HOLIDAY HOSTING AT MATTEI’S TAVERN
We’ve created a guide with tips & tricks on hosting a holiday gathering this winter season! With a group of extremely talented women, we set the mood for a chic wonderland inspired dinner in the Cottages at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos, CA.
Once a stagecoach stop pioneered by the Swiss-American Felix Mattei during the late 19th century, and a social center frequented by the likes of Bing Crosby and Clark Gable, Mattei’s Tavern is now one of the most familiar historic sites in the Santa Ynez Valley. Its romantic heritage is revealed through the gabled buildings and pastoral surroundings, and its old-world charm is palpable. The property has served as a gathering place, bringing together loved ones and strangers alike, ever since. For over 125 years, The Cottages have provided sanctuary for those seeking the tranquility and adventure of California’s Central Coast.
Jaime Kostechko with Wild Heart Events explains the design inspiration behind the gathering: “Inspired by the history of Mattei’s Tavern [managed by Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals], built in 1886 and an iconic part of Los Olivos, we aimed to create an occasion that embodied the warm, charming feel of the location and it’s reputation for being a gathering point for both locals and travelers alike. We brought in vintage glassware and candlesticks as well as hand crocheted doilies as an ode to former times. The feel of the newly redesigned bungalows is so warm and cosy yet clean and bright.”
Denisse Salinas [Le Petit Chef], cooked some incredible farm-to-table style dishes for the night & was kind enough to share a couple of her recipes.
Roasted Parsnip Soup
[serves 4 as a main course or 6 as an appetizer]
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound yellow or white carrots
4 cups broth
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Meyer lemon oil, for garnish (optional)
Store bought or home made beet chips, for garnish (optional)
Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish (optional)
Oat Milk Horchata White Russian by Le Petit Chef
[makes 2 cocktails]
for the oat milk horchata:
1 cup unsweetened oat milk
1 cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons sugar
For the cocktail:
3 ounces ounces vodka, divided
3 ounces ounces Kahlua or coffee liqueur, divided
6 ounces oat milk horchata, divided
Ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Add oat milk, cinnamon stick and sugar to a pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Simmer until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat let cool to room temperature, leaving cinnamon stick to infuse for at least 20 minutes. Fill two glasses with ice. Divide vodka and Kahlua evenly amongst glasses, then top each glass with 3 ounces oat milk horchata. Garnish with ground cinnamon and top with cinnamon stick.
“We always recommend using the china and linen and glassware that has been waiting for such an occasion to make it’s appearance. If you don’t have time to steam press your napkins, simply tie them in a loose knot to give your place setting some added texture without the extra work.”
Gretchen Ulrich with Otis & Pearl Partywares gives us a stylish tip on glassware.
“Gone are the days when everything needs to be the same set or style! Liven
up your table with different patterns of glassware which will help guests keep tabs on their glass as they mingle.”
We all know that hosting an event can be STRESSFUL!
Check out these tricks from the professionals to help ease your mind while preparing for your big day.
“The more you can do in advance, the better! Shop for groceries early and on off-peak hours if possible to avoid crowds- the first hour open and last hour before closing are typically the least busy at the grocery stores. Give yourself a major head start in the kitchen: wash and chop your vegetables a day or two before (think onions, carrots, garlic, etc.) to save yourself tons of time the day of. Things like pie, tart and cookie doughs, soups and salad dressings can also be made days ahead of time.” Denisse Salina [Le Petit Chef]
“Plan ahead and make it a group effort! Involve the whole family…. children love setting the table or foraging for greenery, let the young adults hone their chopping skills, assign someone to making a playlist, place cards, and don’t forget the bartender!” Jamie Kostechko [Wild Heart Events]
“Make enough time to get yourself ready before your event so you aren’t stressed when guests arrive. Create a playlist the day before. And don’t forget to keep a journal with shopping lists, recipes, decor ideas and guest names so you can not only have it written down for this event, but as a reference for your next gathering as well!” Taylor Lockhart [Mattei’s Tavern – Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals]
Thank you for letting us share our holiday hosting gathering with you! We hope that you leave feeling inspired and ready to tackle your next winter event. If you are interested in renting the Cottages at Mattei’s Tavern, click HERE. For more information regarding events on the property, click HERE.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Lindsey Drewes//Lindsey Drewes Photography [@Lindseydrewes]
CHEF: Denisse Salinas//Le Petit Chef [@Lepetitchefsb]
FLORAL: Breanna Goettler//Wild Poppy Floral Design [@Wildpoppyfloraldesign]
TABLE RENTAL: Fisher Family Rentals [@Fisherfamilyrentals]
*For questions or inquiries regarding featuring our photos & tips, please contact Taylor Lockhart: Taylor@santaynezvacationrentals.com
Host Your Next Event at Mattei’s Tavern
For almost 130 years, distinguished guests ranging from John D. Rockefeller to Clark Gable have been drawn to Mattei’s Tavern for its natural beauty, romantic heritage and classic luxury – this blend is what makes Mattei’s Tavern an exquisite event venue. The iconic white water tower and original craftsman structures surrounding the ceremony site are softened by pastoral landscaping; providing an unmatched old west wedding feel.
Located in picturesque Santa Barbara wine country, this charming historic tavern offers several enchanting spaces to host your next wedding, dinner party, corporate event or rehearsal. The lush outdoor lawn under the water tour is the ideal reception area – watch the sunset while dining and dance the night away under the stars. After your event concludes, retreat to one of the seven newly renovated, charming guest Cottages on the property.
At Mattei’s Tavern, the many central spaces for an event are endless. Enjoy an outdoor ceremony in the Keenan Hartley Courtyard surrounded by lush landscaping and the historical Hartley House, join your guests in feasting under the trees in the Watertower Garden, enjoy a few cocktails in the Rose Garden and share beautiful memories of cutting your cake inside the Garden Room.
The Cottages at Mattei’s Tavern
Enjoy a wedding weekend getaway at The Cottages on the property, which provide a starting point for walk-able tasting rooms and a break from the everyday hustle. Wander the streets of Los Olivos, sip a glass of wine on your front porch, or dine at the best restaurants in town. The Cottages are a gentle reminder to slow down and enjoy life. There are seven beautiful Cottages throughout the property including the Hartley House and the newly remodeled West Cottages, which are set apart from the four Bungalows, also recently remodeled, that line the outskirts of Mattei’s Tavern. The Cottages provide pristine and updated accommodations while retaining the historic ambiance that families and friends have come to expect for over a century.
Come, enjoy all that Mattei’s Tavern has to offer!
Follow us on Instagram @MatteisTavernEvents or @SantaYnezVR for SYV News and daily features on local shops and restaurants throughout the year. Need help with trip planning? View our list of local Concierge Services here.
If you are planning a vacation to beautiful Solvang, California in the Santa Ynez Valley, you may need some ideas from a local to make the most of your trip. These are our top three recommendations for things to do in Solvang, CA as you’re planning your vacation itinerary.
1. Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang Area Wine Tastings
Perhaps you have heard of the movie Sideways, a film about a week-long road trip through California wine country – and that includes Solvang, California. There are many wine tours in the Santa Ynez area that you absolutely must look into, and we even have a map of the Sideways wineries.
One great place to visit in Solvang to go for wine tastings is Alamo Pintado Road, where many of the top wineries on the Santa Ynez Wine Trail can be found Also, if you are a wine connoisseur and want to enjoy some wine tastings in Solvang, consider visiting the quaint downtown Solvang area to enjoy all the small boutique wineries in the area.
There are more than 20 downtown tasting rooms in Solvang with wine products from more than 125 area vineyards. You may even find yourself meeting the winery owners and winemakers at their tasting rooms in Solvang! So whether you prefer to sip on a chardonnay or prefer a sauvignon blanc and enjoy a glass of wine on your Solvang vacation – you deserve it.
2. Bike Riding on Solvang Trails
If you are a fan of nature and the outdoors, there is no shortage of outdoor recreation in Santa Ynez Valley and the Solvang area. In fact, taking a leisurely bike ride is one of the best ways to experience Solvang when you’re visiting.
There are many simple bicycle trail loops that begin in the city of Solvang that carry bikers through the back country and many beautiful sights of the valley. Solvang is also home to the Solvang Century Cycling Festival and the Solvang Prelude Ride events every year.
There is no shortage of bike-friendly parks and other outdoor activities to do in Solvang if you just love to enjoy nature, including Solvang Park, Sunny Fields Park and Hans Christian Andersen Park.
3. Shopping, Dining, Music & Danish History in Downtown Solvang
Founded in 1911 by Danish educators who were traveling west to escape the harsh winters of the Midwest, Solvang is packed with the history and food (especially the pastries and æbleskiver!) of Denmark. Be sure to enjoy the downtown Solvang area and look for Danish icons like the Little Mermaid Fountain near Mission Dr. and Alisal Rd., the five Danish windmills, and the giant red clog outside the Solvang Shoe Store. Also be sure to check out the Round Tower of Solvang, which is a replica of the Rudetaarn in Copenhagen at 1/3 the scale. There are also a number of must-see museums, including Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, The Wildling, Hans Christian Andersen, Vintage Motorcycle, Old Mission Santa Inés, and the Amber Museum & Hall of the Danes.
There are tons of wonderful shops and boutiques in the Solvang area that are perfect for folks who need a little retail therapy on vacation. There are more than 150 one-of-a-kind shops and small businesses to visit in the Solvang area, so there is no shortage of interesting shopping to do.
Find a boutique for any of your interests – antiques, the arts, clothing, kids, wine, gourmet gifts – you name it. And after you shop till you drop, one of my favorite Solvang restaurants is Root 246 on Alisal Rd. Their dinner menu updates often and is based on what current, seasonal ingredients are available and fresh at the market. It is delicious food with an excellent wine selection, and it is a must-taste if you are in the Solvang area.
Being in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, downtown Solvang is also a hot spot for live music events. From the Solvang Summer concert series on Wednesday evenings, to Soirée Thursdays at Refugio Ranch each week, to live music on the patio of Root 246 every Friday night, to the Sunday Concert Series at Zaca Mesa Winery, there is no shortage of sounds in the area for the music-lovers in your group. Enjoy live music, great food and perhaps a glass of wine surrounded by the Danish history of Solvang.
That makes up our travel concierge list of the top three things to do on your Solvang vacation! Of course if you decide on Solvang, CA for your trip – consider one of our Solvang vacation rental homes. Make sure to visit these Solvang attractions for the most memorable Santa Ynez Valley vacation possible.
While vacationing should be a time of luxury and lavish enjoyment, it doesn’t have to be a time of waste! There are many ways for you and your family to go green on vacation. Here are five environmentally conscious green ideas for your next vacation.
1. Buy local, organic foods.
This one’s easy! In the Santa Ynez Valley there are a number of local farmers’ markets where you can get the best local produce. The Solvang Village Farmers Market takes place every Wednesday and features fresh produce, flowers and other local foods. There is also the New Frontiers health food store, which provides local food products. There’s no better way to truly experience an area than sampling its local fare. In our Santa Ynez vacation rental properties, the local food can be stored in the large refrigerators and cooked in the vacation homes’ beautiful kitchens.
2. Recycle all waste and donate unused food.
Another easy one. Simply separate your trash and put your recyclable waste in the appropriate recycling bins, or leave in a bag on the doorstep with a quick note to the cleaning staff to recycle it. We always encourage recycling! Also, the Santa Barbara Food Bank will always take unused food. If guests leave boxed, canned or otherwise sealed non-perishable food items, we are happy to drop it off at the food bank for guests.
3. Avoid plastic bags.
It’s always smart to bring along a few cloth bags on your Santa Ynez vacation. They are not only convenient for carrying supplies for a day trip, picnic or other activity on your vacation, but they also help you avoid using wasteful plastic bags and containers for transporting groceries and other supplies on your trip. Another simple way to go green on your California vacation!
4. Don’t waste electricity and water.
Just as you would at home, turn off the lights, TV, AC/heat, and other energy- and water-wasting appliances and services when you leave. Also, many vacationers choose not to wash the sheets and towels every night. (Besides, shouldn’t you be relaxing on your vacation, not washing sheets?) This is another easy way to go green, it just takes a little mindfulness!
5. Limit excess baggage.
This one can be a little tough, especially if you’re traveling in large groups. It’s been proven, though, that limiting excess baggage and thus the weight of your vehicle can reduce vehicle emissions during travel. The last thing you want to do is spend valuable vacation time hauling piles and piles of luggage in and out of your vacation home, so consider packing light and saving yourself the time and the emissions!