140 years of the Regatta marked by a week of celebrations

Regatta Hotel turned 140 years old last week and celebrated with a week of activities, which included historical tours, official naming of “Merle’s Bar”, a Whisk(e)y appreciation night, ANZAC Day two-up and breakfast and a VIP birthday party to cap it all off!

Merle Thornton, a lady dear to Regatta Hotel, cut the ribbon to “Merle’s Bar”, in honour of her and Rosalie Bognor’s protest at the Regatta in 1965. Famously recognised as a defining moment in Australia’s feminist movement, Merle and Rosalie chained their ankles to the foot rest of the ‘public bar’ to protest women’s rights. It was a pleasure having Merle return to the ‘Grand Lady’ and attend the official naming ceremony of her very own bar!

We also had a whiskey appreciation night held in our Whiskey Bar, which allowed guests to sample a variety of whiskeys, learn the difference between a “whiskey” and a “whisky” and enjoy a tasty selection of tapas!

On ANZAC Day, Regatta paid her respects to our diggers with a post-dawn service breakfast and games of Two Up. We had complimentary fresh-baked ANZAC biscuits for all diggers with their coffees, plus all gold coin donations used to purchase ANZAC biscuits went to the Sherwood RSL Club and Legacy.

In the lead-up to the 140 years celebrations, we hosted an on-line competition asking for guests favourite memories of the Regatta and were overwhelmed with the variety of guest’s memories of the Grand Lady of the River. We had answers such as: “After the renovations, I went for dinner at the Boatshed with my partner and we had the best night, so we decided to move in together” and “Best and oddest: rowing from the balcony of my marooned unit to the Regatta in the 2011 flood, nabbing a floating bottle of vodka on the way.” Our favourite 25 stories were selected to join us with three of their friends to an all-inclusive VIP party on Saturday night. It was a beautiful evening of drinking, eating, reminiscing and giving back to our beloved customers.

To cap off the fun, we held a lucky draw competition for our guests visiting the hotel over the weekend to win a $500 voucher for the Boatshed restaurant. Congratulations to our winner, Stacey!

Thanks to everyone who joined us and we look forward to the next decade of fun, food and celebrations!