I mentioned Riversdale Estate in my last post (15 Awesome Things to do in Richmond Tasmania) and today I am going to take you on a little tour of why this estate is such a great place to visit! Located 20 minutes outside of Richmond proper (and also 20 minutes from the Hobart CBD), the estate includes a winery, french bistro, cellar door and the Peter Rabbit Garden. The Estate is set in a beautiful spot in the Coal River Valley, overlooking the water and surrounded by elegant flowers. It is a popular spot for events like weddings and often hosts themed dinners and high teas; check out their ‘what’s on‘ page to see how many exciting events they have coming up! On my recent trip back to Tassie one of my best friends had promised she was going to take me here after telling me how amazing it was, and I was really looking forward to it.
Decadent High Tea at Riversdale Estate
We opted to go for one of Riversdale Estate’s decadent high teas, held in The Orangery Conservatory and also where my friend Jessie had her baby shower the year before! We went for the morning sitting as we were taking her little boy Felix with us and only found one other table of two people there at the same time. The Orangery Conservatory is very pretty and girly and I could definitely see how it would be a fun place to have a baby shower!
Everything was very fancy and lovely and the food was also delicious! My favourite part of a high tea is always the sweets, and these didn’t disappoint. I especially loved the tiny trifles served in what looked like little baubles, and of course, the scones!
They had a variety of different tea blends to try, and as you can see on the menu you can add different drinks onto your tea if you like. The attention to detail was enchanting and we also had a lovely waitress looking after us who was really friendly and very taken with baby Felix! If you are looking for a decadent high tea in a very pretty spot (even the menus were beautiful) then I would definitely recommend this one at Riversdale Estate. And if you also want to visit the adjacent Peter Rabbit Garden (which, of course, we did) then you receive a discount on the garden entry if you show your receipt from the Bistro/Conservatory.
Finding Peter Rabbit in the Garden
After our lovely high tea we wandered next door to the entrance into the Peter Rabbit Garden. I’ve always loved the children’s stories by Beatrix Potter so I was very intrigued to see how they had created a garden to illustrate the story of Peter Rabbit.
You enter through the gift-shop, which is filled with gorgeous Beatrix Potter themed toys and baby items. There is also a party-room where you can have children’s birthday parties as well. Then you walk outside into the garden. It is wheelchair friendly and the tale of Peter Rabbit is told on little signs on the fences, while the events are illustrated with models of the characters in the garden.
While I did really enjoy visiting the garden and seeing the models of the characters I have to say that the plastic covers over them detracted a little from the magic. Obviously they were there to protect the statues from the elements but they were rather distracting. It was fun to walk along the garden and see the different events from the Tale of Peter Rabbit before you. Some of the statues also moved, like the one of Peter below. He lifted the radish up to his mouth to eat!
Mr. McGregor moves inside his shed, searching for Peter under the pots. Can you see him hiding in the watering can outside?!
The garden is also very pretty, with lots of colourful flowers and they have planted things like lettuces in the area around Mr. McGregor’s garden to be true to the story. Peter sitting in the wheelbarrow surrounded by snapdragons and daisies was a lovely sight.
They even had Peter’s little jacket and shoes as a scarecrow from the story!
As well as the tale of Peter Rabbit, there were a couple of little sheds with other characters inside (although I couldn’t take a photo because of the reflections) and in the windows of the building some of the other tales and characters could be seen too. Familiar animals for anyone who read Beatrix Potter, such as Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs. Tiggywinkle and the Tailor of Gloucester. I especially liked the model of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, who was actually fishing!
While the garden itself was lovely, and the story being illustrated quite enchanting, it wasn’t quite as big as I expected. I suppose as it’s for children they perhaps wouldn’t be as picky, but it is also rather expensive to enter the garden and I don’t personally think it is worth the entrance fee without the discount from dining. And if you’ve already spent quite a lot of money on food at the bistro or orangery then I would think you should be able to visit the garden for free.
Of course, that is purely my opinion, and for fans of Peter Rabbit then perhaps the entry price won’t be a problem. It costs anyone over the age of 12 15 Australian dollars, children from 3 – 12 cost 10 and children under 3 enter for free. High tea costs $49 per person and there is a small discount on the price of entry to the Peter Rabbit garden if you have eaten in the bistro or orangery, although I can’t quite remember what it was. If you have the cash then this can be a very fun (and decadent) experience, but Riversdale Estate is not really aimed at the budget traveller. Nevertheless, I am glad I visited the garden (and had that amazing high tea) at least once! If you want to find out more about Riversdale Estate (including their accommodation and wedding options) have a look at their website here.
Are you a fan of Beatrix Potter’s books? Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever been somewhere like this before, and don’t forget to check out my other post that is full of other great things to do in the area nearby Riversdale Estate!