So Shall Alice: Clarences

You know what makes me happy? Nice people, sunshine and cider.

Enter Clarences; Mount Lawley’s good service, no bullshit, all smiles small bar.

Clarences is nestled into the heart of Beaufort St. Looking a little swanky from the outside with dark windows, candles and a wooden façade, it kind of accidentally presents itself as a well-kept secret.

Once you’re inside, Clarences provides three areas. Firstly you have its brilliant restaurant; featuring one long table that reminds me of a huge family dining area, and intimate booths lining the walls.

The second is the main bar. This gives you the option to stand and chat, sit at the bar, or take a seat at their large round table or one of the few, smaller tables across from the bar.

The garden is the third and is the heart and soul of the venue. Wooden benches across the exposed brick walls line the garden and small tables and stools turn it into an interactive, buzzing space in a matter of seconds. The walls are covered in murals, each design very different, which reflects the diversity and uniqueness that Clarences gives.

Clarences has become a bit of a local for me, my friends and many a gorgeous young gay man of late. As I end up there roughly four nights a week, I see all the clientele come through the door and I love the variety.

Monday’s you can find hospo crew playing cards and people devouring chicken parmis. Wednesday’s friends and dates are sharing paella. And on Sunday’s you’ll find every type of person under the sun drinking $6 pints of cider. Hipsters, suits, big groups, girls in heels and boys in shorts, pretty much anyone fits in at Clarences.

Some days I think that summer weekends were made just for this venue. Sitting at the top corner of the garden with the sun shining through the trees, surrounded by smiling staff and watching people come and go.

My usual summer thing is to arrive at 3 o’clock on a Sunday to get a good spot and to then spoil myself with too many ciders (at $6 who can say no?!) and gorgeous nibbles, letting the afternoon roll into the evening. It’s pretty damn perfect.

I have a big thing about good staff and great service, and these guys really exceed expectations. Smiling, stunning edgy chicks and tall, gorgeous men with perfectly groomed beards welcome you from behind the bar, offering you drinks from a large and well-chosen drinks list. Table service is offered throughout the whole venue and I kinda want to sit and try everything on the menu, both drinks and food, because the lists are so extensive and everything just looks and sounds so good. I’ve never been able to complain or even pick at the service. It’s really spot on.

As well as good service, ambiance is a really big thing for me, and while I know that I love Clarences more than I love my own house, I’ve never walked in to feel atmosphere that wasn’t spot on. Even at 1pm on late winter Saturday, when there’s might only be four tables taken, there’s a feeling of happiness. It’s welcoming and really enjoyable.

As Spring is about to hit us in the face with sunshine, cloudless skies and light breezes, Clarences is really going to come back to its own. Monday’s, Wednesday’s and the weekends will go off. Queues will happen on a Sunday but none of that changes the fact that it’s the best way to spend an evening with friends.

It is hands down my favourite pub in Perth, it ticks all the boxes. Good wine, great cider and beers, carefully crafted cocktails and beautiful, thoughtful food. Come and have a drink some time.

This post was published by Out in Perth. You can read it here.

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