24 HOURS IN FREMANTLE
Jesse Cai, founder of Square One Active Recovery, Singapore’s first exercise-based chiropractic clinic
When it comes to coffee, you are spoilt for choice in Fremantle. It’s a tough call, but my favourite spot has to be Little Stove. It’s a coffee shop about 6km from the heart of Fremantle. (You can rent a bike and enjoy a scenic ride.) Located within a residential area of Bicton, the familyrun business opened in 2009 and uses local produce (some of which come from their own garden; they rear their own chickens as well). Once you step into it, it feels like you’ve been invited into their colourful, garden home for a meal. I highly recommend their full breakfast for the entire experience. Shop 97/103 Harris Street, Bicton WA 6157, Australia. Tel: +61 8 9319 9811
Leopold Hotel’s Leopold Lodge is where the locals will be. The happy hour beers go for AUD$6.70 per pint and house wine are just AUD$3.50. (For perspective, it’s normal to pay AUD$3.60 for a can of coke.) They have a wide selection of local and imported beers on tap, and huge couches to just relax with your friends. There are also live music and pool tables. As the night goes on, the vibe gets more exciting and convivial. 326-334 Canning Highway, Bicton WA 6157, Australia. Tel: +61 8 9460 9918 » STAY
There is nothing like living in a building that is over 100 years old. Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges is a historical building that has been refurbished into a hotel with a resort-like vibe. You’ve got all the modern trappings of a pampering stay: heated pools, spas and rooms with a view of either Fremantle’s parklands or the pool. My favourite bit is the wraparound veranda on the second floor. I love to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon there reading a book while sipping a cuppa. What is also good is the location. It is within walking distance to most of Fremantle’s best sights and activities. 46-54 Marine Terrace & Essex Street, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia. Tel: +61 8 9432 4000
As a former dragon boater, I can’t help but recommend heading over to the shoreline of Gilbert Fraser Reserve on Tuesdays, Thursdays (6pm) and Sundays (8am) to check out the Indian Ocean Dragon Boat Club. For a fee, visitors can paddle with the team from the Fremantle basin to Perth CBD. If you’re lucky, you might even get a chance to get up close with dolphins. (They’re quite a regular occurrence.) 30 John Street, North Fremantle WA 6159, Australia.