We hadn’t been to York for years, and thought it high time, in this the era of “rediscover your own backyard” iso exploration, to head back for a weekend.
So last week, the Starfish team zipped east to visit State’s oldest inland town, population 2500.
En route, we stopped at Mundaring Art Centre, (7190 Great Eastern Highway) and were impressed at the paintings, sculptures, silk scarves and other joys lighting up the centre. We’d popped in for five minutes to break up the drive, but left an hour later, our arms laden with purchases.
Soon we were on the Great Southern Highway, whizzing into the charming wheatbelt town.
It didn’t appear to have changed much. The Swinging Bridge still dangles over the Avon, the town’s main street, Avon Terrace, still holds a fetching set of ye auld buildings from yesteryear.
And the tucker remains lousier than ever in certain places.
On our first night, we sensed trouble when, ordering at the counter, we overheard a couple handing back their dishes of spare ribs, declaring them “inedible.” Finicky people, hopefully.
But 30 minutes later: “This is the worst slop I’ve ever eaten!” one of our group cried, upon ordering the generally foolproof fodder, bangers and mash. Out came a bowl of brown goo and swill that wouldn’t have looked amiss in a, no, never mind – and tasting yukko.
No point going through every other meal we tackled, except to say that we resolved that next time we visited York, we’d stay at an Airbnb and bring our own food with us.
But all was forgotten each dusk, as we sat atop the local lookout, clinking our wine glasses and gazing across golden pastures and distant tree lines. As I sat there, swilling my chardy, I tried to imagine how the area would have looked with its original cover of jarrah, marri, tuart, wandoo and river gum.
And by day, we had fun poking through the local vintage markets, chatting to locals, and bartering for bargains.
We also came across a great new artisan store and cafe, Botanicalia (152 Avon Terrace) serving very good coffee.
Next door, we spotted our friends Anna and Arthur from Artitja Art, who’d set up a temporary gallery full of their usual treasures from indigenous artists across Australia.
In all, it was a fabulous weekend, re-discovering an enchanting little town but if you’re a foodie: be warned!
This issue of The Starfish includes a new short story by the talented Tom Percy, QC, an interview with artist Tracey Gibbs, about her children’s book, full of WA wildflower pics, a review of WASO‘s Carmina Burana by Pete, a review of enchanting new flick Lucky Grandma by Ros, and a recipe from hot new Ottolenghi cookbook, Flavour.
Jacqui & Peter