I love lemon trees. They bring to mind sunshine, sipping limoncello in Italy, John Singer Sargent's glorious watercolors of the Mediterranean and warm-weather vacations.
John Singer Sargent, Villa de Marlia; A Fountain
One of my favorite getaways, Santa Barbara's San Ysidro Ranch, was once the San Ysidro Citrus Ranch, producing 100,000 lemons a year. The lemon trees still dot the property, perched just above Montecito in the foothills of the Santa Ynez mountains. When we visited last year, their blossom-scented fragrance filled the air.
While it was still a citrus farm, the ranch welcomed it's first guests in 1893, but it wasn't until the 1930s when an actor and a former senator turned hotelier bought the place that it was transformed into the private haven and hideaway it is today.
It only takes a few steps around the property to understand why Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier chose it to say their vows in 1940, as did Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow decades later. Its hidden setting made it the perfect spot for John and Jacqueline Kennedy to spend their honeymoon in 1953.
The gardens couldn't be more lovely.
The terrace of the Stonehouse Restaurant--once a citrus packing house--is the perfect spot to dine by candle and starlight and sip a Pinot Noir from the nearby Santa Ynez Valley.
Care to relax away the afternoon by the pool? Or would you prefer a hike in the mountains? There are 17 miles of trails nearby...
You might find it tempting, though, not leave your vine-covered cottage.
Hotel Images from San Ysidro Ranch
One of the highlights from our stay was breakfast on the front porch, hidden away behind honeysuckle vines, the scent of citrus filling the air. I can't think of a better way to start the day.
Stella McCartney (Image from Style.com)
Wish I was throwing this into a suitcase today to fly south for a few days of lemon-scented sunshine. But instead, I'll make do with dreams of warm days and citrus groves. (And perhaps a twist of lemon in my cocktail this evening!)
Happy Monday, all! Is there any place that you're dreaming of being this week?