Sunday, 14 July 2019

The Glory of Perth and the Glory of Grandparenting

We are in Perth, Western Australia at Social Manna. Most mornings we have been venturing down to the closest local coffee shops on the Albany Highway, as you do when travelling, for our morning coffee.  This is the renowned coffee and restaurant strip of Perth, so there is plenty of competition and choice. A new establishment called Social Manna has become our favourite. The name reminded me of the expression "Manna from Heaven" which originally refers to a Biblical story where God  miraculously provided food to the Israelites as they wandered through the wilderness. Manna has many food connotations, such as referring to an edible substance from the tamarisk tree, and to a type of flat bread made with honey. What a great name for an eatery.

 Little Hugo our grandson has sometimes come with us to Social Manna, and as we enjoy our flat whites, he handles a Baby Cino with drinking aplomb. If I can steer him past the amazing array of cup cakes and delicious croissants on offer I am doing well, however we have very occasionally weakened and share a cupcake or two with Mr. HRK, but not the chocolate ones tee, hee. Grandparents are created to spoil their Grandchildren sometimes aren't they?

An interesting selection of house made butters are offered for self serve to complement croissants and breads, and the Umami butter was really tasty.

Umami Butter
A variety of wraps, pastries, quiches, salads are also on offer, but on the weekend all seats are taken with locals indulging in a wide selection of breakfast, brunch and lunch meals.

 The decor of Social Manna is in keeping with a trendy restaurant with lots of whimsical and nostalgic items and memorabilia on display. The selection of collector's spoons is impressive and all coffees are served with a spoon collected during someone's travels. I'll have to resurrect the ones that I have stored away at home. I remember the days when it was the done thing when travelling to always take home a spoon and a tea towel as gifts. I still sometimes buy tea towels as gifts though, do you?

 Positively charged Rose Quartz water, and Amytheyst water didn't seem to noticeably increase my energy levels, not as much as coffee anyway,  but it's certainly a nice touch.

 The alphabetically arranged frequent coffee buyers cards are testament to the success of this business, and the more you buy, the cheaper it gets.

We are also in Perth to  meet our beautiful new twin grand babies, Finn and Evie, they are such a blessing, and to spend time with our adorable 3 year old grandson. We came over for his 3rd birthday party and he loved being the birthday boy. He is at an age now where he understands what a party is.

We are helping out where we can, and today we babysat all three beautiful little ones whilst their parents went out for lunch. Their Mother, Myrtille, has hardly been out in three weeks, as the three hourly feeding ritual necessary for premature twins is all consuming, and then catching up on sleep takes care of the available time. Our son Matthew is on Paternal leave as well, however looking after twins and a toddler needs many extra sets of hands,  so it was nice to see them go out, on their own, to enjoy the sunshine of a beautiful Perth day (somewhat of a rarity) and feel human again. In between our stints of grand parenting, we have been exploring Perth. It is a beautiful city, and whilst we are Queenslanders and love Brisbane as a capital city, Perth has so much to offer.

We went to explore the new Optus sports stadium and bridge,  both impressive architectural landmarks for Perth. We were there before the AFL fans and the Soccer fans converged on the stadium for two huge games this weekend, and the locals have been abuzz talking about the games.

As we drove towards the stadium however the weather turned cold and the skies cloudy, a true Mediterranean winter's day, so the photos are somewhat black and white. Believe me though on a sunny clear day the Swan River provides a magnificent backdrop to these architectural achievements. An invigorating walk to the stadium along the beautiful Swan River, and we met these superstar swans, after all it is their river.

 Then a walk along the foot bridge, which resembles a roller coaster, that can also be climbed. Sydney Harbour bridge watch out, you now have a rival.

Where have all the fans gone? They are on their way for the big game.

After all of the walking, talking and exploring, we ventured into the Stadium cafe, and enjoyed sharing a meal of Fish (Hake) and Chips, Western Australian style. Mr. HRK also had a Hot Chocolate which he loved. It is a very impressive cafe/restaurant and from the size of the kitchen, unfortunately that area was partitioned off at lunch, it  hosts some very impressive dinners.

A day out in Perth isn't complete without a visit to the Kings Park Botanical Garden. Parking was at a premium on the day we visited as it is school holidays, and because of where we parked we found ourselves venturing into the Rio Tinto naturescape area, a treasure trove for kids to climb, play and connect with nature, get down and get dirty in the wet sand basins, and hopefully soak up the message of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse. A wonderful concept.

Mr. HRK and I have been to Kings Park a few times  previously so I didn't go overboard with photos, however this stunning orange Diels Grevillea really took my eye, and it was gratifying to see so many Italian bees on the beautiful flowers like the one below.

The majestic views from Kings Park and the Eternal flame over the Swan River and the City of Perth  are breathtaking on a clear day, and this probably sets this botanical garden apart from most others around the world. The mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP are well represented in the skyscrapers on the city skyline.

Despite all of the beauty and amazing food and coffee spots that Perth has to offer there is also an underbelly which is obvious to the visitor and one that residents are fully aware of, that of homelessness. In Victoria Park alone where we are staying, many a vacated shop front along the street has a homeless person sleeping rough outside the front door. There are many social problems causing this, and of course drugs are also attributed a lot of the blame. This is certainly a scourge that a lot of cities around the world are now facing and hopefully some solutions to this problem will be found by Governments, welfare organisations and society in my lifetime. I live in hope.sunny

On a happy note, have a great week my friends and enjoy whatever it is that you are doing.

Thanks for dropping by, and best wishes from Perth, it's a sunny day.



  1. hi pauline
    we haven't been to perth for years and it looks very up and coming now:) that bridge seems to be popping up everywhere. i've never seen it before except in the last week or two, i've noticed it on telly and on social media and just everywhere. funny how that happens. how lovely to have new grandchildren, and twins at that. have a great time.. cheers sherry

    1. Sherry as a food blogger and restaurant reviewer, you would love Perth now.This trip was about the chidren for us so we didn't get out that much and it was very cold at night but lovely place to visit.Thanks, Pauline.

  2. Pauline, I have never been to Perth. Good on you for helping out with some baby sitting at such a very busy time in the family. Children grow so quickly and those sleepless nights are soon forgotten. It is freezing here in SE Qld as a cold front has come up from down south. We saw news about the WA earthquake last night. That would have been scary.

  3. Chel, We didn't hear about the earthquake over there, and we are home now and surprisingly cold also for Mackay. I know how cold Toowoomba can get.Keep warm, Cheers, Pauline

  4. Congratulations on the grandbabies! Perth is really happening and I was so impressed the last time I visited. Help yourself butter is a brilliant idea.

    1. Thanks Lorraine. Yes I love finding the different ideas to be found in the new and popular eateries.

  5. Twin grandbabies, what utter joy. One for each of you - congratulations!

    1. Thanks Amanda, yes they are just beautiful, and all is going well with them.


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