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Boating in Days Gone By

All Tied Up

With my new project in mind, and trying to decide what direction this blog should go in, I went to the Fairfield Boathouse this morning.  It is a very nice spot on the Yarra River and I have been there quite a few times for coffee.  I have never eaten there, or rather had a meal.  I did have Devonshire Tea there once and was disappointed because the only jam you could have with it was strawberry.  I don’t know why they think everyone loves strawberry jam, I don’t, in fact I really dislike it.  With that in mind you know I didn’t enjoy the Devonshire Tea.  So if you are like me, don’t order the scones.

It is peaceful place, though Heidelberg Road isn’t that far away and you hear the distant hum of the road, though it would be hard to go anywhere in the city and not hear that.  The river is wide and people boat in it, kayak, and the ducks swim in it.  It looked so refreshing today.  It was a gorgeous autumn morning today.

I zoomed into the boats and took 7 images to use as a HDR.  I then did some things to some of the images before putting them together for the HDR.  I quite like the end result and think this is something I should try more of.  The contrast between the boats, the water and the river bank is also interesting.

I have never been out in one of the boats.  Usually when I go I am on my bike, or meeting someone there for a particular reason.  Maybe I should go back one day and try taking a boat out.

This image was taken just outside the fence, and was also a HDR image, though I didn’t do anything to any of the images beforehand.  I think this one gives you a good idea of how it is situated.  The boathouse sits up on the side of the bank and looks out onto the river.  Apparently it is much higher than when it was first built because of flooding, which the Yarra River does do from time to time.

The history of the boathouse is quite interesting.  When I look at the above image I can imagine ladies in their long dresses, wearing large hats and using Parasols to keep the sun off them.  Of course the gentlemen with them would be smartly dressed in their suits.  They would enjoy tea by the river and go for rides in the boats with the gentlemen rowing and the ladies flirting back.  Very romantic, I know, but that is what I think of when I see scenes like the one above.  I am so happy it wasn’t left to go to ruin and was restored.

Whether these boats are the same as the original boats, or are the original boats, I don’t know.  So, I just looked at the website for the Boathouse and the boats are replicas, so that is good.  It is nice when details like that are taken into consideration.

It is very popular and even at the time I went, early, it was busy with people running, walking, cycling or having early morning coffee.  I was surprised.  I thought I would be the only one there.  Don’t really know why I thought that.

This is where you place your order.  This is probably one area I don’t like, I mean I like the nostalgic aspect of the counter, but I don’t like that they don’t do table service or bring food out to you.  You order, and then you have to wait for it.  If you order a meal, you have to wait around for it to be cooked.  It has put me off going to get food from there.  I like table service.  Or least, if you order at a counter, get a number and they bring the food to you when it is ready.  I just think that it is all done for their convenience and if they don’t consider mine, then why should I put myself out to eat there.   I know, I know, it sounds petty, but when I go out, it is usually with a friend or family and I don’t want to waste time going backwards and forwards to the counter to see if my food is ready, I want to spend time with the people I went there with.

Another thing, that I think they miss out on as well is the indoor area.  They have this lovely room that if they did up a little they could offer table service and high tea to patrons.  I think people would be prepared to spend more money on it if it was available.  I know I would.  It would be a lovely experience to go and sit near the river and drink tea and eat high tea.  Maybe that is just me.  Maybe the people serving could be dressed in period costumes.

If you are in Melbourne it is worth the trip to go and take a look, it is also a great place to take photos.  Though, if I were going again, I think I would go later in the day.  Most of the photos are HDRs which I used my tripod to take, the only one that wasn’t is the last one.  I didn’t think I would be able to set up the tripod, so I quickly took a couple of images.  This is one of them.

Perhaps this should be one of the field trips that I do.  We could have tea, take photos and then have more tea.  Maybe not more tea.  Coffee instead.

  1. What a beautiful building! It has some Sisters in Boston, of just about the same age…

    April 14, 2012
    • I can imagine it would. It is such a lovely idea for the river. Very nice way to spend the day.

      April 16, 2012
  2. Leeane your photos are so beautiful. They belong framed on a wall, or in a glossy photo book placed on the coffee table.

    April 14, 2012
    • I don’t know about that, but hopefully one day. It is so easy when you have a great subject to photography. Thanks Colline

      April 16, 2012
  3. Once again lovely pictures. I agree with you- one doesn’t go out for tea, or something to eat and then you have to ‘serve’ yourself. 🙂

    April 15, 2012
    • I totally agree. It annoys me. I can handle the ordering at the counter, but they bring the food to you, but given a choice, I always go for full table service, so much more civilised, if you ask me. 🙂 🙂

      April 16, 2012
  4. ☆ MagicAperture #

    lovely boats

    April 16, 2012
    • Thank you, they made a great subject.

      April 16, 2012
  5. The photos look fantasic! What a nice place to go to, to escape from life and just relax 🙂

    April 16, 2012
    • It is a lovely place, very peaceful and there is always something happening in the water to keep you watching.

      April 16, 2012

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