The first thing you notice upon arriving in Ojai is that everyone has left their stress on the freeway. If you are looking for a weekend break from the hustle and bustle of L.A. Ojai is definitely somewhere you should try, only an hour and a bit north on the 101-freeway from Hollywood.

pic 1 The view

We checked in to the famous Ojai Valley Inn and Spa with Dusty Springfield, our Corgi mix (Yes, a dog friendly hotel) to the porter handing out dog treats. There only rule is no barking, yikes! I'll let you know how we get on, Dusty loves to protect. Our room wasn't quite ready so we went into the quaint little town for a bite to eat. we heard about this bakery called 'Knead' and ordered their Salami plate which was delicious, They make their baked goods in the shop window for all to see. ***

Knead's Salami Platter

When we arrived back at the hotel, the porter gave us a golf-cart mini tour of the property, he showed us around the 200 and something acre property, complete with 3 pools and an 18 hole golf course and of course spa. In the room they had a dog bed and dog bowls laid out for the dog, compete with dog doo bags (convenient) Now for the people - a huge California fourposter king bed with 'frette' sheets, a balcony with spectacular views (pic 1) The Spanish style en suite bathroom is huge with a walk in shower double sink vanity and an over-sized tub. I ventured over to the spa for a 50 minute deep tissue massage to help de-stress even more if that's possible. The Spa area has a Mediterranean feel, white and blue tile everywhere with his/her spas - A steam room, sauna, jacuzzi, indoor plunge pool and outdoor wading pool. The  waiting area is very relaxing with cucumber water and herbal teas at your disposal - However my massage left a lot to be desired over price at $140 Only 50 minutes -felt rushed and didn't concentrate on the knots - so perhaps try one of the local spas instead - cheaper and probably better. - Had dinner at 'Suzanne's Cuisine'. A five minute drive from the hotel.
A typical bedroom

The 18 hole golf course

A perfect spot for the spring and fall, we ate on the heated patio with a roaring fire. To start a dozen Oysters and Zucchini Blossoms to start were out of this world, for main course Cornish hen and Braised short ribs with Penne - Both top-knotch. Service was excellent and altogether was very reasonably priced. ****

Later I stumbled upon the The Plaza Pantry and met Beryl, who is celebrating 30 years of business of her Tea shop Cafe.
Excuse my shorts - Just can't get Hawaii out of my mind.
This charming place is right out of a movie set, era 1975. Flowered table clothes, Cozy covered Teapots, British newspapers, Royal family commemorative plates. (You would be hard pressed to find any cafe's like this left in the UK.)

Plaza Parlour in Ojai, Calif.

The walls are lined with Great British product, Marmite, Branston Pickle, Coleman's mustard. I was very happy to also find Maltesers and enjoyed a box or two for Easter. I really didn't want to leave. Beryl's prices are also set in the 1970's $1.75 for a pot of tea for two. Baked Beans on Toast $3. 

I asked her why her prices were so low and she said, she couldn't afford to change the menu and a lot of her clientele were pensioners, who can't afford a lot. - I told her I'll get on a ladder and repaint her menu for her next time I'm up there. Let's support these local british businesses, I'm sure you'd agree that we'd hate for them to not be around.

Craig Young


  1. thanks for the info - always looking for pet friendly due to English Bull Terrier Lola who I tend to take with me ... just thought you might like to know the blog is a tad difficult to read with opaque background (and aging eyes) but liked your content!

  2. Sorry to hear that The Ranch House was meh. Suzanne's is my fave. You might try The Day Spay of Ojai - much more reasonably priced, and we were mush after our massages last we went - I think 90 minutes for $115.


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