Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Little Castle...

I am rather obsessed with architecture and spaces, and if you know me, you'll know that I absolutely love Julia Morgan.  This early 20th century architect studied at UC Berkeley and the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris.  She's designed many iconic buildings around the San Francisco Bay Area and California.  Her most famous work was created for William Randolph Heart in San Simeon.  I always dreamed of living in Heart's Castle when I was young, and swimming in the Neptune Pool.  
A couple of years ago, I stumbled across The Berkeley City Club, a YWCA turned hotel on Durant Street.  This little hotel captures some of the grandeur of Heart's Castle, with vaulted ceilings, elegant staircases, and an indoor swimming pool.
I never dreamed I'd have the means to stay at the Little Castle, but this winter, Living Social, and Groupon-like coupon service had a deal on the hotel.  It was a very sporadic purchase, but I don't regret it one bit!  Ryan and I spent two nights at the Berkeley City Club, sitting on the porches overlooking the Berkeley hills at night, reading in the private gardens, and swimming in the pool!  As we were in Berkeley, we ate very well too.  We visited two new restaurants, Gather and Camino, that quickly became some of our favorite places to eat.