So we went to a lavender festival last weekend. I’d heard of it last year, but missed going for reasons forgotten. It was a two-hour drive, but the scenery was lovely.
This is what greeted us. I liked the vintage atmosphere and the smell of lavender reminded me of Provence.
The festival takes place in Cherry Valley, where the first cherry trees in the area were planted. The venue is the Highland Springs Ranch and Inn. The original Highland Home Hotel, a three-story Victorian house built in 1884, burned to the ground in 1970. Instead of rebuilding it in the same place, a more modern building was constructed.
In 2009, this main lobby building and the majority of the guest rooms were renovated to preserve the historic character.
We arrived at lunchtime, so naturally headed for the food court.
The lavender ice cream was great. The gyros (what were we thinking?) were not.
The lavender lemonade was amazing. Love this vintage sign.
Unfortunately, the only lavender field blooming was this one. Festivals are kind of hit and miss, which I know after attending several cherry blossom events, so we were OK with it. If you look closely you can see mountains with a little bit of snow in the background.
Some blooms close up.
Something I really liked was all the tall trees! They are really old and gave so much shade. The temp was near 90F so we needed it.
When I lived in Virginia I grew lavender and dried it like this. Just bundle it and hang in a dry place. The scent is so nice and supposed to be calming.
Some of the old inn “cabins” were used for different shops, like the doughnut place. I think I tried the honey lavender, which was delicious.
Isn’t this basket beautiful?
The bar in the main building. I do like the flavor of lavender, but not in beer.
The distillation room and shop were next to the bar.
This is another variety of lavender that will bloom later.
Interestingly, Albert Einstein was a regular guest at Highland Springs Ranch in the 1930s. Other famous guests were: Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Hemingway and Roy Rogers.
Great weekend, everyone!