"Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused - in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened - by the recurrence of Christmas..." Charles Dickens.
Charles Dickens wrote often about the meaning of Christmas to him. He often conjured up images of his surroundings, the tree, the presents and decorations, families and carolling. His images of Christmas are what many people think of as a traditional Christmas - stately decorated mansions, crackling fireplaces and voices rising in song.
In Australia, we all celebrate the day differently but, in many cases, we like the idea of that traditional Dickensian Christmas. If you'd like to see a stately mansion all decked out, ready for this annual celebration, you need to come down to Labassa in Caulfield North to experience a small taster of a traditional Christmas.
Labassa will be open on Sunday 10th of December for a one-off special Christmas open day. If this one proves popular, however, there may be more in the future!
Usually open on eleven Sundays throughout the year, Labassa had to cancel its April open day to give way to the filming of the new version of Picnic at Hanging Rock. To compensate, they've decided to have a special Christmas open day.
Along with the usual house tours, the house will be especially decorated and entertainment will include Christmas choirs and special Christmas-themed fare in the cafe.
The mansion will open at 10:30am and close at 4:30pm. On most open days, there are guided tours of the house but as this is a special event, guests can wander the house at their own leisure and enjoy all that is on offer. There are also books about the house available for $10 and on admission, you will receive information about the house. If you have any questions, please ask one of the volunteers that you'll see roaming the property.
Labassa - ornate mansion in Caulfield North
Labassa was built in 1862 for Judge, Richard Billing, it is a well-preserved example of a 19th Century Victorian mansion built in the French Second Empire style. It started as an eight roomed house and was renovated in the 1890s to become what you see today.
Come and learn a little history, feast your eyes on a magnificent house and top it off with a visit to the tea rooms for some of their famous scones with jam and cream.