THE much anticipated Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival returns this weekend and promises to provide 10 exciting days of entertainment, attractions and activities for young and old.
The inaugural festival was held in 2013 – the brainchild of the late Deidre Granger who, in contrast to the cup of coffee which has been placed on such a pedestal, had wanted to infuse the humble cup of tea with a higher profile.
So popular was the festival in 2013 that it returned the following year, once again its quirky character engaging locals and visitors alike. Deidre and the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival Committee had decided to make it a biennial event and had begun to plan it when she passed away late last year.
Festival committee members agreed that the event should continue and have planned it to make sure that it will be in keeping with what Deidre envisaged. They feel that it will, in part, be a tribute to her.
“Deidre would have loved the festival as it will again be a fun, whimsical event which brings the community together. She would be delighted with it….,” said committee member Susan Poletti.
“I am really pleased it’s going ahead and am grateful that instead of people thinking it was just someone’s crazy idea, that they have taken up what Deidre started and have run with it,” said Deidre’s husband Luke Dearlove.
And run with it they have. The festival will officially kick off on Friday at 2pm with the now famous Tea Cosy Exhibition and Competition at the Fish Creek Memorial Hall. Entrants have free rein in how they interpret any of the four themes; ‘Traditional,’ ‘Men’s,’ ‘Aquatic,’ and ‘Exhuberant Whimsy’! Well over 150 entries have been sent in and to see them all is an absolute must! Author/illustrator Alison Lester has been given the difficult task of casting judgement to determine the winners. While you are there, be sure to vote for People’s Choice.
The winners, as judged by Alison, will be announced at the High Tea which will begin at 3pm, continuing until 6pm on Saturday (May 14). The exhibition will be on show daily throughout the festival from 9.30am to 5pm. Madame Flavour teas in various guises will be served and superb live entertainment provided by the four piece French Gypsy swing virtuosos La Mauvaise Reputation – Australia’s most authentic interpreters of the wild rhythms and passion of 1930s Parisian hot jazz and the beautiful melodies of classic French chanson – sung en français, bien sûr.
The group’s repertoire specialises in the timeless songs of Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet and Serge Gainsbourg and Jean Sablon and the unique sounds of Django Reinhardt.
La Mauvaise Réputation have performed at festivals, jazz clubs, private functions and high-profile events across Australia including Port Fairy Folk Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Viva Victoria Multicultural Festival, Paris Cat Jazz Club. They have also performed live on ABC Radio National’s The Music Show and many other radio programs across Australia.
Organisers are grateful to Prom Coast Arts Council Inc. (PCA) for arranging such wonderful entertainment. Tickets are $45 each and can be purchased at the Fish Creek Post Office or email [email protected]
The official opening of ‘PCA: A Collective Exhibition 2016’ is taking place at Stockyard Gallery, Foster at 2pm – perfect timing for enjoying art and refreshments and then making the short drive to Fish Creek for the High Tea at 3pm with entertainment from La Mauvaise Reputation.
Sunday is a family morning at the festival, so bring everyone along to enjoy pancakes, play and painting at the Fish Creek Scout Hall from 10am to 12 noon. Devonshhire Tea (with Madame Flavour teas, of course) will be available on Sunday afternoon from 2pm to 5pm at the Fish Creek Memorial Hall.
The Fish Creek Hotel has coffee and cake every day from 11am, and on Monday (May 16) will have a special Tea Cosy two course lunch menu available for $25 between 12.30pm and 4.30pm. Bookings are advised by calling 5683 2404.
The Tea House Elysium will be open for tea on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am to 11am and then from 12 noon to 3pm. Wonderland storytime will be presented at the Tea House Tuesday 1pm to 2pm and Wednesday 1pm to 1.30pm. See page XXX for details and times of the Magic Lantern showtime.
Elders Day is returning by popular demand on Wednesday May 18 from 1pm to 5pm and is open to visitors from Gippsland’s nursing homes and retirement villages. Kinder and Fish Creek Primary School students will provide entertainment. Bookings are essential on 5683 2512.
Alice in Wonderland will be presented in The Tea House Elysium at the Strumpet Salon and Exotic Imaginarium on Wednesday May 18 at 10.30am on Thursday May 19 at 2pm in the Village Green, Fish Creek. Entry is $5 per child and $10 per adult. For bookings call Talulah Rae on 0451 352 215.
The fun with the Biggest Morning Tea at the Fish Creek Hotel on Thursday May 19 at 10.30am and the Bendigo Bank Makers’ Fair on Saturday from 10am to 3pm at Fish Creek’s village green. For stall bookings email [email protected] Members of the Community Garden group will have bocce happening on the green, and soup, Fair Trade coffee and, of course Madam Flavour teas available, along with cakes, biscuits and produce to purchase.
Plenty of live entertainment from Andrew Hayward Bannister, Dave Berry’s Ukulele group, The McCrackens, the Prom Coast Singers and The Aquaintances will take place on Saturday on the stage outside the Tea House Elysium. Following the official inaugural opening of the Tea House, the crowning event of the festival – Fishy’s Got Talent, will wow the crowds.
For a full listing of all events and activities offered at the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival, visit www.teacosyfestival.com.au
• Alice (aka Susan Poletti) says a huge ‘thank you’ to all the wonderful knitters who answered the call for knitted squares which came in abundance from all over the district. Special mention goes to Sandy Point’s Dot Devine who surprised them all with square after square, each featuring a letter to make up the words ‘Fish Creek.’ Festival and the Community Garden committee members, along with some wonderful helpers sewed the squares together to form a giant tea cosy for the huge teapot which sits within the Community Garden.