History

Doomed to drink?

Trezise hotels and the Cornish heritage

By Tre, Ros, Car, Lan, Pol and Pen
Ye may know most Cornishmen.
I was born a Trezise – a Cornish name through and through, and one that seems to have cropped up regularly in the history of Victoria’s licensed premises.

The Milk Dock, Markets and Banana Alley

At the opposite end of Flinders Street Station from the famous clocks and dome, you’ll find evidence of the station’s commercial past. Including the Milk Dock – the distribution point for much of our milk supply in the early 20th century.

The Paris House

Sydney in the Belle Epoque

Opened in 1890 in Phillip Street, The Paris House was the premier restaurant of Sydney’s ‘Belle Epoque’. Later run by Gaston Lievain, from Lille, it offered a ground-floor bistro, a top floor sponsored by the Moet champagne house and private dining rooms where lovers could meet, The expression “As dumb as a Paris House waiter” was testament to the staff’s discretion.

The Yoplait story

In 1982, when the French were still testing atomic bombs in the Pacific, launching a product with a French name could have been problematic. But research groups gave the go-ahead, so we were off to Paris to shoot the commercial that changed the Australian yoghurt market forever.

Has it come to this?

Frog in a Pond has been an Australian favourite for decades. But the DIY version (spotted in the bistro at the Barooga Sports Club, aka Sporties) just doesn’t pass muster.

Food to go

One night in 1900, Australia’s first Prime Minister missed his train, after stopping for a tot of whisky; how the mobile catering unit nearly caused a train wreck; and other tales from the history of Australia’s Railway Refreshment Rooms.

Salt from the earth

A short drive from Dimboola towards Adelaide takes you to the Pink Lake, where salt harvesting started in the 1860s. We took a tour, as part of the Dimboola Food Festival.

Summer of '62

The menu for New Year’s Eve 1962 at the Rex Hotel offered Oysters Naturelle or Fruit Cocktail, Sole Bonne Femme, half a Spring Roast Chicken with vegetables in season, followed by Tropical Fruit Salad and Ice Cream.

Ancient grapes

Even the winemakers at La Gravera can’t name all the grape varieties that make up this mysterious white wine. What they can say is that the vines are more than 125 years old and that they come from a mere 0.95 hectare plot, 400 metres above sea level in northern Catalonia.

The great Penguin Ice Cream mystery

Last week I had a note from Mick Ainsworth who had happened across this old advertising sign and wanted to know whether I could supply any more information about the Penguin brand.

Camp pie

Is Camp Pie truly Australian? The Oxford dictionary says so, defining it as: (Australian, history) tinned meat. And it certainly has a long (if not glorious) history in this country. But its origins probably lie in the Old Country.

Reward Custard Powder

I had a note from Dennis, who was trying to track down the origins of an old brand of custard powder. It’s certainly not as famous as Foster Clark’s. My guess is that it was packed for a grocery chain called Lakins.

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