Coming back from house search this morning I was delighted the XWray Cafe was open on Easter Monday, as my regular Fremantle caffeine dealers were all closed. I was short before caffeine withdrawal and becoming an even grumpier old man than I already am, but relaxed on one of the couches and saw this lovely still life of sugar waiting for coffee. It’s painterly and I like it when straight none-photoshopped photography reaches that point. For photography lovers, it was taken at 3200 ISO with available light only.
Here’s a challenge for all the other Fremantle baristas and cafe owners. This ‘Dockercino’ was created at the XWray Cafe to celebrate the great finals win of the Fremantle Dockers against Geelong.
Wandering around Fremantle on this sticky day I noticed the improvements made at the old Synagogue. I am not an expert on heritage conservation, but it looks a whole lot better than it has for years. The ROA numbat mural in the Henderson street mall compliments the little market in the lane way, while the XWray cafe is always a cute sight.
I am less impressed with the rather massive boardwalk near the heritage listed former Kerosene Store, and now Kidogo Art House, at Bathers Beach. It is way out of proportion with the small local beach and the art gallery.
It’s those sometimes a bit hidden, special cafes, the little corners, that make Fremantle the special place it is. I like the XWray Cafe in Essex Street. It has a homely feel about it, the coffee is good and so is the food, and having a glass of wine there in the evening gives one a sense of belonging to the community.
I have been shocked twice this week about what cafes charge for a tiny cup of Espresso. In Mount Hawthorn on Tuesday I had to pay $ 3.90 for an espresso at the Bodhi Tree Book cafe and this morning at Cafe Lumos in White Gum Valley I paid $ 3.70.
At my regular hangouts I pay $ 3.30 at the Moore&Moore, $ 3.40 at Tasty@B Shed and only $ 2.50 for an excellent espresso in a lovely slim shot glass at the XWray Cafe. To pay more than that in a cafe in the burbs is too much in my opinion.
A change in routine this morning, meeting a friend at the XWray Cafe in Essex Street. Quite an eye opening and wallet closing experience it was as well. I only drink Espresso and in my favourite cafes in Fremantle I pay $ 3.30 and $ 3.40 per cup. At the XWray the espresso was served in a gorgeous, slim, tall, shot glass and looked just great. It tasted even better, close to the best espresso I have had in town, and the cost? Only $ 2.50!!
Credit when credit is due, so I have to post here all the good things I have experienced in Fremantle in the last few days. Last evening I was again highly impressed with the lovely ambience at the XWray Cafe, when having a drink with one friend, became having a few good glasses of wine with many friends, who just happened to visit the same, no noise, no loud music, cosy venue. The Germans would call it gemuetlich and the Dutch gezellig. Nice also to see all those gorgeous, well dressed young people arriving to listen to the live music later in the eve.
Today I was the official photographer for the visit of the Dalai Lama to Fremantle and what a delight it was to see a full house Town Hall and a large crowd outside the venue listening to the broadcast. This man makes so much sense in a very easy to understand and practical way. No rocket science or pretense, just common sense.
While there as was told by council staff that my complaint on this blog about having no recycling bins at the Town Hall has been addressed and bins will now be there for future events. This is a fast and positive response by the City and they deserve credit for that! Thank you!!
After the Dalai Lama I met up with friends at The Loft, another one of those special bars in Fremantle with comfortable armchairs and couches where one can have a good conversation. The dark White Rabbit beer they brew there is one of the drinks I like a lot.
We went on to the Capri, and I am delighted to say that after the disappointing meal I had there last week, the scallops with hand cut chips and salad was very good and very good value for money, so they have redeemed themselves. It has always been one of Fremantle’s favourite restaurants and again this eve it showed, as all tables were occupied and people waiting in a queue.
You are a pretty special place Fremantle!
I had one of those good and bad hospitality experiences in Fremantle this week, but do believe many restaurant and cafe owners are starting to see the light, so there is hope we will see improvement soon.
I have been going to the Capri for 20 years but had not been there for almost a year, so I was quite disappointed to see that the portions of Saltimbocca my friend and I had were minuscule and not good value for money. There was nothing wrong with the quality of the veal and the white wine sauce was very tasty, while the salad I had was very fresh and crisp with a nice dressing, but to pay nearly 25 dollars for a meal and walk out hungry is not good value.
The more uplifting part of the evening was at the XWray Cafe, where we had a couple of glasses of red wine. I drank Tim Adams Cabernet Malbec, which was yum. The venue was cozy and nicely toasty on a cold night, the wine was good and generously served in stemless glasses, while the music did not overpower the conversation. This is not meant to be a wine bar but feels just right. The place was mainly occupied by people in their 20s and 30s. A lovely bar to spend a winter evening with friends.
I hope we will soon see more small wine bars all over Fremantle, already two have been approved for George Street and one is being developed on Wray Avenue. Hopefully the West End of town will also have a few soon.
The launch of the Rebranding of the Fremantle Society will be held at the XWray Cafe in Essex Street on Monday October 18th from 6pm.
This is a special event where we are launching the re-branding of the Society. City of Fremantle Councillor Andrew Sullivan, Chair of the Planning and Development committee, a well-known local architect and a member of the Society for over ten years, will speak briefly on his vision for Fremantle and will answer questions.
It is a free event. Food and drinks available from the bar. Do join us and bring your friends.
RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday October 15.
For Fremantle People and Places
# The Fremantle Society is a tribe of dedicated people working for a better future for Fremantle.
# The Fremantle Society, since 1972, has been improving the quality of life and working hard to protect the unique built and cultural heritage of Fremantle.
# The Society is proactive on heritage; productive for community; progressive about development; and inclusive for everyone. You can join the Freo Tribe and contribute your views and voice to Fremantle’s future.
# An exciting new era in Freo has emerged, with a greater focus on community connectivity and involvement in local issues.
# The Freo Society is responding to that change by re-branding its look and feel with a new logo, new colours and a newly developed Manifesto. Join us on the 18 October to be part of the launch of the refreshed Society and hear all about it and what is planned for the future.
Come and meet the Committee members, who will explain the Society’s new, refreshed direction, introduce you to the Freo Tribe blog and new Facebook page.
Have your say and be an active force in Freo’s future.