"The Homestead" Tea Gardens
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About the publisher

“The Homestead” Tea Gardens were a house and garden at Ridgeway, on the lower slopes of Mt. Wellington, a kilometre or so downhill from Fern Tree.  “The Homestead”, owned by the Tagg family from well before 1900, was operated as tea rooms  from 1924 to 1960. For most of this time it was staffed by the two Tagg sisters Joyce (b. 1920) and Alice (Mem) (b. 1915).  The establishment was burnt down in the 1967 bush fires; the house has been rebuilt, but the tearoom and surrounding garden have gone.  The Tagg family also ran the Ridgeway Post Office on the site for 70 years, Mem Tagg being the third generation of the family to act as Postmistress.


The Mercury of 22 Nov 1930 described the establishment:


"For many years The Homestead at Ridgeway has provided visitors from the mainland and from Hobart with a pleasant venue for walks and drives, to culminate in strawberries and cream or afternoon tea on the mountain side. Recent visitors find that The Homestead has become a unique place of entertainment. It is a wonderland of flowers of every kind, making a colourful oasis in the bush. A quaint rustic bridge of motor tyres, the base of each a shower of blue nemophila, is one of its curiosities. Tables and seats rest firmly on what were once the legs of sewing machines beneath the trees, and if the day is too showery or cold for afternoon tea outside, one of Hobart's oldest tramcars, converted into a tea room, invites indoors, a unique shelter made from the shop fronts formerly on the corner of Harrington and Liverpool Streets, providing a warm tea room with yet an uninterrupted view of the garden and surrounding country. This quaint spot is regarded by some mainland tourists as one of the most pleasant spots to visit on the mountain. It is about four and a half miles from the General Post Office".


Reference: Tagg, Joyce & Tagg, Mem. 1998. Legends of the Flowers: and other stories. The Hobart Horticultural Society, Hobart. 108 pp.