Over Thanksgiving weekend Kyle and I stayed at the Victorian Rose Bed and Breakfast in Ventura, Calif. Our one night stay was gifted to me for graduation by Kyle’s grandmother. I graduated back in May and we finally found the time to use this gift. At first glance the place looks haunted and eerie–especially since a thick coastal fog surrounded the area when we arrived! I don’t think it really is haunted, we spent the night undisturbed and even explored the building at night. Nothing creepy happened but it was fun to imagine and creep myself out!
The Victorian Rose is a Victorian Gothic style church originally built in 1880 by Selywn Locke Shaw to house the parishioners of Saint John’s Methodist Episcopal Church (source). It was later used as a wedding chapel and then converted into the bed and breakfast it is today. The B&B officially opened its doors in 1999 after renovations by the owners, Richard and Nona. It is located on Main Street with many restaurants, bars and small shops within walking distance.
The B&B is richly decorated with religious antiques and Victorian era decor. You’ll find ancient looking Bibles written in old English and other languages throughout the building as well as various statues, figurines and furniture. Each room is lavishly decorated with a different theme. There were so many fragile looking things, I could hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head saying, “Don’t touch!”
We stayed in the Fleur de Lis room. It is adorned with cherubs and and fleur de lis symbols throughout. An antique cabinet hides the TV, but we didn’t even use it since we were exploring the building and later met with friends at Dargan’s, an Irish pub just a short walk away from the B&B. The antique dresser, closet and grandfather clock gave a historical feel to the room. We stayed comfortably warm with a gas fireplace that each room is furnished with. Our room, and two other rooms, also lead to the outdoor group garden patio. It was just too cold to sit out and enjoy it that day but it looked like a nice spot to read a book and have a drink.
In the evening the owner, Nona, hosts a wine and cheese hour where guests meet and greet. She served up a delicious variety of pastries including a decadent banana cream dessert. Coffee, tea, water and other beverages are available as well as a choice of red or white wine. The sitting area is reminiscent of a Victorian era salon with floral upholstered sofas in the middle of what was once where the church congregation sat. During our stay the only other guests were another young couple in their mid-twenties and coincidentally the guy also majored in engineering (like Kyle!) and graduated this year. Nona is a wonderful hostess, you can tell she has years of conversation creating practice! She is so thoughtful and kind, she even asked us what time we prefer breakfast (that she makes herself) and we all said around 9ish would be perfect.
The next morning when we rolled out of bed we enjoyed freshly made ham, cheese and potato frittatas plus fresh fruit and our choice of coffee, tea and orange juice. The table is located on a raised stage area, probably where wedding ceremonies where once held. Vintage looking china and silverware with ornate designs on the handles embellished the table.
If you are looking for a unique experience in Southern California I highly recommend the Victorian Rose B&B. The unique location, furnishings and lovely hospitality make this the perfect little weekend getaway.