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Vive la vida Leighton

Nestled on Leighton Beach in North Fremantle a community of beach-loving individuals have made the area home, spoilt for choice with cafes, boutique wine providores and restaurants all within walking distance. We can also let you in on a secret – there is a very good chance a new beachside wine bar is not too far away, but more on that another time.

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With the precinct now almost complete, prominent developer Mirvac has been involved in the area since 2006, completing apartments along with amenities including the Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club and a number of hospitality venues. The final stage, Compass by Mirvac, is set for completion at the end of the year with limited apartments remaining – the last chance to live by the sea in this enviable location.

While we find ourselves spending more time at home, some would say there’s no better place to be right now. We took the opportunity to speak to some of the Leighton Beach residents about what they love most about where they live and how they are keeping themselves entertained. Design aficionado and Fabric Quarterly director Kay Cohen, Strange Company’s Greg Leaver and digital marketing expert Jack Kellett have been making the most of the time, and their idyllic location, whether it’s walks along the beach, enjoying the sense of community or the odd Zoom quiz night.

JACK KELLETT
Account Director, The Freeform Foundry  

How long have you lived at Leighton Beach and why did you first decide to move to the area?
I moved to Australia with my wife just over two years ago. We started off living in a converted wool store which was a perfect intro to Fremantle as everything was right on our doorstep. After a year, there was an opportunity to live next to Leighton Beach and we jumped at it! At this stage in our lives – both working but not quite ready to buy a house for a family – the opportunity to live next to our favourite beach in WA for a year or two was too good to turn down!

How are you handling the extra time at home while we’re practising social distancing?
There has certainly been ups and downs. It’s very difficult to stay motivated working from home and very difficult to take yourself away from it too. I couldn’t think of many better places to be during all these restrictions though, every day we can get a coffee and walk down to the beach. We’re very lucky in that respect and it helps put things in perspective if you’re having a bad day.

Some of the best things about living at Leighton at the moment?
The fact that one of Australia’s most picturesque beaches is right on your doorstep is a blessing. There’s also a great sense of community, particularly at the moment – everyone is extra friendly and positive!

Tell us about your daily morning ritual?
My morning rituals have pretty much gone out of the window for the last few weeks. It used to be 6am circuit training, followed by a dip in the ocean, a coffee at the Orange Box or MRKT Space, then grab the train into Freo for work. Since the lockdown, I’m sad to say my only exercise has been walks down the beach to Cottesloe and back! 

What’s been keeping you entertained?
I’ve really enjoyed Zoom quizzes with my friends and family. Some of these have gone way beyond Q&As! We’ve been challenged to make music videos, logos, outfits, even recreate Pompeii erupting using items in our kitchen!   

Favourite venue in the area you can’t wait to get back to?
Just cannot wait for a beer with friends! Anywhere in Freo will do! But if Freo reopened today and I had to pick right now it would be The Norfolk or Jungle Bird.

GREG LEAVER
Co-Owner, Strange Company

How long have you lived at Leighton Beach and why did you first decide to move to the area?
I moved to Leighton five years ago. Mainly because I swim at the beach there every day and it seemed logical to live there.

How are you handling this extra time at home while we’re practising social distancing? 
To be honest my daily routine is still much the same. Swimming in the morning and working every day. I’ve actually enjoyed spending time at home at night – it’s a bit of a novelty for me. Having bars generally means quite a bit of late night work so I’m appreciating some downtime.

What are some of the best things about living at Leighton at the moment?
It’s been amazing weather for the past two months – there’s no better place to be at this time of year. The water temperature is perfect, the winds are light and there are lots of fish swimming around.

What’s your daily morning ritual? 
A little bit of weight training (very little). Walk over to the beach. Swim to Port Beach. Coffee at the Orange Box. Think about going to work.

How are you keeping active?
I’m always pretty active (as above), but I’m also trying to ride my bike to work most days.

What’s been keeping you entertained – whether it’s cooking or a new hobby you’ve discovered? 
Dinner plans become much more of a focus when you can’t drop into a local restaurant or bar for something to eat. I guess it’s a way of entertaining yourself when you can’t go out.

And watching a bit more television than normal which I don’t do a lot of generally. And reading a lot.

Watching the endless virus updates became a bit of hobby for a while but I had to stop. I don’t think it was healthy.

Favourite venue in the area that you can’t wait to get back to? 
I miss walking over the tracks for a beer at Mrs Browns. Can’t wait for that.

KAY COHEN & MARCUS ROSENWAX
Fabric Quarterly

How long have you lived at Leighton Beach and why did you first decide to move to the area?
We have been here for nine years. We both love the ocean and Marcus loves apartment living – we loved that we could walk straight out of our gate and be at the beach in five minutes.

How are you handling this extra time at home while we’re practising social distancing? 
Well, we can’t really complain too much as we have beautiful sunsets and sunrises and we go for walks. We live in a community as well, so we are all looking out for each other.

What are some of the best things about living at Leighton at the moment?
Pretty much everything that is above, but also supporting local by walking to local cafes, listening to the port noises at night, watching sunsets and seeing how the wider community come to the beach for peace in really uncertain times. We still get to take our dog for beach visits.

What’s your daily morning ritual? 
We’re up early to walk the dog. We are still working from home so not much has changed, just our focus to push subscriptions for Fabric Quarterly online, which is working well, and continuing to build our presence on social media. We walk and get a coffee from Jessie’s, and if it’s during the week we will go to Orange Box as well.

How are you keeping active?
Going for long beach walks.

What’s been keeping you entertained?
We have been getting fruit and veggies delivered so have been cooking a lot from home, making homemade pasta and baking. I’ve also been reading and watching a titch of Netflix!

Favourite venue in the area that you can’t wait to get back to? 
Propeller of course!

The final stage of Mirvac’s Latitude Leighton Beach precinct, Compass, is under construction and will be complete by the end of the year.  Apartments are now selling from $445,000. Mirvac has been involved in the precinct since 2006, delivering apartments as well as a range of amenities including the Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club, an amphitheatre and a number of hospitality venues.

For more information on Compass, visit the website. 

 

Word: Sarah Langley

Imagery: Jess Wyld, Dion Robeson