We all have friends with opinions and recommendations for hotels, restaurants, etc, and of those friends we know the ones we can trust, the ones with classy, impeccable taste. For me, that friend is Marsha. My muse when it comes to anything travel or food related, I trust implicity what she recommends, and when she suggested the quaint Upham Hotel in lieu of a run of the mill resort for our stay in Santa Barbara I simply picked up the phone and made a reservation. Dropping my son at UCSB for Freshman Orientation, I'm happy to say I've found my home away from home for the next four years.
|Breakfast or wine on the patio anyone??|
Featuring a generous continental breakfast, an afternoon wine and cheese and evening milk and cookies, the hotel brings more of a bed and breakfast feel than a hotel. From check-in to check-out, the staff did everything possible to make our stay even more comfortable, all with a personal touch.
Arriving after a four hour drive from San Diego with my 18-year old son at the wheel, I don't think I've ever looked forward to a glass of wine more than I did that night. However, we arrived just after the evening wine and cheese event had been put away. Describing the last four hours to the front desk, the man simply walked to the kitchen, brought me a glass of white, smiled and said, "I understand..." I think he did.
With ample room for our party of three, we unloaded our bags into the spacious walk in closet and once again, Liv loved the "old fashioned" (her words... not mine!) touches. Using a pull chain for the light in the closet, I had to smile realizing that in her 14 years she had never seen one. Might I mention that the crystal door handles also brought a smile to her face.
Breakfast, while described as continental, was a delight. Including steel cut oats with a choice of toppings (my choice included raisins and cinnamon), bagels, bread, muffins, pastries, cereal and milk, hard boiled eggs, fruit (bananas, apples and grapefruit), assorted juices, and coffee and tea, one has a wonderful start to the day, and the choice of patio dining becomes even more of a bonus.
|Continental breakfast served 7am -11am|
In business for over 30 years, Louie's also came highly recommended and after a day of tourist walking adventures we eagerly anticipated our dinner.
While the wine list features wonderful Santa Barbara and Central Coast wines, I asked our server, Patrick, for a hearty IPA. His suggestion of the SLO (San Luis Obispo) Brewing Company perfectly hit the spot, and our relaxing evening began.
Sharing the Pepper Shrimp with avocado and a fresh tomato salsa, Liv and I chatted about our day and proclaimed our dinner most likely far better than what her brother was getting at his first meal at the UCSB dining commons.
Patrick happily adjusted the pasta dish to my "I like it my way" requests and suggested the Chicken and Spinach Ravioli for Liv. Again, both fabulous choices and we polished off both plates along with a basket of warm bread. Inquiring about dessert Patrick just smiled and said "The Banana a la Louie, of course" (custard filled puffed pastry with caramelized bananas). As the front desk had also gushed about the Banana dessert it seemed a done deal, and again a fabulous choice.
|Pepper Shrimp with Avocado and Tomato Salsa|
|Banana a la Louie... custard filled puffed pastry with caramelized bananas and vanilla gelato|
Liv Life Note: Neither the Upham or Louie's knew we planned to write reviews... all thoughts and opinions are completely our own.
Click here to see also our last Santa Barbara post for more meal recommendations and a visit the State Street Farmer's Market!