There’s plenty of Cambria accommodation to choose from, but we had always been intrigued by the name of the Olallieberry Inn so that’s where we were headed this time. And we must admit, any inn that’s been awarded the ‘best breakfast in America’ has got to be worth checking out.
After an unplanned delay we left Santa Monica just after noon and arrived in Cambria on California’s Central Coast during the afternoon wine and appetizers, which takes place from 5-6pm every day.
After we were shown to our room we were invited to the selection of wines and hors d’oeuvres, and left to relax and enjoy the beautiful gardens in the late afternoon sunshine. There were bright flowers and plants everywhere, lots of benches to sit on, the sound of birds also enjoying the sun, and down there somewhere the Santa Rosa Creek was flowing. We could tell from the noise of the frogs!
Up at the house the wine was soon flowing too, with a choice of chardonnay, merlot or zinfandel to choose from. The dips were simple but incredibly tasty: a raspberry chipotle sauce over cream cheese, an olive spread, and a selection of vegetables (red pepper, carrots, celery, zucchini) with a ranch dip.
We were soon chatting to the other guests, a couple who ran small theaters in Van Nuys and Beverly Hills. It was an interesting conversation, the kind you're more likely to have staying at an inn like this where the owners help the guests to mingle.
We were in the San Simeon room. It was a large downstairs room with a huge California king-size bed which was – as one guest had commented in the guestbook - like ‘sleeping on a cloud’. It was a lovely old-fashioned room, in keeping with the house, and very soothing too, with its pale lime-green walls.
There are nine guest rooms altogether, six in the main house and three in the Innkeeper’s Cottage, which overlooks the garden. They all have fireplaces and private bathrooms, too, new beds, and there’s wireless internet throughout. And it was true – it was like sleeping on a cloud.
The Olallieberry was easy to find, which always helps. Coming from the south and driving into Cambria onto Main Street, it was plain to see on the left with a big sign out front and plenty of parking alongside the house. It’s hard to miss the really impressive Coast Sequoia Redwood tree outside, that was planted in 1885.
There are plenty of eating places within walking distance of the inn, too, though we chose to drive to one of our favorites on the far side of town (Main Street in Cambria is long), the West End Bar and Grill.
Next morning we met one of the owners, Marjorie, who told us: ‘I always think if you run a bed and breakfast you’ve got to get two things right: the bed, and the breakfast. Well, I hope we satisfied on the bed part, now you’re about to test the breakfast.’
And what a breakfast it was: OJ and coffee, of course, with fresh bread, really tasty scrambled eggs, olallieberry yoghurt, a fruit cup, a walnut maple scone, and the main dish of the morning, a really impressive orange cranberry soufflé. Best breakfast in America? We haven’t tried them all but it’s definitely one of the best we’ve had along the Pacific Coast Highway.
So our verdict on our Cambria accommodation? Yes, great bed, outstanding breakfast, lovely gardens, relaxing house, good quiet location, and we always love being in Cambria.
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