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Perth, Western Australia: Guildford Antique/Arts and Craft Store Strip, Guildford Hotel, The Margaret River Chocolate Company - Day 10

Dr Russell's Imaginarium Sign.
Dr Russell's Imaginarium Sign.

Today's plan was another family outing with Enigma and I along with my brother, sister, and Mum. My brother had suggested we all meet up in Guilford, a suburb (and historical town) of Perth, which was around 15 to 20 minutes up the road from our apartment.

In particular he suggested browsing the many antique, arts, and craft stores in the main part of the town. There was one in particular he wanted us to visit called Dr Russell's Imaginarium, which specializes in old movie memorabilia. Sadly the physical store closed at the end of 2023 (see link for more info).

Our meet up point was Alfred's Kitchen, a train car out door burger café that opens after 5pm that is the longest running roadside kitchen in Perth. My brother suggested it because he knew it would be closed and we could use the carpark which was virtually across the road from the antique store strip.

Enigma and I arrived just as my brother texted to say he, my sister, and Mum were just leaving, so that gave us some time to kill.

Behind Alfred's Kitchen, over the railway line was St. Mathew's Church, surrounded by a heritage park that looked like it had a few things to see and take photos of, so we headed over.

Most of the park was filled with World War One memorials, including a commemorative rose garden dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC soldiers who fought during that war.

War Memorial Statue dedicated to the Light Horsemen that fought in World War One.
War Memorial Statue dedicated to the Light Horsemen that fought in World War One.

While there were plenty of photogenic memorial statues there was also plenty of informational signage with historical photos, part of a heritage walk, giving you a history of the region. Certainly worth a walk around if history is your thing.

About a half hour later, the rest of my family arrived and we headed over to the antique shops. While it was certainly interesting picking through them, I didn't really take any photos. I do find these kinds of stores interesting to browse though.

Dinosaur and Lion statues outside the Museum of Natural History in Guildford.
Dinosaur and Lion statues outside the Museum of Natural History in Guildford.
We didn't go in here but I had to take a photo of the dinosaur.

Unfortunately when we got to Dr Russell's Imaginarium it was closed. As it turns out it's only open Friday to Sunday... Thursday, not so much! Which was a bit disappointing but (spoiler), Enigma and I will visit it two days later. More when I write about day 12.

Still, there were other shops to browse in the same area, and by that point we were ready for lunch. We headed back up the strip to the Guildford Hotel where we were greeted by a very enthusiastic young wait staff lady who overloaded us with too much info just trying to get a table.

Upstairs balcony at the Guildford Hotel.
Upstairs balcony at the Guildford Hotel.
At some point the hotel was gutted by
fire and features things like this spiral
staircase that now goes nowhere.

Somehow she sent my brother and sister on a browse upstairs to see if we wanted to sit up there but with no lift in sight and two flights of fairly steep stairs there was no way sitting upstairs was an option (due to Enigma still recovering from a knee replacement making stairs a challenge).

Finally we managed to get a table downstairs with a little more deliberation on the ideal table. Apparently the one near the windows would be too warm so we sat somewhere more central.

Our waiter lady proceeded to give us too much information about how to order, highlighting the QR code system or the option of ordering at the bar. Later I noticed there was a giant poster sign explaining everything the girl had covered in very clear and concise way. As much as our waiter was trying to be helpful and customer focused, I think she should, perhaps, end her spiel by directing people to the poster sign.

Anyway, I ended up ordering their Cheese burger with fries. Enigma had a chicken burger with chips, while everyone else went with the fish and chips (which was a huge plate of food in comparison to our burgers which were modestly sized for a hotel meal).

After lunch we spent quite a while working out where to go next with many options being closed, not really what we wanted, or too far away.

Enigma had been looking through a couple of tourist books of the area, we had picked up while browsing the second hand stores. She came across The Margaret River Chocolate Co. which turned out to be 6km up the road, in the Swan Valley, and had a café that was open until 5pm. So I suggested we head out there and stop for a tea or coffee in the café. Everyone seemed happy with the plan.

When we got there I was actually surprised at how big the shop and café were. I was expecting a more typical small store (something like a Haigh's Chocolate store) with a small café on the side.

This place was small supermarket huge with large indoor and outdoor (under a large veranda) space for the Café. Well worth the visit and you can actually sample chocolate for free.

The Margaret River Chocolate Co. Store.
The Margaret River Chocolate Co. Store.

Enigma bought a few things for the grand kids, chocolate covered jelly snakes for us, and then we both had a large hot chocolate in the café. I felt it was a great end to the day out as we all headed home.


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