mystical magical san ysidro ranch

When my friend and makeup magician, Fredericke Grillitz (IQ Beauty…see blog),  suggested I meet her at San Ysidro Ranch to pick up my cosmetics, I didn’t have to be asked twice.  She visits the Ranch for tea and a bite whenever she’s in town meeting her Santa Barbara clients. I haven’t been to the Ranch in years so I jumped at the chance, as Fredericke promised to take me on a stroll through the gardens.

A bit of history on this iconic spot named America’s Best Hotel by Forbes Traveler;  the property sits on over 500 acres in the foothills of Montecito, California.  There are 41 cottages nestled among winding paths and 14 acres of exquisite gardens.

Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
The roses are in bloom for 10 months out of the year.

In the 1700’s, the San Ysidro Ranch served as a way station for Franciscan monks and in the 1800’s, it was a working citrus ranch.  In 1893, the first guests arrived.  Hollywood actor Ronald Colman purchased it in the 1930’s and it became an idyllic celebrity hideaway…Lucille Ball, Audrey Hepburn, Bing Crosby, and Winston Churchill, to name just a few, have all stayed here! Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier married at the Ranch and John and Jacqueline Kennedy honeymooned in this little piece of paradise.

Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
A cottage among the orange groves and the backdrop of the San Ysidro mountains…

Today, the San Ysidro Ranch is a stunning boutique hotel.  Even if you don’t stay here, follow my lead and drop by for a glass of rosé and a light bite under the olive trees at The Plow and Angel.  You will be enveloped by a feeling of going back to a simpler time as you sip your wine with the heady scent of lavender and roses all around you. You may even see a few tiny hummingbirds dancing among the flowers. Thank you Fredericke, for reminding me what a jewel this place is right here in my own backyard!

Here are a few shots that I snapped as I took in the beauty of the Ranch.

Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
This is the Hacienda built in 1892 and where the Ranch welcomes its guests.
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
The Hacienda living room is appointed beautifully!
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
The Hacienda library is the perfect place to curl up with a book…that is if you can tear yourself away from the gardens!
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
Exit through these doors and you step out into the most gorgeous gardens and mountain views.
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
The sound of water and the sweet smell of lavender delights the senses!
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
Oozing charm…
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
The chef’s vegetable garden which is used to create the delicious offerings at the two restaurants on the property.
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
One of the large pergolas on the estate lawn…
Magical Mystical San Ysidro Ranch
The pool
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
Fore!
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
The historical 1825 Old Adobe offers private dining.
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
Inside, the Adobe is overflowing with antique charm!
Mystical Magical San Ysidro Ranch
As I wind down the olive tree and lavender lined driveway, I know I will be returning soon!

San Ysidro Ranch:  sanysidroranch.com

IQ Beauty:  iqbeauty.com

a taste of summer…sweet corn gazpacho

Last week I had an outdoor summer gathering with friends.  Wanting to keep things simple and avoid cooking over a hot stove on a warm evening, I decided to make gazpacho.   This is not your typical gazpacho.  I found this Lulu Powers recipe in House Beautiful magazine.  I wouldn’t be sharing it if it wasn’t crazy good! Continue reading

a tisket a tasket, a vintage african basket..

Sometimes, (ok truth be told, this happens to me a lot), an object speaks to you and it’s clear that it is coming home with you. This happened to me recently when a friend and I were on a little field trip to the malibu design center.  This place is a treasure trove of inspiration for people who love organic, natural, modern design! 😉  We spotted an assortment of various size vintage African baskets on a table.  It was love at first sight. I picked out a smallish one, and my friend chose two for herself.  I had no idea where mine was going to go, but knew it was coming to Santa Barbara.  The texture, the color, and yes, even the smell!  These baskets were used by African women to cook with.  You can still smell the fire and feel the soul of these women in every beautiful detail. Continue reading

3 instagrammers i love

For this series of Instagrammers I love,  I’m heading back to my East Coast roots.  Sandra @oldsilvershed, has the most gorgeous storybook home in Cape Cod, overlooking the water.  She and her husband renovated this home to perfection with attention to every small detail.  But more than that, it is a house that feels like a home.  Believe me when I tell you there were so many inspiring photos to choose from that I was lost in Sandra’s feed for a good part of the morning! Continue reading

Favorite shop: Global Eye Art collective

I first met Kristen Cramer at an amazing craft show called Homespun that was held in a giant orchid greenhouse here in Santa Barbara. I was taken with her organic pottery and her obvious love for her craft.  I left with her card and a small pot for one of my many plants. Continue reading