Spring Harvest at Elizabeth Farm

Spring Harvest Festival at Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

“It is now Spring, & the Eye is delighted with a most beautiful variegated Landscape – Almonds – Apricots, Pear and Apple Trees are in full bloom. The native shrubs are also in flower, & the whole Country gives a grateful perfume.”
Elizabeth Macarthur to her friend Miss Kingdon, Parramatta, 1798  Continue reading

The third drawer down

Spoons and ladles from Francatelli's Cook's Guide and Advertiser. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection

While we’re mainly looking at the pots and pans in this series on the colonial batterie de cuisine, it’s a good time for a diversion into all the miscellaneous bits and pieces in a kitchen – all those things we keep in the ‘third drawer down’.

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Polly put the kettle on, and let’s have… fish?

Poached snapper in the kitchen at Vaucluse House._Detail of photograph (c) Cath Muscat for Sydney Living Museums

 

Last year we talked about those confusing and interchangeable words baking and roasting, and got to grip with table- and soup spoons. They’re far from the only confusing words used in the historic kitchen and household, so today I’m starting a series of posts looking at the vast range of pots and pans you can see in a historic kitchen – and what exactly they were called and used for. Continue reading

Then and now – the dining room at Elizabeth Bay House part 2

Detail of the the dining room at Elizabeth Bay House 11 August 1987. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums. Photo Andrew Payne Photographix

This week we’re back at Elizabeth Bay House, in one of Sydney’s grandest dining rooms. After the departure of the Macleays, Macarthur-Onslows and Michaelises, its years as a reception house and then as flats, the ‘Lion of Sydney’ began its new life as a house museum. But, as this continuing ‘Then and Now’ series shows, it certainly wasn’t without controversy!

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The art of tea, and tea as art

Kylie Douglas, Womandala (detail), Cuttlefish bone. Meroogal Women's Art Prize 2018 entry. Photo © Nicholas Watt for Sydney Living Museums

The restorative power and ritualised nature of tea, whether elegantly poured from a pot into a fine china cup, or a bag languishing in a mug on a kitchen bench or work-desk gives inspiration to many of the artists who have entered works in the Meroogal Women’s Art PrizeContinue reading

When Dickens comes to dinner

A good time had by all! Dickens Fellowship members celebrating Charles Dickens at Vaucluse House Tearooms. Photo © Shane Rozario www.shanerozario.com

Late last year, Vaucluse House Museum and the Vaucluse House Tearooms played host to over 100 Charles Dickens ‘fellows’ – delegates from across the world who gathered in Sydney for the 112th International Dickens Fellowship Conference. The conference theme was ‘Boz in Oz: Charles Dickens’ colonial connections’.
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