5 Ways To Pimp Your Hot Cross Bun

Despite the fact they landed on shelves around Australia three months in advance, hot cross buns are (almost) everyone’s guilty pleasure. But sometimes the old faithful ‘toasted with a smear of butter’ can get a little boring. So i’ve come up with a few alternative ways to enjoy your festive, fruity bun.

#1 Ice-cream Sandwich

If you’re a smart shopper that tends to avoid the ‘naughty’ isles where temptation looms then you probably aren’t aware that Coles now sell their own brand of ‘frozen custard ice cream’, the perfect addition to a hot cross bun ice cream sandwich. Simply halve the hot cross bun, toast under the hot grill, add a few scoops of the custard ice cream and top with the remaining half. If you’re feeling super fancy, melt a few squares of chocolate and drizzle over the top.

#2 Creme Egg Surprise

If Cadbury’s Creme Egg’s are your favourite chocolate at Easter, then you’ll love this combo. Fire up your sandwich press and slice your hot cross bun in half with a coating of butter around the outside. Place the bottom half of the bun on the sandwich press, a creme egg in the centre and the remaining half on top. Close the sandwich press and watch the sugary egg ooze all over the bun.

#3 French Toast Twist

If your’e searching for the perfect Easter Monday breakfast idea, this is it. Whisk together 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of milk and some orange zest and soak the hot cross bun halves in the mixture. Heat a non-stick frying pan, add a knob of butter and fry each half for about 1-2 minutes each side. Remove from heat, plate them up and top them off with some creme fraiche and a drizzle of maple syrup.

#4 A Savoury Delight

Sometimes (not often) we simply can’t do sweet. So i’ve come up with an alternative way to enjoy your Easter treat that won’t give you a sugar rush. Simply cut open your fruity bun, add a few slices of unsmoked streaky bacon and some mature cheddar cheese then toast. Lunch at your work desk never smelt so good.

#5 Bread & Butter Pudding

This one requires a recipe and a bit of time, but it’s totally worth it – especially if your pantry is full of discounted hot cross buns you managed to snag the day before Good Friday. Using chocolate hot cross buns, celebrity chef Nadia Lim has created one crazy good bread and butter pudding that you won’t be able to stop eating. Check out the recipe here.

How Not To Kill Your Indoor Plants

So that trip to the markets on the weekend fooled you into thinking you’re a green thumb, taking home more cacti and succulents than your tiny apartment can handle. And now you’ve stuck them all on the windowsill with the hope they’ll outlive that fish you bought on a whim, as they don’t require food (or a clean bowl to live in). But keeping these pretty plants alive is easier than you’d think. I managed to get a few tips for ‘succulent survival’ from Stackwood’s in-house plant expert and landscape architect Claire Greenhill.

#1 Drainage

When growing succulents in pots, good drainage is essential. Make sure your pot has at least one good drainage hole and is planted into free draining soil. If you live on the coastal plain in WA, the soil is generally sandy and very free draining and little amendment is needed. If you are in the Hills or elsewhere on clay soil, some organic matter and a bit of gypsum will help break up the soil and provide better conditions for your succulents.

#2 Water

While Succulents are very tough plants if they are situated in full sun and planted into pots outside they will need to be watered regularly over the hot summer months so they don’t dry out. If the leaves or stems or your succulent look deflated, the plant probably needs a drink. If they are in the ground they will need less water than in pots and the twice-weekly allowed sprinklers should be more than enough all but for the hottest days of summer where some supplemental hand watering may be necessary.

#3 Light

Succulents love good light. If attempting to grow inside, a window sill where your plant receives direct morning sun through the window it a great spot for these hardy plants. If growing outside they will grow in part sun to full sun. These are not plants for the damp shady corners of your garden or a dark cool corner of your home.

#4 Gravel

Sometimes the hole in the bottom of a pot can get plugged so putting a layer of coarse gravel at the bottom of the pot can ensure the hole doesn’t get blocked by the roots of the plant or by compacted soil.

#5 Positioning

The less light and sun your succulents receive, the less water they will need. A succulent grown indoors on a window sill where it receives some direct light may only need water once a week and less in the winter months.

To start your cacti collection, check out Stackwood in Fremantle.

10 Stack St, Fremantle WA 6160

The Best First Date Bars In Perth

So you’ve swiped right, matched and exchanged some banter. Now it’s time to meet your true love  face-to-face. But we all know first dates are never easy. There’s always that fear you’ll insult them, bore them, or talk too much to fill that ‘award silence’. But thankfully you can make your first date less nerve-racking by dabbling in a few drinks at one of Perth’s best first date bars. The key is to pick a bar that matches the vibe the two of you have been sharing. And if that doesn’t seem to work, there’s always the ‘fake phone call’ get-away.

The Standard

The Standard is a tiny but mighty bar that you’ll end up leaving hours after you’ve met your date (provided all goes well). But on the rarity the two of you can’t stand each other, the bartenders here know how to make some seriously strong cocktails to help you survive the evening.

28 Roe St, Northbridge WA 6003

Bob’s Bar

Rooftop bars are always a good idea for a first date. Bob’s Bar provides a large open space with plenty of fresh air and strong alcohol, making it a laid-back way to find out everything there is to know about the mystery guy/gal. And if your date turns out to be a total flop, you can always have a chat to the friendly bartenders about how you wish you could have ‘accidentally’ shoved your tinder match over the edge.

125 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000

For more Rooftop Bars in Perth, check out the Perth Rooftop Bar Guide

Henry Summer

This relatively new bar in Northbridge is always packed, so if your date is a no show, there will plenty of other possible candidates around. With five bars and no shortage of space for drinking and dining, you can easily spend a solid few hours here finding out each others deepest darkest secrets. If the two of you get hungry, they’ve got a few grazing boards on offer, and if you feel like trying something new, they’ve even got wine on tap – makes for a good conversation starter. 

69 Aberdeen St, Northbridge WA 6003

No Mafia

The best thing about No Mafia is that it’s located right next to Franco Forte, so whether the date is going impressively well or horribly wrong, you can grab a bowl of pasta to collect your post-date thoughts. Being an Italian bar, you can expect some notable wines and antipasto.

189 William St, Northbridge WA 6003

The Cabin

Whether it’s a hot summers night or a cold winter evening, The Cabin is a great spot to meet a complete stranger for the first time. The interior boasts a real cosy cabin feel with its low lit lighting, decent sized fire place and couches aplenty. And if it’s getting too heated inside, the balcony provides just the right amount of fresh air to sit down and enjoy a few drinks with your soon-to-be partner.

174 Scarborough Beach Rd, Mount Hawthorn WA 6016


If you’re after a subtle romantic vibe, then Clarences is the spot to check out. With soft candle light and cosy booths, the atmosphere couldn’t be more warm and welcoming if it tried. Partake in a wine or two and peruse the menu, there’s a different meal special every day, so you can charm your date on a budget.

566 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley WA 6050


With a view of the beach and an impressive line up of food, you’re practically guaranteed a second date after an evening spent at Coast. Soak up the chilled-out casual vibes whilst sipping on a few Port Beach Mojito’s with your date. And if you run out of stuff to talk about, you can always marvel at the sun setting over the beach.

42 Port Beach Rd, North Fremantle WA 6159

Little Creatures

When is Little Creatures not an appropriate place to kick back and enjoy a house-made beer or cider. The vibe is so chill, you can easily spend a few hours getting to know one another. And if all goes well after one drink and you suddenly develop an appetite, the pizza’s here are ideal sharing size.

42 Mews Rd, Fremantle WA 6160

5 Reasons Why You Should Check Out This Fringe Show

If you are unfamiliar with the likes of sketch comedy, this show may just completely put you to the test. A Completely Normal Sketch Show is your stock standard, conventional sketch comedy… kind of. Presented by the University Dramatic Society, the 50-minute comedic show takes a step back from the norm and asks you to explore the hidden layers within. Following a space-time continuum, with a few cheeky references to Hitler and the origin of the Swastika, you hardly need convincing to check it out. But just in case you do, I chatted with one of the director’s, Ben McAllister, and came up with a few compelling reasons.

#1 It’s (Somewhat) Easy To Follow

It’s no surprise that theatre isn’t for everyone. Between the twisted plot lines and the character love triangles, it can often be hard to follow particular shows. However, this is not the case with A Completely Normal Sketch Show. The entertaining fifty-minute work is similar to the likes of stand-up comedy, with the addition of a plot (that’s really not too hard to follow). So if you’re one of the many that finds it hard to keep up with theatre, but is keen to have a laugh, then it’s highly likely that this is the show for you.

“We think this show is pretty accessible to people who wouldn’t normally check out comedy shows. Even if you’re not a particularly literary person, you’re bound to have a laugh.”

#2 It’s Not Your Normal Kind Of Sketch Show

While it may be easily consumed comedy, A Completely Normal Sketch Show is in fact anything but normal. Without giving too much away, the idea is that the purpose behind the title will become clear a few minutes into the show. This particular show features comedy that comes from historical call backs and references to things that have happened before – a rare find in sketch comedy.

“It’s safe to say the description of the title is completely tongue in cheek. But the funny stuff will definitely be there for those who look for it. Despite the fact that the sketches are all different, it’s got a consistent feel and tone, which makes it really fun and enjoyable. We’ve tried to make use of that call-back comedy thing, and it really works.”

#3 It’s UDS’ First Fringe Show

UDS has a long-standing tradition of performing sketch shows in the UWA tavern in the first semester of uni. So when the dramatic society initially signed up for Fringe, they figured sketch comedy was the perfect format to transplant to Fringe World.

“Sketch comedy is so much fun. It’s a good way to bring new writers in and get new people involved. This particular show was written by four very talented writers who worked on each others sketches, so the writing throughout is really uniform.”

#4 It’s Also Part Of The UDS Centenary

The University Dramatic Society dates back to the early days of university, when lecturers and students would meet in the lecture halls and perform readings of plays. These meetings quickly turned into traditions where members of the club would join up and put on plays and other performances for an audience. Up until the late 90’s, members performed established works along the lines of Shakespeare and contemporary Australian. They eventually went from parodying pop-culture to performing original and self-written plays.

It should be mentioned that this is the oldest theatre organisation in the state.

“UDS officially began in 1917, marking 2017 it’s offical centenary year. So to celebrate the end of it’s centenary season, UDS decided to take part in Fringe for the first time.” If these guys can survive two world wars, they sure must have a good sense of humour.

#5 It’s A Good Way To Kick Off Your Fringe Binge

The show is being performed in the upstairs of The Brisbane Hotel at Lazy Susan’s. Not only is it in the prime location to kick of your ‘Fringe Binge’, but it’s also scored a convenient time slot of 2:30PM. Grab a few friends, a table and some drinks and prepare yourselves for some completely normal sketches.

A Completely Normal Sketch Show will be showing on the 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th of February.

Tickets to the show are $20 for general or $12 for UDS members and you can buy them here.

PlaySpace Perth 2018

Taking it’s name from it’s location, PlaySpace is a physical theatre work that invites you to come and play.

Presented by Good Moves, this talented group of local movers and performers are participating in their first ever Fringe show. Run by tertiary trained teacher and choreographer, McKenze Goldsmith, Good Moves is an eclectic arts company that produce improvisational and site specific works. Performers and creators involved include McKenzie Goldsmith, Georgia Conto, Stacy Teuber, Samanda Sankowsky, Hanna Maciejewski, and Amy Sheperdson, as well as two guest artists, Hillary Goldsmith and Eve Newton-Johnson.

This particular show is centred around the site at The Cultural Centre in Perth’s CBD. The Play Space has a profusion of instruments such as chimes, beaters melodic drums and a series of interconnected talking tubes. All of these which help to create the soundscape for the performance.

Be wowed at the use of objects like stilts, spinning wheels and rocks, and let your inner child come out to play and join in the fun.

The show provokes the audience to catch, spot and slot in with the artists. But be quick, they move so fast you may need to look again.



PlaySpace Perth will be performing at The Cultural Centre ‘PlaySpace’ on the 14th, 16th, 17th and 18th of February from 7PM.

For more details on this free event, check out their Facebook page.