A Floral Artist on Where She Eats, Stays and Plays in Adelaide

As a floral artist at flower studio ACID.FLWRS and a frequent visitor to Adelaide, Claire Mueller is who you’d ask for stylish recommendations in the city. Mueller lives in Perth but has often visited the South Australian capital, even recently taking a nine-hour road trip from Adelaide to Coober Pedy.

“I basically just appreciate Adelaide as a great weekender — a very accessible city with an excellent food scene,” she says. “It’s a city that punches above its weight with endless moments of food, drink and design delights if you know where to look for them.”

Ahead, Mueller shares her picks for where to eat, stay and play in Adelaide.

Best Accommodation in Adelaide

“For a contemporary design-y vibe, Hotel Indigo is where it’s at. The Daniel Emma chairs in the foyer restaurant are a local highlight. For something properly boutique stay above a pub in style at The Franklin Hotel, a little gem in the city. The heritage rooms are thoughtfully renovated with an industrial / craft vibe that is polished but homely.”

Best Restaurants in Adelaide


“Chef Jake Kellie is doing wild things with fire at his relatively new space Arkhe, on an unassuming suburban high street in Norwood. The kitchen is all flame-driven — no electric stovetops here — and you can see all the action from prep to pass as what seems like every hospitality staff member in Adelaide navigates the generous space.”

Arkhe Adelaide
Image: Arkhe


Africola is an institution, and rightly so. I’m as obsessed with the decor as the menu, which is both punchy and distinct. My father was South African and the aesthetic of bold colour, layered patterns and lots of art feels like home. Definitely get the cookbook.”

Karma and Crow

Karma and Crow is a cafe in a converted warehouse, slinging great coffee and great food seven days a week. Not boring, local produce, and amazing service. Can’t ask for better than that.”

Leigh Street Wine Room

“For a lively glass or three of natty wine Leigh Street Wine Room is where it’s at. This West End wine bar used to be a dry cleaner, and the narrow space has been transformed into a nouveau-Parisian gallery space dedicated to minimal intervention drinks and local produce. The fit-out is cool, the wine art is cool, the vibe is cool.”

Leigh Street Wine Room
Image: Leigh Street Wine Room

Sugar Man

“Alex Crawford aka Sugar Man has to be one of Adelaide’s best-kept secrets — luxe pastries and small-batch chocolate bars in elite flavours like Milo and Marmalade Croissant. Weekends only for pastries — get in early.”

Best Things to Do in Adelaide

“The Art Gallery of South Australia is world-class. The curatorial team combines old and new with an eye that always feels fresh and engaging. They have a penchant for an irregular hang on coloured walls, and I am here for it.

“If you’ve got a few days up your sleeve, get beyond wine country and head towards the red centre. Coober Pedy is famous for being the opal capital of the world and infamous for being a place where fortunes were sought, and people went to disappear — figuratively, though the warning signs for open mine shafts everywhere suggest a few literally did too.

“Most of the world’s precious opal comes from Australia, and while mining has now mostly moved beyond Coober Pedy, the ghosts of a unique industry — and the unique characters attracted to it — remain fascinating.

“For the proper bush experience, hire a Land Cruiser from the legends at Complete Van and Ute Hire, pack up water and snacks, and stock up on wine at East End Cellars  (very important — no natural wine in the desert). Make sure you have adequate fuel capacity and fill up every chance — service stations are few and far between.

Coober Pedy
Image: Unsplash

“The drive from Adelaide is over nine hours, so stay the night at Spuds Roadhouse in Pimba. The facilities are basic (if you’ve spent any time on a mine site, you’ll feel right at home), but the staff’s enthusiasm, Spud’s sandwich and sunsets are legendary.

“Once you’re in Coober, the best seat for dinner is The Italian Club, with an expansive view that makes for a cracking sunset. The food is solid pub fare with a twist that I suspect varies with whoever is manning the kitchen during the season. Call ahead to check if they’re open – this is mainly staffed by volunteers.

“If you’re visiting in season, get a flight over Lake Eyre for a spectacular view. To buy some opal jewellery (rude not to), head to Opalios, a family business run by Stella, who has been in Coober Pedy since 1973. Her husband Andreas sadly passed away recently but was mining well into his 80s. This is the real deal — you’ll go through the family photo album.”

Best Places to Shop in Adelaide

Naomi Murrell is a super cute local studio making delicate jewellery. I always find a new pair of earrings to layer up. Isabelle and Aldo of Studio Mignone don’t have a shop, but if you ask nicely, you might be able to visit their studio. The couple behind the cult Tavolo Morbido coffee tables are globally recognised design artisans, proving that you don’t have to be in the big smoke to make it.”

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