Château du Sureau
California - Hotel Review
Marie Antoinette Would Kick Back Here
If poor Marie Antoinette had had the luck to visit Yosemite, she'd
have kicked back at du Sureau in Oakhurst. Not only would she have
saved her neck, she'd never desire to see drafty old Versailles
again. Erna Kubin-Clanin has created a fairy tale enclave 18 miles
from the south entrance to one of the world's great nature treasures.
What Yosemite does for spiritual seekers, Château du Sureau accomplishes
for devotees of drop-dead European elegance.
Merchant Ivory films of period-picture fame (Howard's End, The Remains of the Day). Imagine a hidden away manor
on a nine-acre hill surrounded by elderberry bushes, glorious
views of the Sierra Nevada, and nighttime skies bursting with
stars. After check-in, a maid in 18th century garb knocks at
your door. She enters and presents a pot of orange-spice tea,
cheeses, and strawberries. Exiting, she points to a tin of freshly
baked almond pockets and Kugelhopf on a Louis XVI table (Kugelhopf
are miniature bunt cakes wrapped in sliver-thin wax paper and
have been butter fixes for Hapsburgs since forever).
by the Elderberries consists of Erna Elderberry House Restaurant,
Hotel Château du Sureau with ten guest rooms, one Villa Sureau-a
two-bedroom private guest residence with 24-hour butler service
and matching private forest. Every square inch of everything
is appointed with objects d'art that Erna selected from annual
trips to Europe and Asia. Each antique reflects a highly individualistic.
Guest rooms have spacious bathrooms with shower and tub, silk terry-lined
robes, and eiderdown comforters. Outside are views of reflecting
pools, garden paths that squirm through elderberry bushes, and a
whimsical giant concrete chess set - perhaps waiting for Big Foot.
years ago, during Erna's first year, Craig Claiborne of The New
York Times stopped by. He wrote a review calling this mountain
woman's prix-fixe, six-course meal one of the best dining experiences
in America. It still blows gourmets away, featuring red lentil crusted
Thai snapper, ragout of white veal, Sonoma duck confit, and double
baked chocolate cheesecake. When the above is paired with choice
California wines, you're more than happy to flop down on that eiderdown
those desiring to explore Yosemite, guides take you rock climbing,
river rafting, fly-fishing, and horseback riding. There's a jeep
available for solo trips to enjoy Bass Lake, mountain splendor,
evergreen forests, and blazing sunsets.
one caveat: Don't get spooked if you hear a regal French voice following
wherever you go saying: "Let them eat Kugelhopf!"