Romance on the Road
Where any day is your special day
Ohhhhh, weddings, engagements, anniversaries – they all mean romance! But why limit romance to special occasions? Pick any night and whisk your honey off to an enchanting getaway. And ifyou live in California you’re in luck — just an hour-and-a-half drive from Los Angeles is one of the most romantic places in the world.
Santa Barbara, often called America’s Riviera, has beautiful beaches, Mediterranean architecture, a world-class museum and myriad marvelous restaurants, wineries and hotels. My boyfriend and I recently rendezvoused at an intimate bed-and-breakfast, where we were treated not just romantically but royally!
Nestled on an acre of English gardens only blocks from the heart of Santa Barbara’s main shopping area is a beautiful Victorian hideaway – the Simpson House Inn. The grounds are elegant, the rooms are lovely, and the food is scrumptious. The innkeepers’ personal touches make the Simpson House Inn stand out as a distinctive and memorable romantic haven.
We stayed in the Plumstead Cottage, which had a living room and a loft bedroom with antique furnishings and charming decor. The bedroom was cozy and warm, and the living room was totally unique. It had a fireplace, and in the corner, surrounded by windows, was a large, inviting Jacuzzi, fully stocked with candles, truffles, sherry cakes, bubble bath and a rubber duckie.
In the morning, the inn serves a gourmet breakfast, featuring a special entree every day. If you like privacy, you can dine in your room or on your private patio; if you’re like us and enjoy company, you can eat in the main house, on the veranda or in the gardens. We happily lounged in the backyard gazebo and were treated to a heavenly melt-in-your-mouth egg souffle with peppers and black beans. Mmmm … and the “yummy” didn’t stop there!
The Simpson House Inn offers tea and crumpets in the afternoon, wine and appetizers in the early evening, and desserts, beverages and sherry all night. Everything is complimentary, and the treats are homemade! In the guest rooms, a (full!) cookie jar sits on the table and beverages fill the fridge. Oh, and when you return from a night on the town (if you ever want to leave your room), they offer videos and DVDs to take back to your room … along with fresh popcorn!
Delicate little extras are everywhere. My eyes lit up as I spied not just the usual turndown service with truffles on the pillow but beautifully laid-out robes, bath slippers and personally addressed “sweet dreams” notes to each of us. And after each morning’s maid service, we discovered captivating memos with quotes from George Bernard Shaw. I’m sure he would have loved staying there too!
The Victorian house was built in 1874 by Robert Simpson, who hailed from Scotland. It was later restored by the Davies family, who started taking in boarders after their son left for school. For more than 20 years now, it’s been a truly delightful B-and-B.
Whether it’s a special day or just another day, a stay at the Simpson House Inn will raise your romance rating with your sweetheart. Of course, the inn frequently hosts wedding proposals, weddings and anniversary celebrations. A divine romantic getaway is only a short ride away from L.A. Hmm … maybe we’ll see you for afternoon tea next weekend?
Marilyn Anderson is a freelance writer and the author of Never Kiss a Frog: A Girl’s Guide to Creatures from the Dating Swamp. Her Web site is www.neverkissafrog.com.