Rippon Lea’s Victorian Kitchen
Rippon Lea’s kitchens are a rare example of a 19th century kitchen complex. The original kitchens were enlarged in 1882 and remained in use for fifty years. Abandoned when a new kitchen was installed on the ground floor, they now offer a glimpse into the lives of those who lived “below stairs”.
In late 19th century Melbourne, Rippon Lea was a byword for lavish entertainment. The spectacular balls, garden fetes and large dinner parties hosted by the owners of the estate, Sir Frederick and Lady Sargood led The Bulletin to describe Sir Frederick as “the prince of Melbourne entertainers”. None of this would have been possible without the hard-work of the servants who worked in Rippon Lea’s kitchen complex. The complex is a rare survivor of its kind and offers the visitor a glimpse into a world very different to that enjoyed by the families who lived “upstairs”. Come with us on a journey back in time and discover more about the working lives of Rippon Lea’s servants. Led by one of the National Trust’s knowledgeable volunteer guides, the tour will include seven rooms – the Servants’ Sitting Room (which was converted into a Laundry in the 1930s), Scullery, Kitchen and Cool rooms, Meat Store, Pantry and Cellar. Enjoy a glass of Mrs Beeton’s delicious House made lemonade on arrival.