Elegance at Ayers House

Walking historical North Terrace, Adelaide is a must for any visitor and a stop over at Ayers House to enter the glamorous world of 19thcentury Adelaide is a must.  This regency styled 40 roomed residence was created by Sir Henry Ayers who arrived in Australia as an assisted immigrant to become the wealthiest and most powerful man in the colony of South Australia.

Ayers House, North Terrace, Adelaide Image: GRACIE

Since 1973 the National Trust of South Australia has managed the museum and undertaken major restoration and conservation work. Attention to detail is ever present with some outstanding examples of trompe l’oeil on the walls and ceilings.

Ballroom Ceiling features, Ayers House, Adelaide Image GRACIE

An intimate encounter with the privileged life of Victorian Adelaide is made realistic by the current exhibition, “Age of Elegance”.  40 authentic period costumes from the NTSA’s collection make up this installation by the much celebrated costume designer, Marion Boyce (think The Dressmaker  and the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries productions).

Glittering balls were high on Adelaide’s social calendar at the time and the ball room cedar floors were washed with milk to provide the perfect dancing surface.

Ball room installation -Ayers House, Adelaide Image GRACIE

The afternoon tea party setting is a sheer delight!   It’s really marvellous.

Afternoon Tea Party Installation – Ayers House, Adelaide Image GRACIE

The house is peppered with many charming displays, (ten in all) cleverly placed to bring the house to life.

Hallway Ayers House, Adelaide Image GRACIE

Upstairs the bedrooms are decorated with original pieces or exact replicas.

Upstairs bedroom Ayers House Image: GRACIE

Upstairs Nursery, Ayers House Image: GRACIE

Display cases show personal items while a make and do room is set up for adults and children to enjoy.

Display of ladies’ accessories Ayers House Image: GRACIE

The ‘Make and Do’ room for exhibition visitors Image: GRACIE

The recreation of Adelaide’s most glittering decades brought to life through this exhibition gives a rare insight into the lifestyle of the rich and famous of this period.  It’s really worth a visit but if you are unable to click on this video link for an armchair viewing.

For further details here.