina Pier. Here, you can admire the sailing boats moored at the marina while savouring a selection of mouth-watering meals from such establishments as The Oyster Bar, The Wharf, Zucca Greek Mezze, Ellenika Traditional Greek Taverna and Sammy’s on the Marina.
For some unforgettable beach bliss, treat yourself to a night or weekend at the Stamford Grand Hotel, which boasts stunning views from its Promenade Restaurant and Grand Bar. The other Jetty Rd in Adelaide, Brighton may be lacking in the number of tourists that its sister street in Glenelg attracts but it is not lacking in high-quality attractions.
Situated on either side of Jetty Rd on the Esplanade, both the Esplanade Hotel and View at 85 Cafe offer a spectacular vista across the white sands and popular pier to the sparkling ocean. The former, affectionately known as The Espy, offers a range of accommodation and two dining options while, at View at 85 Cafe, you can indulge in a leisurely breakfast, a long lunch, or watch the sun set over dinner.
Minus the view but still in great taste, Cafe Lune opened its doors on Jetty Rd in March last year and serves up Italianthemed cuisine from breakfast to dinner, seven days a week. A little further along are a number of cafes including The Seller Door, A Cafe Etc, Brighton Beach Pit, C.R.E.A.M. and The Edge Deli, each with its own distinct flavour. And don’t forget to check out Brighton Jetty Bakery’s range of breads, cakes, pies and pastries, above.
Followers of fashion will enjoy a rummage through Haute Culture and Eva & Paige Emporium, while those looking for a unique gift or just to treat themselves to something a bit different should check out Aqua Living Gifts. The small seaside-town vibe of Port Noarlunga is as mellow as ever, enhanced by the schools of black-clad scuba divers and more brightly coloured snorklers and swimmers moving to and from the jetty and the reef at its end in a steady tide.
Seafood is abundant in local bastions Hortas Restaurant and less formal Jimmy’s Fish & Chips. Further along Saltfleet or Gawler streets, the cafes keep on coming, including Agatha’s, Café CODY and the Coffee Factory. Diners can also choose from pizza, steak, Indian food or settle for simple pub grub at the Port Noarlunga Hotel. If nothing but baked goods will do it, keep walking to Beck’s Bakehouse.
The town is home to plenty of retailers, especially catering to surfers and sportspeople, with antique shops, above, dotted in between gift shops, artsy crafty boutiques, an inordinate number of hairdressers and one day spa.
A few minutes along the coast, a bevy of eateries watch down from the cliffs over the sandy expanse of Christies Beach. With its gentler pace, the beach and the Esplanade above are home to the Surf Life Saving Club and Sailing Club.
Another hive of busy gulf-view cafes can also be found the end of Beach Rd.