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Published May 23rd 2020
Take a hike down Hindley Street
Although Hindley Street in the city of Adelaide has transitioned and reinvented itself many times over the years, it still is fascinating to wander down and explore its many secrets and surprises.
Located in the western section of the city, running from King William Street through to West Terrace, Hindley Street is named after Charles Hindley, who was a British MP, and one of the original directors of the South Australian Company, set up to initially financially establish the colony of South Australia. Although Hindley never visited South Australia, it is believed he died from an overdose of alcohol which had been prescribed by his doctor for an illness, during the 1850s. Apparently he drank within a 72 hour period, 3.4 litres of Brandy.
Determined to shake off its seedy reputation in some parts, Hindley Street has much more to offer if you look closer.
Here are 9 interesting locations I discovered when I went out and explored the area:
One thing that Hindley Street prides itself on is it's multiculturalism and the area is peppered with varying cuisines from all over the world.
Casablabla is well renowned in Adelaide and boasts its diversity and exoticness which is revealed in its cuisine and its overall atmosphere.
Their specialty is Tapas, that opportunity to share plates amongst lively conversation. Examples include Poached Snapper and Caper Croquettes with Garlic Aioli, which would suit 3 people to share, setting you back around $12.50. Or perhaps you would prefer Sticky Pork Ribs with Lime, catering for 4 people for $16.50.
What a great way to try a range of shared dishes! During normal operating hours outside of COVID-19 restrictions, which are just starting to ease up gradually, there are also weekly specials available, for example on a Wednesday night is Valencia Paella which will cost you $18 a serve.
The in-house entertainment is a combination of Jazz and Lounge music, allowing you to chill with some great food, beverage and company.
Also if you are looking for something a little different as a gift for a special occasion, then gift cards are also available.
Casablabla is located just off Hindley Street at 12 Leigh Street in the city.
Due to COVID-19 they have been temporarily closed so check with them as to their graduation in opening again. Normal non-COVID-19 hours are Tuesday to Thursday 4 pm until late, Friday 12 pm until 3.30 am, Saturday 4 pm to 4 am and Sundays only on long weekends. Bookings can be either made online or by phone on 08 8231 3939.
Since 2017 this heritage hotel has been revamped, having commenced its life as both the Royal Oak Hotel and Miner's Arms Hotel back in 1838, thereby being one of the oldest continuously licenced premises still operating today.
One of the interesting features of this hotel are markings which can be found underneath the verandah, signifying where the original telegraph poles were once located.
It was known as the McGowan's Royal Oak Hotel until 1993 when it became the Bijou, and then up to 2017 was known as the Worldsend Hotel. It finally became the West Oak Hotel as we know it today.
A great range of meals await visitors from pub classics to shared plates and snacks washed down with some great wines and cocktails.
Classic Pub grub ranges in price from $18 to $20 and includes Burgers, Schnitzels and Fish and Chips.
The Wood Fired Grill menu ranges in price from $20 to $30 dependent upon your choice.
The shared plates offer varying palate testers including Candied Nuts with Coconut and Lime for $8 or Grilled Chicken Tenders with Japanese BBQ Sauce, Kewpie (Japanese Mayonnaise), Furikake, (Dry Japanese Seasoning) Bonito ( A type of Tuna) and Spring Onion for $9.
For dessert, what is known as an Eton Mess sounds inviting which comprises Meringue, Vanilla Whipped Cream, Peach, Pineapple and Passionfruit, a good option for cleansing the palate.
Again check for current hours due to the COVID-19 situation. Normally dining times are Lunch, Monday to Friday 11.30 am - 2.30 pm and Dinner, Monday to Saturday 5 pm - 9 pm.
Apart from the normal range of beverages, if you are into cocktails, they offer a Watermelon Ricky, which comprises Gin, Lime, Watermelon and Mint for $18 or you can buy jugs of cocktails for $25.
Bookings can be made online and West Oak is located at 208 Hindley Street in the city.
One of the iconic institutions which embraces art, craft and creativity backed up by many well established and up and coming designers is the Jam Factory, which gives visitors an opportunity to view some amazing pieces of work incorporating jewellery, furniture, and art as well as purchase some of the items for yourself or as gifts.
The name "The Jam Factory" is related to its history when it commenced operation back in 1973 as a craft training workshop in an old Jam factory on Payneham Road, St Peters. In 1992 the Jam Factory moved to its current location in the west end of the city with expansion into the Barossa Valley at Seppeltsfield Winery in 2013.
There are currently 4 studios specialising in Ceramics, Glass, Furniture and Jewellery and Metal providing a 2 year Skills and Business Associate program for artists and designers as well as some independent studio spaces for our more creative emerging talent.
The gallery is currently closed due to COVID-19, however at this stage is due for re-opening on Monday 6 July 2020. In the normal world, the retail shop is open Monday to Saturday 10am - 4 pm. The good news though is that the online shop is still an option and you can browse through some of the wonderful products for sale and purchase, at the same time supporting our creative geniuses.
The Jam Factory is located at 19 Morphett Street in the city, just off Hindley Street.
What I believe is one of the grandest building facades in Adelaide, the old Austral Stores building still stands as a sentinel to an age gone by and dates from 1903.
It was originally built as a group of 12 shops and dwellings by German migrant, butcher and small goods manufacturer Leopold Conrad, designed by his architect son, Albert Selmar Conrad. During 1908 plans were submitted by Jonathan Grant for dining rooms within the complex, which were approved. His premises became known as Grant's Coffee Palace, at a time when coffee palaces were becoming a popular venue, as a break away from the so called "evils of alcohol" endorsed by the Temperance Unions.
John West took over the Coffee Palace in 1919 and the venue became known as West's Coffee Palace for many years. The ornate verandah and balcony were removed following alterations during 1960.
It's great to think an ornate Edwardian structure being State Heritage is still standing today for us all to view and enjoy.
You will find the heritage building at 104 - 120 Hindley Street in the city.
Sometimes the best surprises for food and beverage can be found off the main streets and this is one of them. The Little Hunter is classified as a Steak and Ale Bar with a casual atmosphere about it.
As they specialise in meat cuts, particularly steaks, from the grill you can try Wagyu Rump 300g for $35 or perhaps Black Angus Scotch Fillet 300g for $36. Their other main selections on their menu range in price from $22 to $34 and include Roasted Moroccan Lamb Rump with Polenta for $32 or Hunter Meat Skewers (Angus Rump, Chicken Leg Fillet, Lamb Chop, Spicy Sausages) served with Truffle Mash for $30.
There are a great range of sauces as well to choose from to complement the meat dishes. For veggies or salad options it will cost you extra to add to your mains.
By the way, if you are a Vegetarian or Vegan, apart from the odd non-meat item, it is probably not the place for you to go.
For dessert, one of the options is a Coconut and Lemongrass Creme Brulee, which will set you back $13.
One option is to finish off with a couple of Espresso Martinis with a dessert for $30 or cheeseboard for $35.
Normal non-COVID-19 hours are Monday and Tuesday, 5pm - 10.30 pm, Wednesday to Friday, Lunch 12 - 2.30 pm and Dinner 5 pm - 9 pm, and Saturdays 5 pm - 9 pm. You will need to check if the hours have been modified at this time.
You will find The Little Hunter at 25 Victoria Street in the city, just off Hindley Street and they can be contacted on 08 8211 8464.
If you like a place to indulge and feast your senses that oozes charm and atmosphere, then the Apoteca Bar and Restaurant is probably the place for you.
Established in 2002 within a heritage building, the name comes from the 142-year-old apothecary (pharmacy) cabinets which currently grace the front bar.
Although the venue has been closed due to COVID-19, check with them as to their graduation to normal trading again. Under normal circumstances, there is a wide selection of food available under varying menu titles, including Chef's Tasting Menu, as well as Canape and Grazing Menu.
The normal menu ranges in price from $2.80 through to $46, with options such as Lamb Kofta, Pine Nut and Tahini Yoghurt for $12 or Grilled Asparagus, Zucchini Salad and Caperberry for $22.
The Chef's selection of either 4 dishes or 6 dishes will cost you $62 pp or $82 pp respectively. The $82 pp option includes an appetiser and dessert. For wine pairing on the 6 dish Chef Selection, it will cost you another $56 pp or for the 4 dish, $36 pp.
The Canape and Grazing Menu is designed for Cocktail parties with a minimum of 20 people.
Apoteca also do takeaway and gift cards.
A great place with plenty of ambience. You will find Apoteca at 118 Hindley Street in the city. On their website currently, it does offer bookings for Friday night with a deposit required of $25 for set dining times - either an early dinner set at 90 minutes from 6 pm until 7.30 pm and a later more relaxed dining time of 8 pm. For Friday 5 June it is offering a 5.30 pm til 7 pm dining option or an 8 pm option.
Still to be seen down the western end of Hindley Street are some good examples of 19th-century cottages tucked away amongst the more contemporary building structures, including in the shadow of the SAHMRI building on North Terrace.
The early years of Hindley Street at one time had the densest population of European settlement in Adelaide, particularly around the junction with Morphett Street and towards King William Street.
Significant premises in the early years included the Town Council Room, Robert Thomas's Printing Office, the premises of John Woodforde, a surgeon, the South Australian Club House, a Baptist Church and several company offices.
Hotels became prolific in the area and in the first four years of South Australian settlement, there were already 7 hotels erected in Hindley Street.
The South Australian Club House was designed as a meeting house for prominent male Adelaide citizens including John Brown, James Hurtle Fisher, Thomas Gilbert, Colonel William Light, John Morphett and Edward Stephens. Furnished within the premises were a select collection of books and maps for reference.
Many people living in the section of Hindley Street between Morphett Street and West Terrace, such as these cottages had one or two storey residences, and some lived above commercial premises in the precinct. Many of the occupations of these residents were skilled trades and labourers during the 1870s and 1880s.
By the 1880s, there were something like 18 hotels along Hindley Street which equated at the time to one hotel every 60 metres.
The western end of Hindley Street these days has been revitalised with the expansion of the University of South Australia's City west campus, with also close proximity to the relatively new medical complex along North Terrace.
One of the quaint and quirky places to visit along Hindley Street is Peter Rabbit, located in the western end of the street. Due to COVID-19, the venue has been closed, apart from offering takeaway food and coffees. However, it would pay you to check on the current situation now that restrictions are gradually relaxing.
Peter Rabbit normally also has incorporated a caravan called Mister Tod's which has also been closed up to recent times. Again check on the updated situation either by phoning or contact them on their website.
Menu wise, Peter Rabbit offers Breakfast options up until 2.30 pm including Ricotta Donuts comprising Plum, Cream, Macadamia, White Chocolate and Wild Blackberries for $18 or Spiced Cauliflower made up of Chargrilled Beetroot Hummus, grains, grapes, herbs, red onion, nuts and seeds also for $18.
Of course, if you prefer something more traditional for breakfast, then not a problem - all catered for.
The bar menu prices vary from $6 to $36 dependent upon your selection. You can get a Smoky Pork and Beef Burger, with a Fried Egg, Iceberg Lettuce, Hoisin Relish, Kewpie, Red Onion and Coriander for $15. They also offer either Cheese plates for $34 (serves 2 - 4 people) or Ploughman's Platter for $36 (also serving between 2 - 4 people).
Take note that group bookings are normally only taken for 8 or more people. In the normal world, trading hours are Monday to Thursday 7.30 am - 3 pm, Friday 7.30 am until late, Saturday 8 am until late, and Sunday 8.30 am - 2.30 pm.
Peter Rabbit can be found at 234-244 Hindley Street in the city.
For those of you who are looking for a touch of class combined with decadence, you should perhaps try visiting the Mayfair Hotel, located on the southern corner of Hindley Street and King William Street in the city.
Situated in a heritage building built originally to house CML Insurance company back in the 1930s, it exudes style. To think the building was built during the height of the Great Depression, designed by a father and son architectural firm by the name of Hennessy, Hennessy & Co.
The stone which is a quite prominent feature is known as Benedict stone and originally was quarried in Queensland. The same stone was also used in the depiction of the Lions, Gargoyles and Vultures which still adorn the building today.
The building only took 9 months to build in total and was for many years one of the flagship buildings in Adelaide at a time when insurance companies were prominent in the city.
Renovations took place during the 1980s including the addition of light wells on the southern facade, and other interior alterations. In 2012 Adabco bought the property and spent around $55 million in renovations to bring it from an office block into a boutique hotel.
The 5- star Mayfair Hotel finally opened to the public in 2015 and boasts 170 suites, a bar, restaurant as well as retail. A glass extension, known as the "Jewel Box", was added to the southern end of the building as part of the overall renovations carried out.
The hotel today boasts one of the growing number of rooftop bars in Adelaide, known as Hennessy Bar, named in honour of the original architects.
For dining experiences, there is the Mayflower Restaurant and Bar as well as the Den (located in the basement of the building).
The main fare in the Mayflower Restaurant varies in price from
$38 to $45, an example being Roast Spatchcock Chicken with Potato Masala and fried Curry Leaf for $42. The grills vary between $48 and $54 and the Chef's Signature Share dishes, which are seafood-based, will set you back $95 (serves 2 people).
If you fancy the best in High Teas, then the Mayflower also offers packages on Saturdays and Sundays between 2 pm and 4 pm (check if open due to COVID-19), the Sparkling High Tea is $55 per person or the Champagne High Tea for $65 per person. The teas comprise a great selection of both savoury and sweet treats.
The Den, which has been only operating takeaway since COVID-19, offers cuisine in a bistro-style.
What the hell, you think you might make your experience even more enhanced with a stay overnight. Accommodation offers a range of great options, for example, a Deluxe Twin Queen Room will set you back between $184 and $252 per night, dependent upon the date you visit.
There are many other options should you take a stroll down Hindley Street, especially now that restrictions for COVID-19 are starting to ease. Just remember to continue to practice social distancing - enjoy!