Lebrina, during the Restaurant Years, its beauty & symmetry undimmed, 170 years after being built by Thomas White

This site (formerly advertising Lebrina Licensed Restaurant) and its associated blog, aims to chronicle the story of notable house, Lebrina, and aspects of the story of New Town Tasmania, of which Lebrina is an important part, historically and architecturally.

I still happily reside at Lebrina, and often ‘ramble,’ both around the eternally interesting suburb of New Town, and in my writing. This will not be rigorous history, but hopefully a good story, borrowing from historians; feel free to ‘correct’ any historical inaccuracies via the Comments. If you are a descendant of Thomas White, or Frederick Robert Seager, (Superintendent of the New Town Charitable Institution at St John’s Park, who lived at Lebrina after Thomas White’s death) or ‘friends’ of Lebrina Restaurant, in the 90’s and the ‘noughties’ through to 2020, you might discover and want to read this; but importantly, I will have told some of the Lebrina story for posterity; no-one else has or probably will.

Lebrina, the house, was built by Thomas White (see Posts for more Thomas White Biographical information), circa 1845, as his own dwelling, in which he lived, with his wife Sarah, (nee Coaton), and their 13 children, until his death in 1885. There have been few owners since then, a testament to the beauty, venerability, liveability and craftsmanship of the house, and the superiority and desirability of its prominent location in the heart of historic New Town, Tasmania.

A fine dining, a la carte restaurant operated continuously in the house from Saturday December 10th 1994 until Friday December 4th 2020, operated by the current owners of the house. I want to tell that part of Lebrina’s story that I experienced first hand, as a waiter and worker. Soon I could forget, otherwise. For the earlier parts of Lebrina’s story and aspects of of the New Town story that interest me, I talk to New Town historians but importantly seek information you’d like to share, ‘dear and knowledgeable readers,’ and ‘friends of Lebrina Restaurant.’ Please use the ‘comments box’ at the end of my Posts. I’d love to know more, especially biographical info, about The Whites & The Seagers, as it relates to Lebrina. You can also email me, steve@lebrina.com.

The life and times of Lebrina Restaurant, were a colourful and significant 26 year period in Lebrina’s history, one that introduced many restaurant patrons to the quiet charm of this gracious house and the cuisine of Scott Minervini. Although this 26 year period was much shorter than the 175 year history of the house, ultimately the restaurant’s contribution to the culinary history of Hobart will be judged to be as important as Thomas Whites’ construction of the house was to the architectural history of Hobart, New Town, Van Diemen’s Land & Tasmania.

7 Responses

  1. What a great thing to do. The importance of those 26 years to the culinary history of Hobart could never be forgotten!

  2. I have put a few comments on the facebook page and will have a little dabble for you tomorrow. We live on Bruny island and have a unit (shack) at Newtown, and am a history buff, with about 40+ years of experience, so will see what I can find out for you. There are two books on Newtown old houses but I leave both at the shack, but will have a look when next in town. With what you have supplied above we should be able to put a skeleton of the history and then you can ad the flesh as we say. About each person who lived there. I have suggested Trove as a starting point and THAO for Weekly Courier and Tasmanian Mail which have real treasures, but are not indexed, so it is a long slow search. Happy to help where and when I can. Kathy

  3. thanks Karen, Archive visit is long overdue; need to physically go there rather than relying on online searching maybe? – thanks for observations about Shoreditch – know very little about Sarah Coaton – have visited the church (St Mary Abchurch, Christopher Wren designed and near St Pauls) where Thomas & Sarah were married

  4. I will get something to you by the end of today as yesterday’s research went well. Just have a few more things to chase up.

  5. Steve.
    I have tried to email you the 5 pages or so on Lebrina, but it says it is not a valid FRFC-5321 whatever that is. If you could email me directly please I can get the information to you and also the large documents in footnotes via WeTransfer.
    This was the content of the email, but can’t attach the article here.

    Well as promised, I have been able to set up a chronological time document of owners of Lebrina over the years, with a bit of information on the families etc. I am sure you will find this of interest. All research except ancestry were prime sources, so are very reliable.

    To send all the documents footnoted, I will need to send them to you via WeTransfer. This is similar to Dropbox and ideal for large documents. It is quite safe to download. Hopefully, from here you will be able to put some meat on the bones as they say, by trolling trove for the names mentioned etc, and Tasmanian Heritage and Archives if you put the surname in, there is a lot of information. The photos I found may need more research to place them in the families etc. but they were from the search above THAO

    I have a friend who volunteer at St. Johns Park & Orphanage so more maybe later, but worth trying this link.

    If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me, but this should give you a good start.


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