When you are a writer, working from home can be a mixed blessing. Some days I spend hours in front of my computer, thinking I am working, only to realise I have spent the day on Facebook and buying strange outfits for my dog.
The solution for me is to get out of the house and into the real world. To take my laptop and find a space in a welcoming café, where for little more than the price of a cup of coffee and a sandwich or muffin, I can spend a few hours working on my novel.
The ideal writer-friendly café has one or more of the following things: sturdy desk-height tables and comfortable chairs (perching on an uber trendy crate or bar stool is not very conducive to good writing), free WiFi, power points, space between tables (so your elbows don't knock over the skinny soy latte on the next table), good food and great coffee, an absence of loud music and friendly staff who understand that writing masterpieces take time.
I have asked my writerly friends for their recommendations as to the top cafes for writers in Perth, but feel free to add your favourites in the comments.
Bodhi Tree Bookstore Café This is definitely my number one choice for writers and you can find me here almost every week, enjoying a cup of tea and cake while I attempt to write my novel. The staff are friendly and the surroundings both tranquil and welcoming, with just enough background chatter to cover the tapping of keys. If you need inspiration there are plenty of interesting books to browse and if you find a table near the front window there are some power points if your laptop runs out of juice.
Address: Corner of Scarborough Beach Rd and Oxford St, Mt Hawthorn Open: daily from 8am to 4pm Website: www.bodhitree.net.au/
Moore and Moore If this historic warehouse and its eclectic clientele can't inspire the writer in you, then perhaps you should just leave your laptop at home. Writers (and students and artists and fashionistas and families) are all welcome in this unique space which is both laid-back and rustic. Find a space in the sunny courtyard or pull up a chair in the front gallery.
Foam ticks most of the boxes for a great writers' café and between you and me, is already frequented by at least one published author. Their long opening hours and free Wifi means night owls can always find a place to pen their masterpiece.
Address: 130 Oxford Street, Leederville
Open: daily from 6.30am to 10pm (midnight on Friday and Saturday)
A number of writerly friends recommended the various Dome cafes across the city, from Coogee to Kingsley, as a great destination for writers. They often have free WiFi and the chairs are comfortable if you're in it for the long haul. Staff often leave writers alone and since they are open early and well into the evening, they are great for writers who don't want to be restricted to normal café hours.
One writer travels a fairly long distance to Sayers, mentioning their fantastic area out the back and the fact that staff never move her on. Sayers of course, also has beautiful food and great coffee, both of which are essential fuel for writers. It's not huge and can be extremely busy on weekends, but would be a charming place to write during the quieter weekday hours.
Millpoint Caffe Bookshop
This café was recommended by a friend for the fact it was a lovely busy space that was great for a meet up and writing session. Although not quiet, the vibe is friendly, the café is popular and the fact that you are eating and writing in an independent book store should make any writer happy. As will the coffee and cake happy hours every weekday between 3-4pm.
Gordon Street Café
The Gordon Street Café is already well known for its great food and fascinating décor (it is has been built inside the cavernous remains of an old mechanics garage) but one writer shared his secret that he often went there to write, citing the big tables and the fact that staff don't bother you every few minutes to see if you want something more to eat or drink. I can vouch for the quality of the food, and the long opening hours are perfect for night owl writers who do their best work late at night.
Address: 16 Gordon St, West Perth
Open: weekdays from 7am to 9pm, weekends shorter hours
This recommendation comes from none other than Perth's own award-winning writer, Natasha Lester, who loves visiting Van's for a meal and to write, mentioning their nice ambiance, free Wifi and quiet vibe. While Vans can get extremely busy on weekends, during the quieter weekday hours, there are plenty of comfy tables inside and out, where a writer can tuck themselves away. I personally can't go past the soft boiled eggs and soldiers with dukkah.
I have been to Tropic numerous times for lunch, because their food is delicious, but one friend also recommended it as a writing destination. There are plenty of corners that a writer could tuck themselves away, while the flow of happy diners ebb around them.