Some things are so wonderful, they just become a seasonal ritual and that is the case with our favorite Christmas Concert in Santa Barbara. Entitled Mysteries of Christmas, the performance is the work of the Quire of Voyces, an outstanding a capella choir partially sponsored by the Music Department of Santa Barbara City College. Imagine voices soaring in the intricate harmonies of Renaissance music, traditional treatments of historic carols and the best of 20th century sacred choral works... This 25 person choir truly can transport you to a magical place... Two performances only: this Saturday, Dec 18th at 7pm and Sunday, Dec 19th at 3pm.
Location: the chapel of the Garden Street Academy (known to locals as St. Anthony's Seminary) Get there early because they sell out of tickets at the door, and also because you may have to take a detour on the property to get to the doors of the chapel. Also, dress warmly: most of us are not used to the sometimes erratic heating system of the chapel. However, the acoustics are fabulous, the location historic and the entire experience is well worth the effort.
Did you know that one of the finest spots to watch brown pelicans feeding is at Hendry's Beach (formally known as Arroyo Burro Beach) in Santa Barbara? Some days are so beautiful, you just have to play hooky and so we found ourselves yesterday at lunchtime at the beach, in our shirtsleeves, taking in the sun, listening to the surf and watching these birds that were on the verge of extinction in the 1960s put on a show. Diving, feeding and swooping low, barely skimming the waves in close formation flying, it just opened our hearts!
If you're moved to come to Santa Barbara and see for yourself, we'd love to have you at our inn.
Wishing you all the best of this holiday season,
Deborah Gentry, Innkeeper Bath Street Inn
The Bath Street Inn is happy to announce an olive oil tasting party on December 17th, 2010 at 5pm. We will be hosting Global Gardens of Los Olivos, who manage over 2,000 olive trees and have a true passion for sustainable agriculture and great tasting food. They feature multiple award winning products and have an olive oil club for the true aficionado! Join us for a fun, informative, and tasty evening as we sample a variety of extra virgin olive oils amid our holiday decorations. Guests overnighting at the inn will receive a complimentary bottle. The public is invited.
RSVP to 805-682-9680
Omara Portuondo, a Latin Grammy winner for 2009, plays Santa Barbara on November first. Portuondo embodies Cuban music at its best; she came to the notice of most of us as the lead female singer with the Buena Vista Social Club, the group that arguably launched Cuban music into the mainstream music scene in the USA.
In 2010, she has achieved a lifetime dream, a solo US tour to celebrate her 80th birthday. She'll be in Santa Barbara for a single concert on Monday, November 1st, performing in the Jazz series at the intimate Lobero Theater, 8 pm. Seating is limited, so get your tickets now.
I love it that she is fulfulling her dream at age 80 - obviously, there is no time to lose if you want to hear her live! Love her voice, love the beat, love the sensuality and her evident love of performance. Portuondo employs so many influences in her music; at times it's the big band music of the pre-Castro era, at other times American and Cuban jazz, or Cuban folklorico. It will be a very special evening.
Our Concerts and More Special applies to the evening of the concert and either bookend night (Sunday or Tuesday) if you'd care to stretch your stay in Santa Barbara to a true little getaway - 15% off posted rate for the room of your choice. Deborah and Marie have tickets and wouldn't miss this concert for anything!
Look no further for a great Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast Special. The Bath Street Inn is happy to announce some new and some favorite return specials for Fall 2010.
Turn Back the Clock: this favorite returns - stay two nights or more, Sunday through Thursday, in any room in the 1890s house for $135 per night plus tax.
UCSB Parents: this special formalizes and improves the discount we have offered all along for UCSB parents - Save 15% off the posted rate for any stay while visiting a UCSB student, good for weekends as well as midweek; holidays and graduation week excepted.
Concerts and More: a new special designed to stretch a specific concert or live performance attendance into a nice little midweek getaway. Take 15% off the posted rate for any room for the night of the performance, and add a second midweek night for the same savings to have a sweet break from it all!
Valid for these performance nights:
Finally, our Wonderful Wine Tour returns: Two nights, any room in the 1890s house, Sunday through Thursday stays, plus tickets for a full day of wine tasting for two in the Santa Ynez Valley by Wine Edventures, Santa Barbara's premier wine touring company. $470 plus tax.
We'd love to see you this fall; you're always welcome.
Jack Johnson is coming back to the Santa Barbara Bowl for two concerts: Wednesday, Oct 13th, appearing with G Love and Zee Avi, concert starts at 6pm. The following night, Thursday, October 14th, his guest artists are ALO and Zee Avi.
The 2010 world tour ends with the Santa Barbara concerts, so if you haven't seen this artist yet, now is your chance. (Johnson's 2009 appearance at the Bowl sold out.) The concert features songs from Johnson's latest album, To The Sea.
Time is running out for the 2010 season at the Bowl, so make your plans now for a memorable outdoor concert experience.
The Bath Street Inn is happy to extend our Concerts and More Special to these shows. Request 15% off the posted rate for that Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night.. You can add an extra one of these nights for a two night stay and get the 15% discount for that night too. Amazing how a little extra time can transform a concert into a great midweek getaway.
Santa Barbara celebrates our working harbor and the fruits of the sea this year on Saturday, October 9th with the Santa Barbara Harbor and Seafood Festival. It's the opening of the lobster season, and there will be fresh caught lobster, prawns, crab and seabass for the eating. Live music will enliven the atmosphere. Also, this year we'll have cooking demonstrations on, what else? seafood!
While you're at the harbor, take a tour of the Maritime Museum, one of Santa Barbara's lesser known treats.
I'm told that boat tours of the harbor are also available, some on active fishing boats. In past years, the Coast Guard has taken folk aboard one of their vessels. You can also visit the Tall Ship schooner, Spirit of Dana Point, here to celebrate with us and let your imagination soar over the waves. The Maritime Museum says that you can actually take a sail on the Tall Ship, Spirit of Dana Point, on Sunday, the 10th. Contact them for more details.
Part 2 of the great Fall line up for C&W and Bluegrass fans: Friday, October 8 brings Steve Martin on banjo with the Steep Canyon Rangers to Santa Barbara for an evening of banjo and bluegrass. They'll be playing at the Granada, (just 7 blocks from the Bath Street Inn) as part of the UCSB Arts and Lectures Program.
Martin's album The Crow, New Songs for the Five String Banjo won the 2010 Grammy Bluegrass award, and it's going to be a toe-tapping night. If you haven't had the opportunity to see a show at the Granada yet, now's your chance. The acoustics are wonderful, and the $60 million renovation restored the sad old movie theater to a gem of a performing arts center. One word of warning, although the sound is great, the seats at the top of the theatre have virtually no leg room; I'm 5 foot 3 and felt squished, so go for a seat that costs a little more.
If you're looking for accommodation at a Santa Barbara bed and breakfast for the concert weekend, you'll be very welcome at the Inn, we'd love to see you.
We are going to have an autumn to remember for country and bluegrass music fans. Willie Nelson and Family are appearing at the Santa Barbara Bowl for one concert only this Thursday, September 23rd at 7:00 pm. Willie Nelson, with 60 years of music making behind him, will be playing with Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses. Bingham just won Nashville's Americana Music Awards for Best Song (The Weary Kind, the theme song of the hit movie Crazy Heart) and Artist of the Year.
With a full moon over the beautiful outdoor amphitheater and with these musicians, it should be a night to remember. And not just any full moon - this will be the Harvest Moon - said to be bigger and brighter than others during the year. Marie and Deborah experienced the magic of the Bowl under a full moon with the Corinne Bailey Rae and Norah Jones concert last month - it just doesn't get much better.
The Bath Street Inn is happy to offer a 25% discount on rooms for concert goers for either or both nights, Thursday, the 23rd and Friday, the 24th. (You know you want to take Friday off anyway and it's a great excuse to have the concert and Santa Barbara too!) Ask for the concert special on the phone (800-549-2284) or in the text notes on our secure website reservation system. The discount will be shown in your confirmation.
It's better at the Bowl.
Alas, this is the last week of the current exhibit of contemporary Korean photography, entitled Chaotic Harmony currently on display at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The show, co-organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the SBMA, brings the best of two generations of South Korean (aka Republic of Korea) photographers' work to the West.
Pieces by forty different artists are exhibited: they range from the whimsy of JeongMee Yoon's Seo Woo and Her Pink Things, to the dreamy beauty of Bohnchang Koo's Vessels series on Korean porcelain ware and the mind-bending exchanges of Chan-Hyo Bae's Elizabethan Costume series. The curators from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the SBMA realized after they had finalized the selection process that the works fell into an organic whole comprised of several broad categories - among them, identity, family, nature and globalization.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has purchased several of the works with funds from Photofutures, the General Art Acquisition fund and museum benefactors, so we'll have the opportunity to see a few of them again in the future.
Exhibit ends on September 19th, 2010.
If you are looking for a place to stay while visiting Santa Barbara, feel free to look us up; we'd love to have you at the Bath Street Inn.
Solvang celebrates it Danish heritage every year in September with Danish Days, featuring parades, dancing, live music, story telling (in honor of Hans Christian Andersen) and folks dressed in traditional costume and living history at the Elverhoj Museum. There's also food galore: in addition to the famous Danish pastries at multiple fabulous bakeries, there is an aebleskiver eating contest.
This year's Danish Days, to be held on September 17 and 18th, will celebrate the founding of the community ninety-nine years ago, shortly before WWI, when two Danish pastors and a professor bought farm land in the Santa Ynez valley and encouraged friends, family and members of their congregation to create a new life in the USA.
If you'd like to enjoy the festivities and still experience the gracious hospitality of our Santa Barbara bed and breakfast, we'd love to see you. We are a short (45 minute) drive from Solvang.
One of the most romantic ways to enjoy Opera in Santa Barbara in the summer is under the stars in the intimate tiled courtyard of the Arts and Letters Cafe. This is dinner and a show with a Santa Barbara twist. The performances usually feature a cast of two: a soprano and baritone or tenor and the programs are delightful. The cafe is one of the hidden gems of downtown Santa Barbara; the prix-fixe menu for the performance has good choices, and features great California cuisine. Seatings are at 6pm and 8:15. I understand that the restaurant is closed to other patrons for those nights, so reservations are required.
Classic opera lovers will want to attend the "Three Tenors Sing Nessun Dorma" or the " Italian Arias and Songs of Passion" performances on August 19th and September 2nd respectively. The shows on August 12th and 26th feature Cole Porter and Rogers and Hart tunes for those more attached to Broadway!
Make plans now for a special evening. And for the perfect finish to a romantic getaway, book your stay at our charming Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast.
Traditional Irish Music in Santa Barbara is hale and hearty. Having spent four years in Ireland as a child I grew to love the Irish culture, especially Celtic music and dance. I recently discovered Dannsair, a Santa Barbara group performing Irish music and have been listening with great pleasure to their third CD, The Galway Train. The good news is that they are performing live on Thursdays at Dargan's from 6:30pm to 8:30 pm and on Sundays at the James Joyce, same time. If you're finding it a long time 'til St. Patrick's Day, this is your remedy. Make your plans now for a long weekend with a unique place to stay. Book your reservation at The Bath Street Inn, we'd love to see you.
You know the summer is truly underway when it's time for the French Festival in Santa Barbara. Held in Oak Park, just blocks from the Inn, the Festival celebrates Bastille Day and all things French. The festival is free admission and is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, July 17th and 18th. Soak up the atmosphere of a summer's day in a French village under the oak trees with little bistros serving crepes, baguettes and cheese, pastries, cafe au lait, and wine, of course. Enjoy the non-stop live entertainment featured on three stages: Cancan dancing, opera, tributes to Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier, and songs on the so essentially French accordion. Strolling jugglers, minstrels and troubadours liven up the scene. Everything you need to plan that trip to Paris or Provence is here. Don't forget the famous Poodle Parade held on Sunday. We have a few rooms left for this weekend, so come to the Inn, park your car and take a stroll into France for the day.
June 3rd is 1st Thursday in Santa Barbara and the Downtown Organization and participating galleries and cultural art venues have put together a great program for us. 1st Thursday is a free evening of art and culture; venues open at 5pm and programs continue until 8 pm. Among many offerings this month, the Faulkner Gallery at the Public Library hosts a juried exhibit, Flowers, by local artists, with live music by Cut Time Band. The Borders Patio will be filled with the dancing, haunting music and drumming of West Africa courtesy of Panzumo. Casa de la Guerra opens a new exhibit of the paper art of the Mexican muralist, Alfredo Zalce. Mexican and Latin music will be performed in the courtyard by SONando. Gallery Ten-Twenty-Nine opens Stepping Into Summer featuring works in a variety of media by over 40 local artists We have the June Passport (a free program guide and map) at the inn for anyone interested. There is always something special happening every 1st Thursday!
Live broadcast from the Santa Barbara Bowl, Saturday, June 5th, at 2:45 p.m. If you've wondered just what really happens at one of the Prairie Home Companion live shows, now's your chance to find out. Garrison Keillor and company continue their 30 year tradition of music and stories from Lake Wobegon (and other famous locations!) right here in Santa Barbara. Guest musician is Sara Watkins. Tickets range from $49.50 to $79.50. Make a fun weekend of it, we've still got rooms and would love to see you...
One of my favorite Santa Barbara festivals happens over the Memorial Day holiday. I Madonnari, the Italian Street Painting Festival, brings out chalk artists from near and far to create a wonderful tapestry of color, whimsy and beauty at the Old Mission. The festival is a benefit for the Children's Creative Project where sponsors (businesses and individuals) purchase pavement squares on the Mission plaza to become the canvas for their chosen artists. The artists will begin on Saturday, May 29th this year, and almost of the works are complete by Sunday afternoon. We still have rooms available for this holiday weekend, so come on over. How lovely to take evening stroll around the Mission, watch the artists at work, and admire their paintings. Free.
The true name of this lovely one block park just a quick stroll from the Inn is the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, but locals typically just call it Alice Keck Park. Dedicated in May, 1980, it was the gift to the city by, you guessed it, Alice Keck Park. (Hence the Memorial Gardens in the name.) Deborah decided to blog on this today having just taken a walk through this miniature gem of a botanic garden. On any given day, you will find folk doing Tai Chi, dozing, reading or painting on the lawn, accompanied by water sounds. You are never far from one of several water features (some quite small) as you wander along meandering paths by hundreds of flowering shrubs and trees. The koi and lotus pond and gazebo add a timeless quality to the center of the park, and the turtles are a favorite of parents with young children. You can find quiet benches scattered throughout for just sitting or maybe sharing lunch with a friend. There are audio stations explaining the exotic and native plants and their environments for the horticulturally curious. The park features numerous drought tolerant and low water usage plants. This is a favorite location for weddings and elopement ceremonies.
Living in the 2 season climate of Santa Barbara, it's easy to see Spring in the flowering trees and greening mountains. But in the horse country of the Santa Ynez Valley, just a 40 minute drive from Santa Barbara, Spring means the foaling season. About a week ago, Marie and Deborah visited the Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch to see the newborn colts and fillies. We learned that a miniature horse is not a pony, but a horse that has been bred for size over many generations - they cannot be taller than 34 inches from the base of their manes to the ground. So some dogs are bigger than these horses. The ranch usually has about 30 foals born between April and June and we got to see twelve. Two of them less than a week old. Mostly they just sleep in the paddock near their moms but after a few minutes, suddenly a palomino colt jumped up and ran in circles as frisky as could be until mom chased him down. Marie's comment? They are cute as the dickens. Quicksilver Ranch is open year round, from 10 am to 3 pm. While you're in the area, take a look at the miniature donkeys in nearby Ballard at See In Spots Farm - they're open Wed through Sun 10 am - 3pm.. These little guys are personality plus.
We are so fortunate in Santa Barbara to have a first class museum of art staffed by creative and imaginative curators. We are currently enjoying a wonderfully staged exhibit, Delacroix to Monet, that showcases 41 masterpieces of the 19th-century - primarily from the romanticism and neoclassism of the French academic schools to the Impressionists. The paintings are on loan from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Santa Barbara is the only West Coast venue for this exhibit which closes May 30th to travel to the University of Texas, Austin, so make your travel arrangements now! The docent tour schedule and related events are guaranteed to enhance any visitor's experience of the exhibit. These are truly fabulous and famous works of art, so familiar in many ways, as is Springtime by Monet, pictured above. The Bath Street Inn guests will receive a two for one ticket to the exhibition. Don't forget to check out the Monet and Chagal paintings that are part of the Museum's permanent collection.
Among the most popular of Santa Barbara beaches is Hendry's, formally known as Arroyo Burro Beach. It's on the Mesa, has long stretches for walking, and is one of our dog beaches, so you have to like dogs to really enjoy this beach. Deborah and Marie were here earlier in the week and can affirm that there's nothing better for relaxing than a long walk with the sound of surf and the sight of crashing waves populated by the occasional surfer or paddle boarder. It was warm and sunny and mighty fine. Too cold for swimming in March; the surfers are still in full wetsuit gear, but we did see some hardy 8 year old boys splashing briefly at the surf line.
Now is the time to come to the inn and see the Wisteria vines blossoming. The flowers only last about four weeks and we are in mid-bloom. Once the flowers are gone, the vine is totally leafed out and the green canopy shelters the patio for another seven months. It smells heavenly, and for a change, is challenging the aroma of our home baked granola for the deepest sighs.
It's Spring and the Santa Barbara Bowl concert season has begun. The multiple Grammy award winner Alicia Keys comes to this intimate and beautiful outdoor amphitheater for one concert, Wednesday, April 7th, 7 p.m. It should be a wonderful evening - but cold still, so bring a jacket!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Deborah and Marie have returned from a quick visit to the California desert. Or, to be more specific, we went to the Parisbas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden where we watched 3 full days of top notch tennis. Saw Federer win a couple matches, Nadal win at singles (before his loss in the semi-final) and doubles - what a treat! Began to appreciate Andy Roddick and Andy Murray more, and understand why watching Zvonareva can be like watching paint dry... Marie's current favorite is the young Dane, Caroline Wosniacki, and I want to see what Sam Stosur can do this year. A great trip - happy to go and happy to be back home. Any other tennis fans among our guests?
The Santa Barbara International Orchid Show is coming up this weekend, March 12, 13, and 14. The theme of the show this year is Nature in Harmony and will feature tens of thousands of orchids in full bloom. What a way to celebrate Spring! At Earl Warren Showgrounds again, the 75th annual exhibition is just a mile and a half from the inn. We still have rooms available for orchid lovers and their friends!
The time has come for the Bath Street Inn to say goodbye to and finally sell our vintage Wedgewood stove. Those of our guests who have been with us in the kitchen know that we replaced the Wedgewood in April 2008 with a double oven vintage O'Keefe and Merritt that we found in San Francisco. Deborah and Marie kept the Wedgewood hoping to use it in the eventual kitchen remodel of their home. Alas, when push came to shove, the 40 inches length of the Wedgewood was too much for a galley kitchen. And so we have run out of excuses to keep our beloved workhorse. When I first thought of how many casseroles, cookies and cakes we've baked in the 28 years of the inn's existence, I thought: oh wow, thousands. Now I know that I should have been thinking in the tens of thousands. That's the work capacity of a quality vintage stove that was just made for household use! Over the years, so many guests have commented on the Wedgewood, and shared stories of growing up in a kitchen with a vintage stove, that we realized we should extend the offer to purchase it to our inn family.
The stove is white porcelain, single full oven, single full broiler, storage drawers underneath, 4 burners with central chrome griddle, chrome crumb trays, shelf. Is in fair to good condition cosmetically and was working great when we installed the O'Keefe and Merritt. We're happy to talk about it in more detail to those with a real interest.
Price is $425, buyer will be responsible for pick up and shipping and will need dolly, truck and muscles to move it from its current home in storage in Santa Barbara. It is heavy.
I found a great article, This Old Stove, on the value of a vintage stove. And the photo in it is a twin our Wedgewood, except we don't have the clock on top of the shelf.
Wishing you all the joys of cooking,
Deborah Gentry, Innkeeper
Bath Street Inn
The Chieftains, one of Deborah's favorite performing groups, comes back to Santa Barbara on Monday, Feb 22nd at the Granada Theatre, just 7 blocks from the inn. The concert, which is sponsored by UCSB Arts and Lectures series, has a guest appearance by Ry Cooder. Stay with us Sunday and/or Monday nights, the 21st and 22nd and receive a 17% discount (in honor of St. Patrick) on request for either or both nights. Have a toe-tapping time at the concert!
UCSB Arts and Lectures, the Chieftains Concert
If you've been to the inn and talked with Deborah or Marie about movies, you'll know that we are movie buffs. So it's no surprise that we are writing this blog on The Santa Barbara International Film Festival which celebrates its silver anniversary this year with 200 films from 45 countries, 18 world premieres, 28 US premieres, and numerous panels and award ceremonies. The Film Festival runs from February 4th through the 14th, concluding with Jeff Bridges Day which offers a Jeff Bridges mini-fest, a QandA with the Santa Barbara resident and a showing of Crazy Heart, his most recent film. For a day by day schedule of film and events, see The Santa Barbara Independent
It's always exciting to have celebrities delivered to our doorstep (as in Santa Barbara's doorstep, not that of the Inn) and we have been fortunate to have enjoyed appearances by Clint Eastwood, Helen Mirren, Tommy Lee Jones, Forest Whitaker, Penelope Cruz, and Kate Winslet in recent years. This year's awards are going to: Sandra Bullock, Julianne Moore, Colin Firth, Emily Blunt, and Peter Sarsgaard. James Cameron will be honored as this year's Modern Master for Avatar. Panels include one for screenwriters, one for producers, one for directors and one for women in the business.
The Bath Street Inn is within easy walking distance to most of the venues of the festival (6 blocks to the closest, the Arlington Theatre, 12 blocks to the Lobero Theatre, 14 to the Metro Four). See you at the movies.
First Thursday, February 4th, from 5 to 8 pm is a free evening of art, music and theatre in downtown Santa Barbara. Among the always intriguing exhibits this month are the Museum of Art show, Butterflies and Other People by Diana Thater; the Public Library's exhibit of the Oak Group's work on saved spaces; Emily McBride's oil paintings of the ocean at Eden at 7 W. Ortega St. Lovers of Greece won't want to miss the paintings and photographs of It's All Greek at Gallery Ten-Twenty-Nine (1029 State St.) For architecture buffs, the juried 2009 AIA Santa Barbara Design Awards are displayed at the County Administration Building, 1st floor, 105 E.Anapamu St. And for a little romance and nostalgia, go to the Bella Rosa Does Hollywood installation of Frank Worth photographs of the film legends of the 40s and 50s (1103 State St.) For Santa Barbara Solstice lovers, the Sojourner Cafe will showcase the poster contest entries for 2010 Summer Solstice. Artist receptions, demonstrations, studio tours, wine tastings and live music at over 20 locations add to the fun. All are listed on the February Passport, free in print at the Bath Street Inn and other locations, or, you may download at www.santabarbaradowntown.com