Inspiration for the Holiday Table


Having a couple of wonderful destinations as inspiration for my Thanksgiving table is almost unheard of...
At least for me.
I typically go with the usual linens and matching napkins, the ones that have been pressed.
But this year, we went to a couple of spots that were so beautiful and different...I got...well....
Really inspired!
On Sunday, brunch at Watermark
An amazing historic building that now houses a great restaurant in old Ventura, Ca.
Ventura is also home to the San Buenaventura Mission built in 1724
 This building, built in 1907 for the Ventura County Power Company, was sold again in 1927  to the Ventura Building and Loan Association. 
There began the historically significant redesign. 
Architects Fred M. Ashley and John C. Austin were responsible for the intricate exterior tile work and interior details.  They were also the builders of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles City Hall and the Shrine Auditorium
 The building is Spanish revival with strong Art Deco influences.  
It is filled with copper lighting, plaster ceilings and stenciled beams as well as remarkable murals depicting scenes from the old Camino Real
In 1928 muralist Norman Kennedy, a painter from La Jolla California, was commissioned to paint the three wonderful and colorful murals 

 The murals and ceilings were covered up for nearly 30 years as the building changed hands.
Finally unveiled and restored to their original beauty when the building was again sold in 2004, with the prospect of becoming a restaurant.
 The details are just amazing....I think I had a sore neck the next day from staring at the ceiling!
 The bar area is just beautiful and the light fixtures are gorgeous...
And it is so important that buildings like this are saved and restored, for all of us to enjoy!

If you find your self on Highway 101 near Santa Barbara...and need a great meal in a wonderful setting...

Tomorrow inspiration #2



  1. Kelley- Wow! What a great looking place....and the history that is there!!! I love places like this-something out of the ordinary where art and cultures combine. Hugs-Diana

  2. I can see why you were inspired. It is lovely. I too love an old building with all its glorious details and this one is just fantastic. I'd love to see it in person. I too would have just stared up the whole time I was eating. It is amazing. Can't wait to see inspiration #2. I can't imagine it being as gorgeous as this one.

  3. WOW that place looks amazing! Have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving Kelley!! Hugs,Rachel

  4. What a gorgeous old building! I'm so glad someone had the forethought to save it and use it as a restaurant! They just don't build 'em like that anymore!

    Kat :)

  5. Looks beautiful...and so full of history! Love the copper and the painting!

    Happy Turkey Day, Girl!

  6. Ok ...well I know this is not a really sexy or intriguing post but...I love old buildings and it really is fun to have a nice lunch in something so old and wonderful!

    I should write a travel brochure for my favorite local spots!

    but I will send it out (bloggers) to you for free....xxookelley

    ps happy t day girl friends: Linda! Kat! Diana! Nita! and french farmhouse!

    Oy are you cooking? me to.....k

  7. Hi Kelley,
    Watermark looks like an incredible place to visit. I will be sure to add that to my list....Have a happy Thanksgiving my friend. Are you in Ojai? We opted to have Thanksgiving in town and go up to the country for the weekend. Hope your day is fabulous!

  8. Intriguing? - DEFINITELY
    Sexy?-maybe (to some)
    I love these posts - although I love all your posts.
    I love these kind because I get to armchair travel thru your eyes.
    (ps I still dream of crystal cove!)

    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  9. LOVE the murals.. My grandmother painted many of the California Missions and I love those too. I never knew about the Watermark. Excited to make a pit-stop nest time we visit the Santa Barbara area!


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