Tea at Digby's the perfect fit for Art Deco pilgrims

23:02, Feb 14 2013

Woodville was awash with art deco-dressed fans, as more than 80 fellows and fair ladies stopped at Digby's Cafe for a bite to eat on their pilgrimage to Palmerston North for a train trip.

The Vogel St building - the town's bank from 1833 to 1977 before being transformed into Digby's tearooms five years ago - hosted an array of 1920s-garbed guests on their way to the 25th Art Deco celebrations in Napier yesterday.

Men were dressed in panama hats, double-breasted waistcoats and narrow-legged, sock-showing trousers.

Women wore knee-length dresses with dropped waists, low-hanging tunic-tops and bobbed hairdos hidden under cloche hats.

Digby's owner Peter Bonser said the cafe was a comfortable fit, hosting the flapper-garbed gals and the suitably clad chaps.

"I think it was stunning the effort they've gone into to get dressed up and it's worked out well, they seem happy, and that's all we want."


The fancy-threaded visitors from Hawke's Bay's Gemco construction company were on a round trip home in honour of the Art Deco celebrations, which opened yesterday.

Their only stopoff was at Woodville's historic bank building before catching a steam train in Palmerston North and returning to Napier.

Gemco's managing director Darren Diack said he was so pleased with the Tararua morning tea stop, that he'd already booked in for next year.

"It's great that these guys have put this on," he said.

"When I called them and said there were 80 of us, I think they were worried, but it's been ideal and it's in a fantastic location."

Woodville resident Warren Jones, who had dressed in a sailor-themed retro outfit and joined in the festivities, said the cafe's environment was "just perfect".

"These people have brought a bit of that colour into the establishment and it looks almost natural, it looks like they belong and it's been absolutely fabulous."

Manawatu Standard