I have never seen anything quite like Sculptures by the Sea anywhere. Sculptures by the Sea is an annual event that goes on for several weeks. For that period, the beach and area around the beach is transformed into a large, open air, and free art gallery. The sculptures are from a variety of artists, both homegrown and foreign, sharing pieces that range from breathtaking and serene to powerful and thought provoking. A large glass marble reflects the world upside down, dolphins swim across the sand, a surfer appears and disappears depending on where you stand. We visited many many times and each time discovered something new. I’m now counting down until Sculptures by the Sea appears again.
The event takes place at Cottesloe beach which is the most popular beach in the city. Considering how famous and popular Cottesloe beach is, I’m always surprised at how few cafes are in the area. The main one, and perhaps the most popular is Il Lido. Il Lido is an Italian canteen housed in an art-deco cabaret hall on Cottelsoe Beach. It has a great open space inside, with long communal tables and walls covered in wine bottles and has a little terrace that is full all the time. A regular weekend morning for us is to grab a few drinks here, walk across the road to the beach and sit near the water, sipping while watching the surfers waiting for waves. That routine often includes a take away cup of Il Lido’s hot chocolate. Unfortunately they don’t put as much love into their hot chocolate as they do with other things they offer, which is a shame given how central they are to our weekend routine. It is sweet and kind of dull. But the atmosphere here is energising and the long line up is proof of its enduring popularity with the locals and tourists alike.
Verdict: Sculptures by the Sea takes place every year in Perth and Sydney. Cottesloe takes part during the month of March. If you are planning a trip to Perth, plan it for then and pair your visit with a plate of house made pasta at Il Lido. Il Lido, 88 Marine Pde., Cottesloe, Perth, Australia