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Labassa Serenade Tours

Home > Melbourne > Architecture | Christmas | Historic Houses | Performing Arts | Unusual Things to do
by Tricia Ziemer (subscribe)
Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Discover the ghosts of Christmas past at Labassa Mansion
Labassa has rich Cultural History
Labassa has rich Cultural History

What we now call the mansion "Labassa" has a rich cultural heritage within Melbourne's history. But it had other names in the past. It was originally called "Sylliott Hill" and was a proud Barrister's 1863 eight-room home.

When Alexander William Robertson migrated from Canada to Australia, he bought it in the 1880s and renamed it 'Ontario'. Robertson was the famous co-owner of the Cobb and Co. coach company that successfully ran mail services throughout Victoria.

Many elite families lived there over the years but in 1904 it was renamed Labassa. Then in 1920, it was divided into flats. And Australia's first silent film star, who made it big in Hollywood, lived there with other outlandish bohemians. Over 40 years ago, the National Trust bought Labassa at auction and saved and restored it to her former glory. The apartment walls are gone and new life shines from her windows.

Labassa is decking the halls for Christmas
Labassa is decking the halls for Christmas

Over the years, they have held many performances that entice the crowds to journey from room to room as the drama unfolds.
I attended one years ago for a haunting performance.

Now they are opening up and putting on a Christmas extravaganza highlighting Labassa's rich history and historical features and creating an enchanting Christmas event with songs. This is your chance to experience this exclusive mansion that used to house Hollywood Stars and learn its elegant history with specialized tours. You will be enchanted.

Stockings and lights are strung on the tree with care
Stockings and lights are strung on the tree with care

This is a one day only tour, so you must book quickly for
Sunday 4th December 10.30am - 4pm. (Last entry to the house is 3.30pm).

And the Elwood Community Choir will be carolling and bringing back wonderful memories of yesteryear to celebrate the Christmas season.

Join the carolers in opulent surrounds of yesteryear
Join the carolers in opulent surrounds of yesteryear

According to the Labassa National Trust, Elwood Community Choir was established in 2016 by its Musical Director, Jeannie Marsh. The choir has performed at many local events including St Kilda Festival, community markets, Labassa, Live 'n Local, and solstice celebrations. Throughout lockdown, the choir continued on Zoom, creating many recordings and innovative events, including Elwood Singing Walking Trail (launched October 2022), and a song thanking health workers. New members are welcome at Wednesday night rehearsals, at Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre."

Their short performances will be held 15 minutes before the hour starting at 10:45 am with the last notes ringing out at 3:45 pm. Guided House tours will be held on the top of the hour and you must book for these.

Guided Tours include:
11am Interior House tour
12pm 'Who's been living in this house?' tour
1pm Exterior tour
2pm Interior House tour
3pm Interior House tour
The tearoom is open for all.

Tours of the supposedly haunted tower will be open with a limit of 12 people per tour group. Due to the tower's narrow, steep steps visitors are advised to wear sensible shoes.

Just as with many outside wedding venues with sculptured lawns, no stilettos are permitted in the house.

Tower tours:
3.45pm. (Limit of 12 people per tour.)

The bon bons are ready to be ripped
The bon bons are ready to be ripped

Scrumptious teas are available in the Tea Room commencing at 10:30 am and they deliver treats until 3:30 pm.

Bookings are highly recommended, as the last time I was there, it was truly standing room only at:

Adults $15.
Concession $12.
Child $9.
Family (2 adults and 2 children) $35.
National Trust members: Free entry on presentation of membership card.

There is only one hiccup with this venue. You will need to park in streets around the venue, not on the street where the house resides to respect the neighbours. Reminds me of our iconic show Neighbours, which often filmed on Ramsey Street next door to my child's school, and we were constantly fighting "crew" traffic.

So go a little early and enjoy a stretch of the legs.

Labassa stands in all its glory at:

2 Manor Grove, Caulfield North.

No parking in Manor Grove permitted.

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*Tricia Ziemer was invited as a guest
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Why? You love renovated historical mansions with an air of mystery to explore enhanced by Christmas Cheer
When: 10 am to 4 pm
Phone: 03 9656 9889
Where: Labassa Historical Mansion
Cost: Free to $35 dollars
Your Comment
I have never been to Labassa but I would truly love to go. The many articles I have seen about it on Weekend Notes over the years show it up as something very special.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10397) 69 days ago
Fabolous event, I so enjoyed. Took a friend, Carol, and I loved hearing the history of the people that lived there and the Carols from the choir. Think about becoming a member of the National Trust and you can get free entry to many of
these elegant historical homes across all of Australia and Overseas. I wonder if Winsor Castle is on the list?
by Tricia Ziemer (score: 2|719) 61 days ago
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