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.
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.
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.
San Ysidro Ranch: sanysidroranch.com
IQ Beauty: iqbeauty.com