The ancestry of Melbourne’s premier reception venue
Leonda’s successful history began in 1970 during the year that John Gorton was Prime Minister and seatbelts became compulsory in cars throughout Victoria. Previously known as the Hawthorn Tea Gardens, the property that Leonda now occupies was a popular destination for boats to dock and ladies to socialise whilst sipping on teas and nibbling on scones, gazing over the beautiful surroundings. When the Hawthorn Tea Gardens fatefully burnt down, partners Leon Jolson & David Walker bought the land and built Melbourne’s leading reception centre. The name bestowed upon the stunning reception centre was Leonda, a fusion of the names Leon and David.
Leonda was originally built as a large 500 guest function room with an adjoining room called the ‘River Club Restaurant’ which catered to 132 guests.
Since it’s founding days, Leonda has been in the hands of few fortunate Melbourne based entities, including:
Whilst there have been countless memorable occasions held at Leonda, there are a few that stand out above the rest, some of which include:
As Leonda continues to forge history, there have been many celebrated faces that have graced the Leonda premises in the past, some of which include:
Turning old to new: watch the video
In 2006, Leonda was sold by Spotless to a family business. The venue was renovated inside and out, restoring Leonda to its former beauty. Under the new management, the focus has been to bring Leonda back to its roots as the ‘place to be’ in Melbourne.
As we celebrate our incredible history as a true landmark of Melbourne city, we urge you to celebrate with us by browsing through our archive of images to see how Leonda has transformed, while at the same time remained loyal to its roots.To truly formulate our timeline, Leonda is searching for couples that were married at the venue around 1970, during its early years of operations. If you were a bride, groom or know of any weddings held during this time, please
We are also curious to hear of any interesting or amusing stories that have taken place at Leonda over the years. We love our history and ask you to celebrate with us with your personal stories and memories.