Thursday, April 14, 2011

Out and About--Birthday Celebration at Topanga Canyon's Inn of the Seventh Ray

One of my most beloved spots in Los Angeles is Topanga Canyon's Inn of the Seventh Ray.  I love it so much that I invariably spend time here every year around my birthday and this year was no exception.  It's a magical mix of many of my favorite things.  I love hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains and here you're able to dine outdoors both hillside and creekside in the middle of Topanga Canyon.  You can smell the eucalyptus trees and wild herbs, listen to the rippling brook and frogs croaking, and watch the sun go down in the canyon all as you enjoy your meal.  Then there's the Inn's bookstore--the new age Spiral Staircase--that features guides on the flora, fauna, and history of the area along with more reflective tomes for when you're feeling philosophical or spiritual.  But perhaps most importantly for a restaurant in Los Angeles, the Inn of the Seventh Ray is a gourmand's delight with an extensive wine list and organic foods that are locally grown and carefully prepared.  Everything is always delicious.

The Inn becomes an enchanted spot at sunset when the patio is suddenly aglow in candlelight, and it's no wonder that it has a reputation as one of the most romantic spots in Los Angeles.  The staff really encourage you to take your time and relax, so I find it a wonderful place to celebrate and enjoy great conversation with friends.  Built as someone's retreat in the 1930s, it doesn't surprise me that its origin was a place to get away from it all...I know I always feel calmer and more centered when I leave.  I think you'll understand why from these photos and others on their website, and I encourage you to visit the Inn the next time you're looking for an incredible dining experience.

First stop...checking out the Spiral Staircase bookstore with its intoxicating incense

After the bookstore, walking through the restaurant before being shown to the table

Birthday Girl:  1960s pink and white shortsleeve A-line dress, 1960s pearl drop earrings, J. Crew black patent leather belt, 
black patent leather envelope clutch (found at a vintage store), Guess black patent leather peeptoe pumps

Our table right along the creek and, as always, celebrating with champagne

A peek at the menu

As the sun begins to go down on the Santa Monica mountains, the Inn transforms...

Making a wish...and so grateful for those that are already coming true!

Thanks to everyone for their birthday messages and the continued celebrations!

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