Monday, September 3, 2012

...Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.

Last week during our weekend at the ranch, a.k.a. The Hearst Castle at San Simeon...

...We had a casual supper with William Randolph Hearst...

... and played a few friendly rounds in the games room.  Now many of us have probably spent the entire week wandering around the castle searching for our bedrooms.  Tonight I thought that I would share a peak at some of the guest quarters, as well as Hearst's personal rooms for the family and himself.  

The open walkway/balcony is duplicated on the opposite side of a group of bedrooms known as "The Cloisters."  They were very popular with guests at the ranch because of the excellent cross-winds that cooled the rooms.  The eaves that you see are teakwood.

 If I remember correctly, this was originally Mrs. Hearst's bedroom.  It ultimately became Marian Davies, Hearst's mistress's bedroom.

Upstairs sitting room off the bedroom...oh my. 

An amazing huge Lalique perfume bottle.

The variety of priceless ceilings is one of the special attractions at the Hearst Castle.  They were bought and imported from Europe when ancient churches or other buildings were dismantled.  

And now we come to the Cloisters Guest Rooms.  Each room featured two beds and two bathrooms, one for each guest. 

There were doors and windows at both ends of the rooms....they led out onto those balcony/walkways that I showed you earlier.

 The library...
It's an amazing room...not as overwhelming as the library at the Vanderbilt Estate, but gorgeous.

The Persian Rug is so priceless that they tell you that there is an alarm system that will go off if anyone steps on it.  I wondered if it really did have an alarm, but being the compliant good girl that I am, I didn't tempt fate.

The huge collection of ancient Greek pottery that surrounds the room is priceless.

I was amazed by the spectacular light fixtures and lamps...some of my favorite details in the castle.

After choosing a good book...

...Hearst might have headed to his 7 foot bed.
...or studied his magnificent ceiling.

 The lampshades were made from ancient parchments.


William Randolph Hearst's personal office....yes, really.
 This was my favorite room.  I was enchanted by the gothic arches.

 No desk in his office...Hearst reportedly stood and read every single one of his 90+   He was known to work all through the night most nights.  Because of this, his guests were usually left to their own devices during the day while he caught up on his sleep.  He would join them each night for dinner.

My favorite piece of furniture in the whole house.  The brass insert underneath the table held hot coals to keep the people warm who were sitting at the table.  I would so love to have this table...fat.chance.

More guest rooms... 

I almost dropped my teeth when I saw this lamp.  Do you recognize it?  It's the Lalique lamp that sits in my foyer and the Lalique bowl that I use for a centerpiece on occasion...they belonged to our dear Nana.  Ours has more of a blue cast to it, while this one is a lovely ochre color.

These took my breath away!  I don't know if they were jade or something like quartz....serene and beautiful.

And another...

A random sitting room.  I could never find it again.  I have no idea where I actually was in the house at this point. :-)

This guest room with a loft (under renovation) was evidently one of the favorites for guests because it offered easy access to the kitchen.  There was no room service.  Guests were expected to fend for themselves if they wanted a snack late at night.  Cary Grant supposedly really liked this room.  As a guest at the ranch more than 40 times, Grant evidently figured out the ropes for a happy stay.

Next week, we'll take a peak at two of the guest cottages, the pantry/kitchen, and the two swimming pools.  Walking through the Hearst Castle is almost an aerobic exercise.  Are your feet tired, yet?  Pick your room, get a good night's sleep, and I'll see you next week.

Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, Tablescape Thursday.  I'll be linking my post to "TABLESCAPE THURSDAY."   Hop on over and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 10:00 AM on Thursdays.  You'll be glad that you made the's a wonderful adventure.

When I think of August, I think windows of opportunity to travel to new spots.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts, I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SEASONAL SUNDAYS.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday evening is the twenty-fifth edition of Cuisine Kathleen's meme, "LET'S DISH".   Excited to be a charter member.  Pop over (pun intended for the Chef Supreme Kathleen) and join the fun!

You can check out KC's music at, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  KC has just released her 5th studio CD project, "The Tag Hollow Sessions".  The sold out CD release concert was this past weekend.  "The Tag Hollow Sessions" is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!  


Meredith said...

After living in Romania for 3 years, I became a huge fan of architecture. Your arched ceiling pictures are stunning and remind me so much of the beauty there too.

Sarah said...

Pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing more of your photos, Cherry Kay.

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

The Gothic arches ... and parchment lampshades are beautiful! And why don't we flip a quarter for that "warm" table? Absolutely fabulous!

Thinking of you often as a little one's birthday nears. :-)

A Walk in the Countryside said...

Wow! Need I say more!?! ...Love the parchment lampshades! Thanks for the tour!

william said...

This is a fascinating tour of the Hearst mansion! I will enjoy spending time staring at each room. Thank you!


The Tablescaper said...

It's been many years since I was there, but it's amazing as ever - ever inch of it.

- The Tablescaper

Dianne said...

we visiting there several years ago and your post brought back all the beautiful memories. The house was so spectacular, but we so disappointed in the gardens. Such a contrast to the attention to detail inside. I remember the ceilings. All that variety really impressed me. Dianne

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

I have always been interested in architecture, AND on a grand scale like this castle. I am speechless as I study the Gothic splendor of each photo. I love the way they use curtains on walls for comfort. The ceilings are breathtaking!!! I will have to visit this castle one day...
Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
Have a wonderful week,
Big Hugs,

Mary said...

Oh my indeed! I'm sure the photos don't begin to do it justice. Thanks for the tour :)

kitty said...

Wow, that is SOME castle!! It must've taken forever to tour it all. Thanks for bringing me along. I look forward to more next week.

Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

Thank you for the amazing tour. I would enjoy seeing it in person some day.

xinex said...

OMG! Thanks for showing us more of this magnificent castle, Cherry Kay!...Christine

Judy Bigg said...

So glad you are still sharing images from the Ranch. That lampshade is pretty amazing.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing to see how some folks lived? My castle is not quite so lavish!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing to see how some folks lived? My castle is not quite so lavish!

Chubby Chieque said...

TY for the tour.

Ultimately beautiful but it is not my kind of taste. Too heavy for my likes. But, if I won't say no, to go a tour for real.

Happy day,

Ann said...

Oh those ceilings, they are magnificent. The gothic arches are wonderful as well. What a fantastic tour.

Kathleen said...

Some casual supper! Lol