Tag Archives: old hollywood

Cypress Inn: Doris Day’s Doggie Hotel

It is a little known fact that in the aftermath of her splendid Hollywood career, Doris Day came to own a dog-friendly hotel in California. I have spoken previously of the shared love Grandma and I hold for Doris, but I am pleased to inform you that it has now reached new heights after I spent a night in her inn as one instalment of the Great Family Californian Road Trip.

Cypress Inn is nestled in the gorgeous little town of Carmel by the Sea. When we arrived in the evening to a fanfare of festive fairy lights and impossibly cute little streets and shops, I understood at once dear Doris’ fascination with the place. Apart from being situated in the beautiful Carmel Valley, it seems to be a veritable lifestyle destination, with luxurious homewares boutiques and gourmet restaurants among other things.

But oh, the hotel itself! It’s just how I would have imagined a hotel owned by Doris would be.

Cypress Inn is classically glamorous, complete with a log fire in reception and sherry in the rooms. I can envision Doris taking a tipple herself whilst seated on one of these magnificent chaises, and I imagine she does on occasion when she drops into the hotel.

The walls are littered with Doris Day memorabilia that would make Grandma go weak at the knees, and her films are played on repeat in the hotel bar.

Nevertheless, I believe for most visitors the drawcard is not Doris, but dogs. Having devoted many of her post-Hollywood years to animal rights activism, it’s classic Doris for her hotel to be entirely dog-friendly. Although I’m 100% a cat person, I loved the curious flavour Cypress Inn’s canine visitors added to the ambiance of the place. They trotted through reception nonchalantly, and sat up with their owners in the bar. I did have the misfortune of witnessing a minor doggie bust-up in the lobby, but apart from that incident it all seemed rather civilised.

Cypress Inn was a wonderful, glamorous place to visit. Aside from an exponential growth in my love for Doris Day, I also seem to have acquired a taste for sherry – I suspect this is just as Doris planned it.

Check out more on Cypress Inn here, and enjoy your respective weeks.

Skirt: dress by Sarah-Jane
1950s necklace: 2010 Love Vintage Fair
Belt: Zoo Emporium
Shoes: Bloch
Hair Flowers: Sportsgirl

You may recognise the floral print skirt I’m wearing in these photos from the swing frock I wore here and here. It is, in fact, the same frock, however I sneakily folded it down to serve as a skirt – travel calls for innovation!


Filed under Travel

Hearst Castle, California

I’ve wanted to visit Hearst Castle in California ever since Rhiannon of Liebemarlene Vintage did a series of lovely posts about her visits there. She posted first about her visit in 2010, then again recently in November, and on both counts she’s painted such a splendid portrait of the place as a paradise for Old Hollywood-philes that I’ve always hoped it would segue into a travel itinerary one day.

Conveniently, we’re on something of a family road trip through California right now, and Mother made sure we dropped into Hearst Castle on our way from LA to San Francisco. My dream has now been fulfilled, as we took the Grand Rooms tour this afternoon as we passed by, and what a splendid tour it was.

Before we even made it inside the fabulous Spanish villa built in the 20s, the natural beauty of the place was enough of an attraction. Hearst Castle is nestled atop a mountain and has sweeping views of the surrounding ranch that spans 86,000 acres, as well as of the Californian coastline. It’s pretty intense. I can see why William Randolf wanted to build his extravagant home here.

The house itself is a strange, claustrophobic piece of work, though no less lavish. With the architecture working around Hearst’s obscenely large collection of exotic objects and furniture, it felt like a weirdly homely museum. If I were one of the Old Hollywood film stars who partied there in the 20s and 30s, I imagine I’d have been a little afraid I’d spill my sherry and ruin a 17th century tapestry. Nevertheless, it seems they all had a pretty raucous time; the rooms were certainly well-appointed.

We saw the grand downstairs suites, but my favourite room was the theatre. I’ve always felt quite drawn to the opulence of old movie theatres, and this one was a rather magnificent specimen. A little show reel was shown with clips of guests spending time there back in the day, which was wonderfully interesting. Alas, I wish it were longer, but we did get some good glimpses of Charlie Chaplin, Marion Davies and co. Sigh!

After the tour we were allowed to roam around the grounds for awhile. They sort of resemble a Mediterranean village, what with the coastline in the distance, but according to the guide this was intentional.

You may notice I’m wearing an odd sort of pom-pom shawl. It’s something I managed to purchase in Morro Bay in the morning and decided to wear despite temperatures soaring into the 20s (California does a weird winter). The shawl is somewhat ridiculous, but I got a pleasant 1950s cape vibe from it. Father’s been calling me “Dracula”, and occasionally “Buffy”, because I suppose it is a little vampiric. Father had me pose in front of a sarcophagus for emphasis.

Cape: Morro Bay
Skirt: Laura Ashley
Petticoat: trimmed vintage wedding petticoat, from Grandma Takes a Trip
Shoes: Bloch

And here’s the outfit, sans cape:

Top: Cabbages and Roses
Belt: Zoo Emporium
Scarf: David Jones
Hair Flowers: Sportsgirl

I’m currently staying in Doris Day’s dog-friendly hotel in Carmel – more on this later. Until then, farewell!


Filed under Outfit Posts, Travel

Doris: So Much More than the Girl Next Door

It was a happy day when I discovered there was to be a musical about Doris Day. She’s my Grandma’s heroine of choice, and this love of Doris has naturally filtered through to me. I was sold on Doris from the opening number of “Calamity Jane” when I watched it a year ago – she’s so fierce.

Making up something of a Doris Day Fan Club, Grandma and I went along to “Doris Day: So Much More than the Girl Next Door” at the Lyric Theatre in the the newly refurbished “The Star”. It was terribly exciting. As expected, the crowd seemed to have a fairly high average age, and the merchandise was suitably old-fashioned – we bought Doris Day tea towels.

The show itself was fabulous. Melissa Schneider didn’t impersonate Doris Day, but rather sang her songs as a sort of tribute. She picked excellent Doris songs as well, though perhaps I’m biased because I love “Calamity Jane” with such a passion. I nearly died when she sang “I Just Blew in from the Windy City”; it was so great. Melissa interspersed all this with a commentary on Doris’ life, charting her four failed attempts at marriage, as well as her various artistic pursuits. Melissa was just so likeable, channeling Doris’ sunny disposition. Plus the costumes were divine – very neo-50s.

“Doris” has finished in Sydney now, but I believe it’s off to Brisbane next. Buy a ticket if you have the chance as it’s a fabulous show.

Grandma and I with the “Doris” tea towels.

1960s dress: Camden Passage in London
1930s bolero: Camden Passage in London
1950s necklace: Camden Passage Markets in London
Shoes: Bloch
1950s bag: Brisbane Antique Centre

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Filed under Vintage Events