Category Archives: oysters

Tourist Luncheon at Berowra Waters

Berowra Inns menu

Who would ever imagine a historic restaurant menu being discovered like hidden treasure in a modern day restaurant? Well, this is what happened recently when the current owner and Head Chef, Brian Geraghty of Berowra Waters Inn found this menu in the attic. The menu is dated to 1938, from a time when the restaurant was called the Riverview Guest House. Established in 1926, the Riverview was run by Millie and Dan Cullen and, like Berowra Waters Inn of today, was famous for producing a sumptuous lunch for tourists charting the river. Many tourists would arrive at the Riverview tea house via a boat called the Enterprise.

We can see this Special Tourist Luncheon, priced at two shillings and sixpence (about $5 in today’s currency) was great value for money, including oysters on the shell, followed by a serving of fish and mashed potatoes. Some things have changed – chips replacing the humble mashed spud. The original menu also sparked Geraghty in creating his own special tourist luncheon at Berowra Waters Inn which naturally includes oysters and fish.  We think it might be worth a visit if you plan to chart the beautiful Berowra Waters this summer.

Rhonda Davis and David Lever

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The World Might Not Be Your Oyster But Berowra Is

Image circa 1920-1930

Image circa 1920-1930

Today, many people know the Brooklyn area, and the Hawkesbury River as oyster farming areas and most realise that there is a long history behind the oyster leases, though today this history is under threat due to disease. Oysters remain a popular seafood though, and the oysters grown in the Hawkesbury area have long been known for their quality and flavour.

Most do not realise however that once, Berowra was also known for its oysters. People came from far and wide to collect the oysters growing wild in and around Berowra Creek and, of course, it was not long before people started to grow them commercially. There were several oyster leases being tended at Berowra Creek from the late 19th century well into the 20th century. The image above, of a Hawkesbury River oyster farmer and his oysters, gives an idea of the way oysters used to be farmed in the Hawkesbury/Berowra area.


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