Written by Haley Thompson

There was a time not so long ago that I used to know all the best places to go in Perth – my job was literally to go to parties and report back on all the best restaurants, bars, and dance spots. As a social writer and TV presenter it was my duty to be on the pulse of everything fun happening in town. I’d hear things like ‘Perth is sleepy or boring’ and think ‘nah, you just don’t know where to go, you’re doing it wrong’. I love Perth, with all my born and raised heart.

Fast forward a couple years (19 months to put a number on it) and now instead of coming home at 5am dressed to the nines, I now wake up just a little after 5am scrambling for some pants and whatever top is on the floor (clean ‘enough’ will do) to get downstairs to my toddler – who has been up partying all night. And I love it. But now my evenings out have changed – I want to get to the good stuff quickly, I want no hassle and I want guaranteed fun, great wine, awesome food, and even better banter – a no fail good night out. The babysitter’s meter is ticking so don’t come at me with your cheap champagne or greasy burgers and time wasted travelling to get between venues – I’m on a mission. Life is too short, especially for a mum – our alarm clock is going off at sparrows fart whether we want it to or not.

I spend nap times scrolling through Instagram looking for places I want to try the next chance I get to swap my trackies for some heels. I’m ready. First stop – North Bird, Northbridge. There’s a formula to be followed. A good night should start out relaxed and casual, a little pre-drink and some amazing tapas to meet up with friends and stretch your party muscles. The gorgeous green vines and plant life hanging from the ceiling were #nofilter cool. My girlfriend Claire was running a little late, so I got to know more about the enomatic wine pourer. The only one in Northbridge where fine wines are lined up for you, kept at the perfect temperature for you to create your own little wine tasting. With bread baked fresh every day and some truly fantastic oysters this place is an absolute find and did not disappoint. It’ll be my first stop before my next concert at the Arena for sure.

Speaking of an absolute find, our second stop of the night played a little harder to get. Toot’s Disco, Perth’s newest secret bar was hidden…somewhere near RAC Arena (it would be spoiling all the fun if I told you exactly where now wouldn’t it??) – suffice it to say it was like a treasure hunt finding it. First you need a password and then a golden ticket before being led down a long hallway where a time machine awaits. Disco Balls and all the cocktails this mum of one can cut her teeth on – West Coast Wine Coolers, Midori Shakers…with track after track of 80’s anthems that even the most hardened ‘I don’t dance’ wallflowers would throw down to! Mood = yeah boiiiii!

Ok we’re ready for a quick sit to catch our breath and to try some of the fantastic food I keep hearing about at fleur at the Royal Hotel. We’re hungry now and in the mood to sing our hearts out after shaking it to some good ol Ah-Ha at Toot’s. We head to the private dining room and immediately vow to bring the rest of the girls back another night. Outside the general area is thumping, inside we have atmosphere, elegance and feel like VVIP’s – the kind that order the best duck and salmon they’ve ever tasted. This night has gone from good to amazing. This is food I’ll be thinking about for weeks as I do my best to make gourmet meals that the kid is just gonna feed to my dog anyway. Damn Yogi eats better than anyone in my house. That salmon though…You bet I’ve got a little Tina Arena burning a hole in my heart…private Karaoke room here we come. The place where you can only let yourself really go in front of your closest mates…until we get told that the karaoke room can be heard from upstairs in the office. We immediately apologise to the staff.

Ok we let loose, let’s take it down a notch and have some proper chats without distractions, Samuels on Mill the refurbished Adelphi Grill at Parmelia Hilton is worth a look after a $45m makeover of the entire hotel. Cool, sophisticated, and refined, the cocktails here are worthy of the artists who frequently stay when performing at the Arena. Sure, we can scat, we know our jazz and swing bands, we’re cool…just keep those performance cocktails coming so we can play with our food and drinks. A warm and sophisticated vibe was just what we needed to get maximum mileage of our night out while the kids (hopefully) sleep.

Time to head home – but not just yet, we need one more stop to send us off with full bellies and just one last drink before we call it a night. To complete our easy walking tour of my FOMO spots we pop in at Furaibo in Raine Square, a place I am told I must try one of the over 100 Izakaya dishes (or as we decide to call them Japan-apés – yeah, a bunch of cocktails will make anything seem hilarious). It’s Modern Japanese in a cool setting of neon lights and great service. Super tasty snack food to top up and tell stories of a great night out.

And the bonus? My feet aren’t killing me. With everything easy walking from the Arena, we were able to get around by foot, which means all the giggles and chat while we walked between venues and I’m ready for jungle gym in the morning and no one will be the wiser…that this mum, has had her party card renewed.

Check out the video of Haley and Claire’s Top 5 Places For A Girls Night Out.