Villa Alba Museum Festive Season Open Day

Villa Alba Museum Festive Season Open Day


Posted 2023-11-22 by Vanessafollow

Sun 03 Dec 2023

Make a Beautiful Festive Wreath or visit Villa Alba’s December Open Day for a touch of Christmas.

Villa Alba is a special place. This grand Victorian-Era home and garden is significant for its glorious interior decoration. Painted and stencilled ceilings and walls feature beautiful flowers, stylised and geometric designs and friezes depicting stories from the Waverley novels. Two magnificent murals run the full width of the house in the main entertaining room – one featuring Sydney Harbour and the other featuring Edinburgh in the late 1800s. It’s hard to believe that these wonderful displays were painted over in the 1950s when the house was used as a home for nurses in training at the Royal Women’s Hospital. This large space was used as the nurses' dining room, with the murals covered in paint to “brighten the place up” and a hole punched through the wall for a servery from the kitchen! The painstaking restoration of this space has uncovered these wonderful murals, now visible again for everyone to enjoy.

A touch of Christmas at Villa Alba Museum & Villa Alba Vestibule Mural detail

We would love you to visit Villa Alba this festive season. For our Open Day on Sunday 3rd December 2023, we will have a ‘touch of Christmas’ in the house. The Victorians - led by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert - popularised many of the traditions that we now associate with the festive season - for example, the decorated Christmas Tree. This year, as part of our ‘touch of Christmas’, the Villa Alba team is installing a Christmas Tree in the Drawing Room and decorating it in Victorian style.

We’ll have a small ensemble playing live music during the afternoon and offer you an opportunity to enjoy a relaxed and pleasurable time wandering at your leisure through this beautiful house and garden. Why not bring a picnic to enjoy in the garden or book in for lunch at Studley Grounds café across the road in Walmer St.

When: Open Day runs from 1 - 4pm on Sunday 3rd December, 2023.

Bookings for Open Day are available at Eventbrite. We encourage you to book to secure your spot. Open Day tickets will also be available at the gate (subject to availability).

Christmas Wreath by Mel of Violet and the Fox Studio & Student wreath – Villa Alba Wreath Making Workshop

In addition to the tour, you can take part in an interactive workshop on the day:

Make a beautiful Festive Wreath – Sunday 3rd December 10am - 12.30pm (Bookings essential)

If you’re looking for a special activity to start off your festive season, why not join our Wreath Making workshop on Sunday morning. The lovely Mel from Violet and the Fox Studio will show you how to make a beautiful, natural Christmas wreath, and then guide you through making your own to take home. Mel is an excellent teacher and helps every person to create a special wreath that reflects their own style. You can choose from a wonderful selection of natural materials that will dry beautifully (many of our Wreath workshop participants still have wreaths from previous years hanging proudly in their homes).

Wreath Making Workshop – Villa Alba Courtyard

This relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable workshop is held in the delightful courtyard garden at Villa Alba under shady trees and includes all materials, equipment, expert tuition, festive morning tea, a brief house tour and entry to the Villa Alba House and Garden Open Day.

A number of our participants come as a family or group of friends and now return each year as part of their own festive tradition. We’d love to welcome you to join us for this special event.

Bookings are essential for the Wreath Making Workshop - click here to find out more.

When: Sunday 3rd December, 10am – 12.30pm
Cost: Villa Alba Members: $125 Non-Members: $145

Join one of our most popular floristry events - this relaxed and enjoyable workshop in the beautiful surrounds of Villa Alba is a wonderful way to start the festive season. Your wreath-making workshop ticket also gives you access to the Villa Alba Open day until 4pm to enjoy some festive music and wander at your leisure.

Villa Alba’s friendly and knowledgeable volunteers look forward to welcoming visitors to the house and garden. Villa Alba is open throughout the year on the first Sunday of the month. Bookings are encouraged for timed entry (available at Eventbrite or see the link on the Villa Alba website ). You can also purchase a ticket at the door (subject to availability).

Follow us on social media to keep up with news and events @villaalbamuseum
Address: Villa Alba Museum, 44 Walmer Street Kew, VIC 3101

Villa Alba History:
Villa Alba was originally the home of Anna Maria McEvoy and her husband William Greenlaw. The Greenlaw’s wanted to build a grand mansion, reflecting the latest fashions and designs. The Paterson Brothers, a Scottish firm of painters and decorators, completed the interior decoration of the house. The Paterson Bros were one of the premier art decorating firms in Australia at the time, and the leading Melbourne firm in the halcyon days of ‘Marvellous Melbourne’. They also worked at the Government House and the Trades Hall Council Chamber. Villa Alba’s heritage-listed interiors are well worth the visit.

Following the Greenlaw’s, Villa Alba continued as a private residence with multiple owners and tenants until the 1940s. In the 1950s it became a home for trainee nurses. You can still see the room and bed numbers painted on many of the doors. At this time, much of the interior decoration was painted over to “brighten up the place”. The house was then used as a hospital, with the addition of many portable buildings taking over the garden. Since the mid-1980s, the house has been evolving as a museum. A series of grants over the past 30 years or so has enabled the rediscovery of many treasures beneath the 1950s paint. The portable hospital buildings have been removed and the garden reinstated following original 19th Century plans. There is so much to uncover and enjoy during a visit to this unique property. Wander at your leisure and soak up the atmosphere of this hidden gem.

Villa Alba Museum Incorporated is a volunteer-run, charitable organisation established to conserve this heritage-listed property. As well as regular monthly Open Days, the house is available for special events, private group tours, photo shoots/filming, exhibitions and workshops. For example, you might have seen the house featured as the home of musician Skeet Du Pont (played by Benedict Samuel) in the ABC drama series A Beautiful Lie. You can find out more about the house, do a virtual tour and find opening hours and special event details here:

Find out more about what's on at Villa Alba Museum at

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