Dining room

Riccarton house dining room

Riccarton House formal dining room

The dining room was added in 1874 by Jane Deans to celebrate her son John Deans 21st and his inheritance of the Deans properties.  Celebrated in true Scottish style, Jane held three banquets over three days using this formal dining room and marquee outside. The first day was celebrated with 200 friends and family, the second day was with 60 past and present employees and their families and the third was with local Maori who worked with and were associated with the family.  The family and friends had a very grand menu which you can see today.

Later, with an expanding family the dining room table stretched the full length of the room and Catherine would sit at the head of the table with the females while the men sat together at the other end, children in the middle.  The men would be laughing at some joke and Catherine would ask what they were laughing at.  The joke would then be sanitised as it passed up the table!

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