Pieces of Perth: The Muse Cafe

A new series of posts I’m hoping to continue … cause … how many of us really see our own city?

Yesterday I had reason to visit the city  – Perth that is – and found an amazing café that I didn’t know existed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Muse Café is lodged in the old gaol, part of the Perth museum. It’s run by some young things and they have done brilliant things with the small gaol cells available to them. Each one is decked out with comfy couches and quirky coffee tables.

The coffee was really good and the chicken and sage sausage roll, served with salad greens, a lovely twist on the traditional.

Even if you’re not into museums you should search out this café – you could unlock your muse here.

A simple flat white - but look at the spoon.

A simple flat white – but look at the spoon.






Where’s the best café in your city? I need to know for when I visit.

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Cakey Delights Pt. 2

As promised, for Top 10 Tuesday, here’s Part 2 of my idea of cakey heaven. If you missed Part 1 last week then pop back and have a look. This week’s choices start close to home and move further away as we go down the list.

7. Margaret River Chocolate Company – with two venues, the original near Margaret River in the south west of Western Australia and a replica in the Swan Valley, just outside Perth, they do the most divine and chocolaty chocolate brownies you could imagine. They come with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.  There’s an absolute abundance of other sweet treats too. This one’s too close to home, my willpower tends to cave in to this place.

A tempting array at the Margaret River Chocolate Company

8. The Bridge Restaurant, Ubud – I’ve mentioned this place before. The staff, the service, the food – all were impeccable when I visited this beautifully situated terraced restaurant on the banks of the river in Ubud. Spend some time here in this relaxing spot, it’s the ideal place if you’re alone just to sit and contemplate. This delightful concoction does come off their dessert menu but I’m sure you could get it any time of day – they’re obliging like that.

So delicate.

9. Agios Nikolaos, Crete – The seating area for this café was across the road from the café itself. Yes, ACROSS THE ROAD. Half of the fun was watching the waiters skillfully dodge the cars and scooters, plates in hand, as they delivered the food to us. The blue of the sky was reflected in the harbor while the luxury yachts jostled against fishing boats and I indulged in a creamy, ice-creamy, chocolaty, banana split – heaven.

Heaven by the harbour.

Told you he had to cross the road!

And there’s the view!


10. Rome – We were staying only paces from the Trevi Fountain , the most amazing position for a holiday apartment. This meant that we only had to step outside our front door and we had our pick of places to eat. This place was about ten metres to our left. So much Tiramisu …..

Up at the crack of dawn for a photo without the crowds.

Scones in Sassafras

As you all know I’m not a food blogger. I don’t review restaurants and cafes or breakfasts and dinners, because I don’t do it well and there are people out there who really know what they’re talking about when it comes to food. But sometimes a place is so memorable that I just have to say something.

As regular followers will know I recently spent a few days in Melbourne. Now I’m not that bright when it comes to choosing my time to travel to Melbourne, the weather is generally less than ideal and so it was this time (could have something to do with me going in winter I guess). The Dandenong Ranges though, with misty rain and the temperature a lot lower than I am currently used to, provided a wonderful atmosphere, evocative of many happy Sundays spent exploring the villages in the English countryside.

Sorry, I am getting back to the point of this post. On the Sunday we took a drive up into the ranges and enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Snooty Fox in Olinda but, after browsing through some quaint antique shops and pretty gift shops in Olinda and Sassafras we felt the need for a cream tea. Scones, jam and cream seemed like a perfect way to end the afternoon. The cafes were busy and, after popping our heads into a few, we settled on The Black Kettle, mainly I must admit because they actually had a table for us. As I said this was a memorable experience, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.

We placed our order and settled comfortably near the warm fire for what turned out to be an interesting episode. Ok, it was busy when we sat down but really, a nearly thirty minute wait for two cups of tea, two scones and a piece of chocolate mud cake? After what seemed like an inordinately long time this is what happened:


  • One pot of tea arrived, with one cup and one saucer – we pointed out that we had ordered two. Off went the young man (a pleasant young man I must admit).
  • The second pot of tea arrived a few minutes later but with a cup half the size of the first one (more like an espresso cup).
  • The cake and scones arrived. The two scones were on a very nice rectangular plate with little pots of jam and cream.
  • Sounds good but – no individual plates. We asked for some.
  • Plates arrived, except – they were saucers.
  • Could we have cutlery maybe? Please? Knives to spread the jam?
  • A knife arrived. ONE knife. Could we have two please, oh, and maybe a fork for the mud cake?
  • Once we had the required crockery and cutlery we set to the pleasant task of consuming what turned out to be very nice scones.
  • We never did get napkins but we didn’t feel like we should push our luck any further at that point.

The strange thing is that no other table seemed to be experiencing the same issues that we were having. They even got napkins. It had obviously been a long day in café land and luckily we were in the mood to see the funny side of the situation. Hopefully this was an isolated instance but seriously guys – not good for business.

Chocolate Indulgence (aka the chocolate trap)

I’ve just spent a wonderfully indulgent couple of hours surrounded by chocolate. No, my willpower did not stand up to it, in case you’re wondering.

Chocolate truffles to die for!

I actually went for coffee with a friend but those clever people at the Margaret River Chocolate Company have very kindly put a café in the middle of chocolate heaven. With factories in both the Margaret River and Swan Valley wine regions their cafes are perfectly placed as an alternative when you need a break from the wine tasting.

Now we all know that chocolate is good for us – fact. It contains a range of vitamins, is high in antioxidants (particularly the dark chocolate) and is well known for giving us that ‘feel good’ feeling. The Margaret River Chocolate Company has certainly honed in on our lack of willpower when it comes to anything that is going to make us feel good. They are not short on variety either with a range of chocolate products in white, milk and dark chocolate.

How can you resist?

Their range of hand made truffles makes it extremely difficult to choose, so, in an effort to combine a couple of indulgences, I chose the Rum truffle and the Cointreau one. At $1.95 each they’re not cheap but well worth the outlay. My only other purchase (I was very restrained) was a pack of their dark chocolate pastelles. These are just straight forward chocolate buttons but I don’t think you can go past them, chocolate coated fruit and nut, honeycomb, ginger and lots of other varieties are available, but give me plain chocolate any day.

Too many choices!

Continuing the theme in their café they have a range of chocolate cakes and brownies to try plus a hot chocolate made from their own chocolate (stating the obvious there I guess). I opted for coffee but my friend assures me that the hot chocolate was bliss. The chocolate brownie was one of the best I have tasted and came drizzled with chocolate and with a small scoop of ice cream on the side. Yuuuuuum.

A view over the vineyards

On West Swan Road in the heart of the Swan Valley near Perth, and with the café on the verandah overlooking the neighbouring vineyard, it is a perfect place to relax for a while and regroup before heading for more wineries. Unfortunately to get to the café, and then back out again, you have to run the gauntlet of chocolate. You can try focusing on the exit when you leave the café but, you will get sucked in. The chocolate will get to you.