Since opening its doors on July 16th back in 1863 when it was originally known as the ‘Black Eagle’, the Sevenhill Hotel has stood the test of time as one of the Clare Valley’s most iconic entertainment venues.
Current owners, Kate and Paul took over at the Hotel in 2013, 150 years after it first opened, however as the Hotel was shut at the time, the opportunity to celebrate the 150th birthday was something that slipped through.
Given that this was such an exceptional milestone that should not go uncelebrated, there was only one suitable course of action…..and that was to go all out and celebrate the 151st birthday the following year!
So on Wednesday July 16th 2014, the Sevenhill Hotel hosted its own 151st birthday party with over 60 people in attendance to help mark the occasion, including very special guests, and the longest serving publicans of the Hotel – former owners Louise and Ron Wilkins (who still reside in Sevenhill were a wealth of knowledge about them renovating the cellar into a serviceable wine storage and dining area.)
The Sevenhill Hotel’s long history was something that always appealed to Kate and Paul even prior to taking over ownership themselves. Kate in particular has thrown herself head first into researching the hotels history, regularly visiting the Historical Society in Clare to peruse old newspaper archives, identify the names and histories of previous publicans, and collating an extensive library of old photos and articles to highlight the hotels rich history.
On the night of the party, a spectacular three course meal was prepared as well as a cake fitting of the occasion and diners were able to enjoy their food and company while perusing the showcase of history that Kate had collected since taking over.
Guests were able to go through old photos of the hotel and share stories, such as Xmas shots in the front bar, newspaper articles from 100 years ago about horse and carts being tied out the front, poisonings (from the 1800’s we must be clear!) arrests and other shenanigans – If only those beautiful old stone walls could talk!
Throughout the night it was obvious to everyone in attendance that the Sevenhill Hotel’s status as a Clare Valley icon was undeniable and that its rich history is something that deserves to be savoured for another 151 years plus.
Thanks to Kate’s painstaking research you can view the hotel’s history yourself here. If you have any stories or articles about the hotel you would like to contribute, please get in touch – we would love to hear them.
We invite you to stop in next time you’re in the Clare Valley so you can experience the feeling you get while enjoying the amazing local Clare Valley wines and produce on the menu all the while sitting in a venue with a history like no other.