Review: Fromage Tour by Two Feet & A Heartbeat
Wander out Yonder is a concept dreamed up by the tourism arm of the Western Australian government and what a great idea it is!
I managed to snare a $100 voucher and decided to spend it on a Fromage tour in Perth City.
The tour cost is $110 per person but with the help of Mr McGowan, my husband and I only paid $60 each.
Run by Perth institution, Two Feet & a Heartbeat, the Fromage tour lasts for two and a half hours. Two Feet & a Heartbeat also offer tours in Rottnest, Margaret River and The Kimberley as well as Fremantle and Perth city.
Our guide for the Fromage tour was Emily.
All ten tour participants were ready at 3pm on a very hot Saturday afternoon, meeting at the Northbridge Piazza. We walked through the Old Shanghai food court and at the rear Emily pointed out several landmarks of Perth’s Chinatown and invited us to enjoy the artwork on the surrounding walls. We were fascinated to get a glimpse of Sneaky Tony’s speakeasy and to learn that a password (found on Facebook) is required before entry to this rum bar.
Then it was on to our first stop – Kakulas Brothers in Williams Street, which opened its doors in 1929. We were given an introduction to the store by Evan Stavros a third-generation family member. He told us about the store’s beginning and how his grandmother was the first to import virgin olive oil into Western Australia. Many of the herbs and spices in the store have healing properties, which are detailed beside the items. As well as the delicious cheeses (Australian aged cheddar, Greek sheep and goat’s cheese) and olives that we sampled – Evan also gave us tasters of apricots and Turkish delight. A Kakulas bag, a bottle of water and small take-away samples of Himalayan rock salt and turmeric were added to our bounty.
We then crossed busy Roe Street and walked through a very quiet Yagan Square to the Murray Street Mall – home to the Coal River Farm store. There we sampled some beautiful washed rind Camembert, triple cream Brie and a blue cheese as well as two different chocolates. All cheese and chocolate in the store come from the Coal River Valley in Tasmania. After the WA retail manager told us about the products, he offered all tour members 10% off any purchases. We quickly bought the washed rind Camembert, which was placed in a small cooler bag.
Next up, we walked along Murray Street to The Flour Factory in Queen Street. As well as two kinds of cheese to sample (cheddar and blue cheese) we also enjoyed a charcuterie plate with excellent deli meats, thin slices of pear and apple, pickled vegetables, crackers and bread as well as a small plate of roast potatoes with aioli. Water was liberally provided at all our stops but many in our group decided to buy themselves one of the Flour Factory’s famous gin cocktails. I was very impressed with the amount of gin and tonica trees (nine gin cocktails for $140) that were being ordered – but not by our group – we didn’t have enough time!
Emily then showed us into a small bar further down Queen Street. Sneakers & Jeans is a Tequila bar boasting more than 150 tequilas. As with Sneaky Tony’s, it’s not an easy place to find but it would be a good place to visit.
Back on the move again we walked through Wolf Lane and took the Central Park building shortcut onto St George’s Terrace. Emily gave us a bit of a history lesson about Perth’s laneways and landmarks along the way, including Point Zero on St George’s Terrace where all road distances are measured from Perth.
Our final stop was at Pooles Temple in the basement of the State Buildings. It takes its name from the Perth Mint architect, George Temple Poole. It is reminiscent of old London bars with its dark interior, velvet chairs and gold-framed mirrors.
A glass of wine and a cheese platter were provided as part of our tour. The West Australian Brie, Gorgonzola and Pecorino were a fitting end to a very good afternoon. We learned quite a lot – how cheese is made, what herbs, spices, fruit and vegetables to use as anti-inflammatories, some history about our capital city and not least where to find some out-of-the-way interesting watering holes. Thanks Emily!
Two Feet & a Heartbeat
Phone: 1800 459 388
Fromage Tour: $110 per person
Duration: 2.5 hrs
Maximum tour size: 12 persons
Facilities: Rest Rooms available at two stops
Accessible: Sneakers & Jeans and Pooles Temple are downstairs venues.
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