CAKE EXPECTATIONS: The high teas will include prizes for best-dressed guests.
CAKE EXPECTATIONS: The high teas will include prizes for best-dressed guests. SUPPLIED

Fancy dress tea party stirs up the past

EVER wanted to dress up in 19th century attire and don tails and a top hat or an ankle-sweeping dress with a petticoat and corset?

No, nor have we but a series of Victorian-era fancy dress high teas at the Criterion Hotel in Warwick will be a quirky and fun way to celebrate the pub's 150th birthday this year.

Criterion Hotel manager Kylie Jenner is calling on Southern Downs residents to step back in time to enjoy a table of afternoon tea treats from the 1860s.

"The high teas will kick off in April when the hotel begins its birthday celebrations so there's plenty of time to start searching for the perfect old world outfit,” Ms Jenner said.

"We know not everyone will want to dress up head to toe in the clothing of the day and they don't have to, but it's a chance to have some fun with a signature piece such as a top hat, straw boater, frock coat, bonnet or corset.”

Hotel chef Rosina Oliver is working on a menu for the high teas to include food some of the hotel's first guests would have supped on.

"We have found a wonderful old recipe book that includes recipes for prickly pear jam, ginger beer, raspberry pudding and timbale of turkey,” Ms Jenner said.

Other high tea delights from the 19th century include sweet potato pie, molasses cake, ribbon sandwiches, sheep brains, baked oysters, curd tarts and puddings, she said.

Themed dinners, degustation evenings and ghost tours will also be part of the birthday events.

"We are very much looking forward to receiving feedback from Warwick residents on how they want to enjoy the anniversary which will run from April to October,” Ms jennersaid.

"We are expecting people to come from all over the state and interstate to join in the festivities because the hotel has such a long history and so many people and their ancestors will have been part of that.”

She said it was a double celebration as the business turns 150 and the present building will celebrate its centenary.

Contact the Criterion Hotel for further information on 07 4661 1042.



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