Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hospital-i-Tea Blog-a-thon Week 7?

With all that has been going on in my life, I've missed one or two weeks of the fun over at La Te Dah's blog, so I'm not even sure which week they are up to!
Anyway, this week we are invited to describe our favourite tea rooms. The Hopetoun Tea Rooms in Melbourne are very special to many people in our city. It was my parents' favourite spot to go to for a cuppa when they were in the city for some reason, and after Mum died, Dad continued to go there with friends or family, or anyone else who would join him! I haven't been there for a number of years, but I keep promising myself that I will one day. The following description is taken from one of the many websites that promote the Hopetoun Tearooms.

The Hopetoun Tea Rooms embodies all of the traditional style that is missing in some cafes, especially in the inner city precinct. While its patrons are of all ages, it is wonderful to see a large number of older people dressed up for their city visit, sitting in a place that is not pumping with loud music, feeling safe and supplied with a large choice from a traditional menu; including pinwheels, asparagus rolls, pumpkin scones with lashings of cream and a pot of tea. This is a comfortable, nostalgic place. The interior is decorated with luscious deep greens, marble topped tables, velvet to the touch paisley wallpaper and a large filigreed mirror dated at 1891. The ceiling is veiled with billowing puffs of material.

A dumbwaiter brings the food orders up from the kitchen below. The apparatus was only recently made fully electric, with the pulley ropes being removed just three weeks ago (August 2001). This place is authentic. When friends, Sharon Piccolo owner of the tea rooms and manager Mary Tomasino took up their part in the long history of the Hopetoun Tea Rooms many of the fixtures were already on the premises and antique. Mary kindly gave me a tour of the downstairs kitchen which I was so curious to see once she had told me of it. We took a lift down and through an archway, around to the right the space opened out into a large kitchen. Four smiling faces looked up from pounding dough to greet us. Sitting on top of the stove were trays full of plump croissants. Mary explained that there had been a wrought iron stove that needed to be replaced as despite looking beautiful it had become temperamentally unpredictable.

Now a National Trust protected establishment, the Hopetoun Tea Rooms was begun 110 years ago by the Victorian Ladies' Work Association. Lady Hopetoun founded the Victorian Ladies' Work Association, her husband was the Governor of Victoria in 1889-1895 and the Governor General of Australia in 1901-1903. In response to the many men's lounges in Melbourne of the time, the tea rooms began as an exclusively ladies domain.

There is a couple who would be pleased that the tea rooms are not now ladies only. Six years ago they met at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms. They married and on each anniversary revisit their meeting, liking to sit at 'their' table. My own memorable experience of this place was having lunch with my husband-to-be, videoing each other as we sat below the grand old mirror, eating smoked ham, swiss cheese and cantelope sandwiches before choosing our wedding rings at a jeweller in the same arcade.


Blogger Lisa said...

What a special place. Thanks for sharing!

Thursday, 15 May, 2008  
Blogger ellen b. said...

Sounds like a wonderful place to have tea. The story and history you have given us is special. Thank you...

Thursday, 15 May, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your story. How romantic! It sounds like a wonderful place. Thank you for sharing with us.

Thursday, 15 May, 2008  
Blogger Cori G. said...

Hi Gina,
This sounds like a wonderful tea room. I like the fact that they were started over a century ago and are still open. What a testament to a business.
This is my first visit to your blog and I enjoyed it very much. I hope your husbands mate is doing better.
Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, 15 May, 2008  
Blogger Miss Sandy said...

Fabulous post, so rich in history and tradition. I really enjoyed reading about this wonderful establishment. How special that your family continues to visit it. Thank you for sharing.

Friday, 16 May, 2008  
Blogger MyThreeDaughters said...

I love Melbourne. It looks very elegant.

I have posted about a remote Victorian tearoom.

Friday, 16 May, 2008  
Blogger La Tea Dah said...

This is an excellent post! I love the history and details that you have included. It sounds like a wonderful place to visit (I wish I could!) and how special that you and your husband shared such an important occasion in your lives there

Thanks for sharing!

Friday, 16 May, 2008  
Blogger Steph said...

What a great historical treasure! And I would love to see an operating dumbwaiter! WoW!

Friday, 16 May, 2008  
Blogger Jeanette said...

Beautiful story Gina,Thanks for sharing this special place that holds so many memories for you..

Saturday, 17 May, 2008  
Blogger Miss Eagle said...

I know I'm reasonably new to Melbourne - but I haven't heard of these tea rooms, Gina.

Whereabouts? Could we go there together?

Blessings and bliss

Tuesday, 03 June, 2008  

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