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Dining With History Virtual Exhibition

Dining With History Virtual Exhibition

Even for the earliest members of Parliament when the House was sitting the building became like their second home.

Dining services have been used by members to host community groups, constituents and even dignitaries over the years. The provision of dining services is also important during a sitting day so that members can stay close and vote on legislation when required.

In 1869 the refreshment room pictured above was built providing a space for them to dine together and interact over local produce during long sessions.
These artefacts from the parliamentary collection are a slice culinary and state history. From some of the earliest visualisations of Australian flora and fauna to dining services fit for royalty, enjoy our collections and the taste of parliamentary history it provides.  

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Refreshment Room Bell  

Brass and timber

Likely used to call members to the dining room during long sitting days.

NSW Parliament Artefact Collection

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'Refreshment Room Committee' Minutes
c.1858 – 1956

Containing dates of meetings, names of those present, details of motions and details of actions resolved after deliberation. Accounts, balance sheets and lists of charges are also included.

The Committee ceased to exist between 1921 to 1926, with the responsibility for running the Refreshment Room transferred to the newly establishes House Secretary, an officer of the Legislative Council.

In 1927 the House Committee was established as a successor to the Refreshment Room Committee

NSW Parliamentary Archives Collection

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Rules of the House Committee: Dining Room and Bar
Ephemera, Printed card

New South Wales Government Printer

NSW Parliament Artefact Collection

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Electro-plated silver with crystal bowl
Elkington & Co.
Birmingham, England

Epergne refers to an ornamental centrepiece for a dining table, typically used for holding fruit or flowers.

NSW Parliament Antique Collection

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Dessert Service
Porcelain comports and plates featuring hand-painted Australian Coat-of-Arms, NSWP monogram and botanicals

George Jones & Sons
Stoke-on-Trent, England

NSW Parliament Antique Collection

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Etched Cranberry Glass



NSW Parliament Catering Collection

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Fish Knife and Fork
Electro-plated silver

Elkington & Co
Birmingham, England.

NSW Parliament Catering Collection

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State Dinner Service
Bone China with gilt NSW Coat-of-Arms, including this teacup and saucer


NSW Parliament Catering Collection

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​Some of the collection on display at last year's Family Fun Day in the President's Dining Room.