Lady Hopetoun Still Presides

Lady Hopetoun Still Presides
The grandeur of the Victorian era thrives in this Melbourne, Australia, tearoom. 

Text by Kerry Vincent • Photography by Sanjeev Singh

Gentility is tossing on a pretty dress, best manners forward, and tiptoeing off in dainty heels to the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, a wonderful institution nestled in the golden heritage zone of the Block Arcade in Melbourne, Australia. Lady Hopetoun, wife of the first Victorian governor, established the precursor tearoom for the Victorian Ladies Work Association in the late 19th century at the height of the style of the period.

Lady Hopetoun Still Presides
Kelly Koutoumanos heads an incredible pastry team intent on creating the tastiest menu to please even the most fastidious of palates.

Keeping Lady H’s exacting standards intact drives proprietors on an endless mission for perfection. The husband-and-wife team are the current custodians of living history, joining a long list of owners and expanding the salon to meet the heavy demand of loyal patrons and visitors alike. Although Hopetoun has enjoyed a complete makeover with the expansion, its proprietary interior design has been maintained; no detail was too minute for the couple to obsess over.  Kelly says, “I often wonder what Lady Hopetoun would think or do in any given situation and try to react accordingly.” 


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