Jeepers – what a year.
While 2020 was unpredictably unsettling, for me, it ended on a high and with a tone of optimism for what 2021 would have in store. Here’s my self-indulgent look back at the tasty highlights of the year that was…
In between dining out, I’ve ridden the waves this year. From the challenges of single parenthood and aging parents, dating in my late 30s, and the uncertainty of everyday life in 2021. Dining out gave a welcome escape, even if on a few occasions we had to eat out with masks. The usually fun holiday countdown filled me with dread – stressing that we’d have another lockdown, and I’d have to cancel my long-awaited trip to Ryan’s Rest tiny house. Thankfully I did get there and had a marvelous time – more on that in a bit.
I’ve had so many happy and joyful moments in the last 12 months, for which I’m so thankful. I feel these are too often offset by the challenges and uncertainness of life today. If your mood is a bit “meh” – I feel you.
I don’t feel as optimistic as I usually would for a fresh new year. I have concerns for my family and friends with chronic health conditions when we open the borders. I fear for our kids, and the long-term impact our topsy turvy life with COVID will have on them. I worry for my hospitality friends that put their heart and soul into their businesses, not knowing what conditions they’ll be trading under in 2022. All we can do is hope that everything will work out.
What the last two years have taught me… Be present in the moment. Relish the little things. Enjoy every single last bite.
Simply PERTHfect – The Rebrand
You may have noticed I’ve had a little re-brand. From “The Chef His Wife and Their PERTHfect Life”, to the transitional “The Chefs Ex-Wife” and now “Simply PERTHfect”. One of the things that has set my blog apart from many others, is my close links and respect of the Perth hospitality industry – that I’d lived and breathed it for almost 20 years. That I know the many behind the scenes challenges of running a restaurant and kitchen. So, I kept a little element of my old blog and Simply PERTHfect has been a nice sort of re-birth for me. I hope you like the fresh change as much as I do!
2021 PERTHfect Dining
2021 did have many highlights. Some of my most popular posts were at new-ish restaurants; Seven Sins, perched on the edge of the Roleystone hills. Chef Seb’s pork knuckle is a must try!
My favourite meal of the year has to go to Shorehouse; a brilliant all-rounder, even better the second time around. It’s my hot tip for summer. And make sure you save room for dessert!
I also spent a lot of time in the Swan Valley – checking out newbies from the family friendly Bailey Brewing Co, to a beautiful refurb of the Sandalford Winery restaurant and Funk 2.0 a more grown-up incarnation of Funk Cider.
Newbies I plan on checking out early in the new year… The Corner Dairy, Nieuw Ruin, The Old Courthouse, Will Street and many more! With all the hype of new venues, it’s important to support existing restaurants that are doing a fantastic job. Vans, Black Pig Deli, Plume Estate, Furaibo and Toastface Grillah were among my favourite Perth dining spots I visited this year.
This was a year that we said goodbye to Rusty Pig, Two Birds Fromagerie, plus personal favourites Meeka and the Hummus Club. Since I started my blog in 2013 many of the spots I’ve dined at have closed their doors, leading to my most popular post of the year being updated to “91 Restaurants That Have Closed in Perth”. This started a few years ago with 32 restaurants – fingers crossed 2022 is a much more successful year for Perth’s restauranteurs.
2021 PERTHfect Travel
Whilst travelling overseas is a no-go and interstate put into the too-hard-basket, I reveled in the glorious gems WA has to offer. Post-COVID travel for me has included discovering incredibly beautiful beaches of the Albany coastline and delicious Demark wineries, Southern Forest timber towns, sunny Gero, farming towns of the Wheatbelt and more. This year I’ve had my fair share of long weekends delving a little deeper into what WA has to offer.
My favourite holiday of 2021 had to be the incredible Ryan’s Rest near Pemberton. I’d been eyeing up the tiny house on air bnb for a couple of years, and finally snagging a rare-as-hens-teeth booking. Little Chef and I relished being off grid, and exploring the surrounding area.
And while I did plenty of “wandering out yonder”, I rediscovered a few close to home gems too. Rotto Cruises is back for summer with a pimped up Luxe Island Seafood Cruise – where you catch a cray and enjoy it along with a seven course seafood feast, with Rottnest’s beautiful bays as a backdrop. I kid you not, when I say this is one of the best things I have ever done. Bucket list stuff. They’ve launched a South West cruise too, which I’m excited to check out.
Recently I toured the gems of Perth’s north with Discover Wanneroo. It was a day of caves, eats, bushwalks, wine and views. I lived in the City of Wanneroo for 15 years and had never visited some of these spots. Truly, you don’t always appreciate what’s right under your nose. Keep your eyes peeled for my blog all about the wonders of Wanneroo soon.
2021 PERTHfect Produce
I’ve always been struck by just how bloody amazing West Aussie fruit, veg, dairy and meat is. We all need to support our hard working farmers by remembering to always “Buy West, Eat Best”. The inaugural Great Graze was a brilliant excuse to plate up a platter brimming with WA produce. It’s set to be back in 2023. You may have spotted me at one of BWEB’s shopping center activations through the year or enjoyed a dish of local produce during Plating Up WA. I loved connecting with local producers at the very first Buy West Eat Best “Meet The Buyer” event too.
I was stoked to contribute an article to the beautifully curated WA Potatoes Magazine. Through my research I discovered one of Perth’s very best farmstalls, Kellers, in the Swan Valley. Be sure to check it out for it’s farm-fresh produce and fresh bakes!
It was a pleasure to met one of WA’s Potato farmers, Glenn Ryan (owner of Ryan’s Rest), who was busily planting his potato fields during our stay at the tiny house.
Before I was a writer, my day job was in accounts. I’m still a number nerd. I think its pretty nifty to see how my little blog has grown from year to year. Here’s a few of my 2021 stats…
o over 25 new blog posts
o over 55,000 views of my blog posts
o over 20,000 social media followers, growing by the day.
You can follow me on social media at…
@SimplyPERTHfect on Instagram
On Facebook www.facebook.com/SImplyPERTHfect
@SimplyPERTHfect on Twitter
Simply PERTHfect Digital Marketing Co
This year I have continued my monthly restaurant review for the Post newspaper (the Western Suburbs local paper). I’m so proud to contribute to such a well written newspaper for the last 8 years. I’ve been freelancing my little butt off! I also write for a few other websites, including everything kid-friendly for Perth’s #1 family website Buggybuddys.
This year my little business – Simply PERTHfect Digital Marketing Co grew and grew. November saw me take on three new (amazing!) clients. I love working from home and the flexibility that freelancing gives me, especially with Little Chef. Specialising in the hospitality, family, travel and lifestyle industries. I’ve worked with cafes, hotels, restaurants, takeaways, lifestyle products, family brands and more to create content for their own blogs and manage their social media platforms. Feel free to get in touch with any questions for your business… amanda@simplyPERTHfect.com
A PERTHfect 2022?
Gosh, I bloody hope so! This year had many personal highs and lows. And just like a rollercoaster ride, it was all over in the blink of an eye.
What’s happening in 2022? Fingers crossed there will be lots more food and travel adventures. I have a couple of short breaks already booked – stay tuned to find out more! I’m also hoping to catch up on my backlog of 30+ unwritten posts – which I say EVERY year. Just thinking about that makes me break out into a sweat. In the last few months, I’ve eaten at the new 8 Yolks Belmont, Chez Pierre, Clarences, Laika, Duck Duck Bruce and many more.
I hope to allow myself more me-time. Outside of my work, blog and family life, I love to get stuck into Formula One (what a crazy good 2021 season we’ve had!), listen to some vinyl and my favourite book series Outlander (yay for book nine!).
My love for the Perth Hills continues with a few trips to gem La Fattoria, Plume, Vineyard Kitchen and the Packing Shed. I think this amazing part of Perth doesn’t get as much exposure as it should, so I like to toot my horn about the Perth Hills at every opportunity. I may be doing even more of this in 2022, with an exciting new project – watch this space!
Most importantly, to my followers, thank you so very much for reading! Every Facebook like, Instagram love and comment is appreciated. I hope you’ve discovered somewhere new. It makes me smile to know that small Perth businesses get a few extra bums on seats from my shout outs.
I’m hoping 2022 is the best yet for us all. Wishing you much health and happiness,