Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.




Waltzing Australia

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Mitre Tavern - Melbourne's Oldest Building

My favourite pub in the Melbourne CBD is the Mitre Tavern where the beer is good, the barmaids are pretty and the barmen are good-looking! (and flirtable). It has a great atmosphere and you feel like you've stepped back in time and you're in a country pub.


Above: Mitre Tavern
It's the oldest building in Melbourne and when it was first built in 1836 there were gum trees and paddocks all around. The place may be overshadowed by tall buildings and office blocks today, but this little pub remains a favourite and it's not just for the historical significance either.

Above: Timber shutters
As you can see here, there are (solid) timber shutters combined with window plants and brass nameplate. A double storey cement rendered brick building on a bluestone foundation.

A little bit of history
The Tavern was altered in 1868 and the first publican was Henry Thompson. Around 1900-1910, it was altered quite a bit more ~ Queen Anne style additions were constructed using Marseille pattern terra cotta tiles on a gable roof with half timbered gable ends. On the western side of the Tavern, a brick building was added and the windows have been altered. The Queen Anne style was very popular around the time of Federation. (Federation was 1901)

There are three bars and staff rooms on the ground floor and two dining rooms and service rooms upstairs on the first floor.
The Mitre Tavern is classified by the National Trust and is on the Victorian Heritage Register and is protected by state law.

Above: Al Fresco
These cane chairs not only look good, they're comfortable too. Just the spot for a quiet drink or tête-à-tête.

A Bit of Trivia
It is said that Sir Rupert Clarke's mistress Connie Waugh hung herself in the Mitre and her ghost haunts the halls and rooms of the tavern. Indeed, the last time I was at the Mitre (it was a Saturday) as night fell, a Ghost tour group came our way (we were sitting in the beer garden) and the guide proceeded to fill in all the grizzly details.

Above: Drinker's Corner
One thing about Melbourne - we know how to do things in style. This is the area I have dubbed "Drinker's Corner" - there's some serious drinking done here where suits rub shoulders with labourers and blokes from all walks of life stand and have a beer. Note the 'table' - a beer barrel.


Above: Beer Garden
This is the largest beer garden in the CBD and surrounded on three sides by buildings, it's sheltered by the wind. A good choice in winter and for the summer, you get a bit of a breeze from the laneway.

Mitre Tavern is located in one of Melbourne's laneways - Bank Place which runs between Collins and Little Collins Street. The beer garden is in Mitre Place which is off Bank Place. The Tavern is still in use today as it was originally - a Club/Hotel/Coffee Palace. So next time you're in Melbourne, make sure to pop in to the Mitre where you'll have a rip-roaring time where the beer flows, conversation keeps going and the pub grub is hearty and there are 34 different beers.


Today's quote: Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy ~ Benjamin Franklin

10 comments:

Luis Gomez said...

Great post! Thank you.

Lois said...

Such an interesting history and it has a ghost! Thanks for sharing.

Rob and Mandy said...

Oh yeah, our kind of place! I'll have a Fosters, mate!

Dianne said...

A classy place - the timber shutters add character and style

Jacob and Lois Anne said...

Well, you sold me with that first photo...it looks so nice and clean and sturdy. Obviously, the place has been well-cared for over the years! Hard to believe it's that old.

I like the part about the good beer and pretty barmaids...

So nice to have you back. Your photos are beautiful - sharp as a tack!

Andrew said...

Great photos and info. To my shame, I haven't been there.

Francisca said...

I wouldn't mind sharing a few pints of pale ale with a ghost in this charming pub! :-D

JM said...

Glad to see it's so well preserved, it's beautiful!

Mo said...

Did you stop for a beer?

Small City Scenes said...

Excellet post. Historical and ghostly. Looks like a nice place to spend an evening. MB

Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.