Thursday, December 7, 2017

French Pastries Return

After an extended hiatus, our cream puffs, eclairs, and napoleons are back on our list of regularly-offered bakery items. These indulgent delights are lovingly assembled by hand each day, using flaky pastry dough, fresh Bavarian pastry cream and whipped cream or chocolate pudding, and chocolate or pink vanilla fondant. One bite will surely send you straight to cloud nine!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Madonna Memories

We recently received a sweet correspondence from a guest who inherited some of her late grandmother's belongings and felt inclined to share them with us. I never grow tired of learning about people's connections to the Madonna Inn; what makes it special for them. The photos below, from Lisa of Las Vegas, feature a vintage version of Paris Violets, a happy couple (Liz and Bob), and a glimpse of days gone by.

Thank you for sharing your grandmother's memories with us, Lisa!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Madonna Inn's Biggest Fan

A few weeks ago, I received an email from our reservations office alerting me to the presence of a certain guest that I NEEDED to get in touch with. Not only had this individual been spotted multiple times on property, proudly sporting his handmade Madonna Inn t-shirt, he had also been in contact with various Madonna Inn employees throughout his stay; quizzing them on Madonna Inn trivia, asking for property maps, and chit-chatting about Mrs. Madonna's book. Happily, I reached out with the email provided by our staff, and spent nearly an hour on the phone with this MI super fan just a few days later.

Meet Baron. He is eight years old, going into third grade, and hails from the Washington, DC area. On a recent 20-day vacation to California, he and his family spent three days staying at the Inn and enjoying all that SLO has to offer. Baron, who was essentially his family's personal tour guide during their stay, fell in love with the Inn nearly a year and a half ago when he was assigned a non-fiction book report in school and chose to read My Point of View. After reading Mrs. Madonna's book cover to cover (literally) he began creating digital renderings of Madonna Inn guestrooms and points of interest through his Minecraft gaming software.

Country Gentleman Minecraft rendering

Registration Office Minecraft rendering

Showboat Minecraft rendering

Of all the things Baron loves about the Inn, individually themed rooms, stained glass cupolas, and pink champagne cake were at the top of his list. In our telephone interview he was straightforward, inquisitive, and even helpful - giving some suggestions for possible new bedspread designs, and pointing out that the Copper Cafe and Silver Bar have confusingly similar names! I found myself continually impressed by his MI knowledge and passion. Before we said goodbye I made sure to let him know he could expect gainful employment with Madonna Inn, should he ever decide to move to California.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Celebrating Summer

It's the summer solstice; the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the official beginning of Summer, and a magical time to be in San Luis Obispo.

To celebrate, the dogs and I took a nice hike up Cerro San Luis, "Madonna," Mountain to enjoy the scenery and warm weather. I don't often pack my camera up the mountain because I feel like it weighs me down, however, this time I enjoyed the opportunity it gave me to slow down and become more mindful. I found a vivid new world through my viewfinder that would normally get overlooked in my hurried steps.

 When I take the time to really look, it's easy to find beauty all around me - even in the weeds!

Here's to open trails, wildflowers, good dogs, and summer sun. Cheers!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Think Pink

"Pink" has taken many forms at Madonna Inn throughout the years. Decades ago, Mrs. Madonna added extra touches of her signature color via pink bread, beer, and even toilet paper! And while we no longer offer the aforementioned TP, the Madonna Inn is still unmistakably pink.

Various rosy shades can be found in nearly every corner of the property; from the pastel street lamps in the parking lot, to the floral carpeting in the steakhouse, to the Champagne and Apple Spice cakes in the bakery case. The color even finds its way into cups of coffee by way of our signature pink sugar shakers.

Like most aesthetic considerations at Madonna Inn, pink sugar was the brainchild of Mrs. Madonna. After experimenting with pink bread in the mid-1980s, she decided to see what would happen if she added pink food dye to the granulated table sugar. Using large bus tubs, rubber gloves, and a metal spoon, she loving stirred the crystal granules and pink food dye by hand until the perfectly vivid pink hue was achieved. We still make our pink sugar with this method today.

Enjoy a pink sprinkle in your coffee next time you dine in the cafe, or head to our shops to purchase a pink sugar shaker of your very own. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Evolution of the Goblet

Perhaps no other Madonna Inn signature item is as highly prized as our goblets. Throughout the years, these multi-colored glass chalices have become a favorite among guests, locals, and interior designers alike for their classic beauty and cheerful charm. You may be surprised to know, however, that they were not always a staple at Madonna Inn.

In the Inn's early years, the tables were set with a more generic style of glass tumbler - much like the ones from this vintage Viking catalog.

It wasn't until the mid-1970s that Mr. and Mrs. Madonna found a "Flat Rose" design from the LG Wright Glass Company which better complimented the Inn's whimsical interior design. A little over a decade later, Mr. Madonna decided to get a custom-made goblet made that would better match the signature rose carpeting in the restaurants. (Fun Fact: the carpets were designed by a former artist from Disney!) Since then, the design used for our molds has been trademarked, and is officially called the "Madonna Rose." These goblets are thicker and more smooth than their earlier counterparts.

Left: Flat Rose || Right: Madonna Rose
Left: Flat Rose - simple leaves on bottom of glass || Right: Madonna Rose - rose buds on bottom of glass

Left: Flat Rose - sharper edges on flowers and lower profile || Right: Madonna Rose- rounded roses and 3-D form
Today, our goblets are made by Mosser Glass: a family owned-and-operated company out of Cambridge, Ohio. We enjoy knowing that their family takes just as much pride in the making of these goblets as we do.

 Visit our website or any of our on-site shops to browse different "Madonna Rose" colors and sizes. Cheers!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Traditions

Every Easter Sunday for as long as I can remember, my family and I have hiked to the top of Cerro San Luis "Madonna" Mountain to watch the sunrise. Awaiting us at the top is the giant lighted cross - carefully assembled and lit by the Madonna Inn maintenance crew each year. 

Because of the rain in the Sunday forecast this year, my mom and I decided to take our annual hike a few days early. While we didn't catch the sunrise, we did get to see the beautiful stretches of green grass and wildflowers, some hiking friends, and that trusty cross. I'm convinced that this view will never get old.

Wishing everyone a happy, hoppy holiday weekend!