Marking the beginning of warm weather in Perth (also known as beach weather here) and our first day off work together in a very long time, Dk and I embarked on an uphill cycle starting at Lake Claremont and ending at a beach side cafe called The Naked Fig.
Swanbourne Beach is easily found at the end of Marine Parade a few minutes away from the popular and iconic Cottesloe Beach. In wintertime I often walk between the two beaches. The sealed path traces alongside the beach above the sand dunes, positioned in full view of the not so calm ocean but far enough to avoid the blowing sand and chilly ocean spray, the walk sometimes becomes challenging when the strong winds pick up. To me, Swanbourne is a little more relaxed and laid back than its neighbour. There is just the one licensed restaurant, the Surf Life Saving Club and a nudist beach further down the sandy stretch bordering the Army barracks. Swanbourne Beach also connects to the local Grant Street Dog Beach and many dog owners float by the Naked Fig Cafe for breakfast whilst their happy dogs sit patiently on the grass below the cafe.
The Naked Fig Restaurant and Cafe
We took our seats outside opting for the cool shade provided by the umbrella, not quite ready to bare our winter white skins to the sun just yet. The location of the the Naked Fig is supreme, the view of the ocean is simply relaxing, sending us both into ‘holiday mode’. Our rather long coastline in Perth is stunning, spacious and clean. Swanbourne Beach is only a 20 minute drive from Perth’s CBD as well, one of the many reasons people migrate to Perth is for the close proximity of the beaches. The outside decking is elevated, making it a perfect spot for parents to watch the kids play in the foreground below. People casually wander into the cafe after a swim, the change rooms are located next door.
View from the sundeck at The Naked Fig (a great spot for families with the playground directly opposite)
We skipped the breakfast menu with the intention of trying it another time and ordered a round of coffees instead. The grizzly bear pancakes and my mexican lover would have to wait for now. It was good to see from a brief look at the breakfast menu the number of vegetarian and gluten free items, more than one that is.
There was one juice that caught Dk’s eye as he scanned the menu and that was The Beet Booster. An immune system healer of carrot, apple, ginger, beetroot and an optional dash of lime and Tabasco. Virtually the same colour as his t-shirt the chilled beet booster definitely had a kick in it from the Tabasco, it is a juice he would order again and health aside for one moment, this juice would go down so well with a bowl of fried chips and aioli dip post swim.
The Beet Booster Juice ($8.50)
The Naked Fig use St. Ali Family coffee beans in all of their brewed coffee and consumers can purchase take home bean packs from the counter. My cappuccino had a soft layer of froth, I drink a straight black coffee at home brewed on the stove top and so a cappuccino is always a little treat for me.
Cycling to Swanbourne Beach
After our breezy coffee break we returned to the bicycles and thinking we would be smart we took what was meant to be a short cut following a track behind the West Australian Bridge Club. The path was not bicycle friendly as we soon discovered halfway through when we reached a set of stairs, we stuck with it though and carried the bicycles up. For our efforts we were rewarded with a lovely view of the ocean. The good thing about reaching the top is the downhill part to follow and as we rode down the stairs to the street level in Swanbourne we were reminded by signage to watch out for deadly snakes (that is if you aggravate them otherwise they will not harm you). Far from a smart shortcut the path does make a nice walk without bicycles!
View from the hill behind the West Australian Bridge Club (Note the nature trail is not bicycle friendly with several areas of steps)
Breakfast at The Naked Fig is available to 11:30 ish
Phone: (08) 9384 1222
Address: 278 Marine Parade, Swanbourne, WA see map
Free parking behind the restaurant
Open every morning from 7:00am for breakfast and lunch and every night (except Monday nights) for dinner
Yummy cocktails available, ideal for champagne breakfast
More information on Swanbourne beach - http://beachsafe.org.au/beach/wa0840
The Cycle Route
The cycle route commenced at Lake Claremont and according to Google maps takes around 16 minutes each way, it took us rough 25 minutes each way. The only busy road we cycled along was Servetus Street however there is a cycle path alongside the passing cars so there is some space. We crossed the car bridge (ride on the footpath here) into Swanbourne. The route passes some lovely character homes and ultra modern architecturally amazing houses like the clear glass rooftop pool terrace home we spotted on our journey. The ride is moderately up hill until you reach Marine Parade (good for the thighs and butt!).
Lake Claremont is about a 5 minute cycle from the Claremont Train station. Park at the station or even bring the bicycles on the train to Claremont. Just be aware of the Transperth rules.
There is parking for the bicycles located on the path in front of The Naked Fig. When cycling in Perth always lock up the bicycles with a chain lock.