There are a few sights in the world that are enchanting beyond description. While words are my one true love (after Gosling, obviously), even they cannot do the beauty of this world justice.
One such example is Yosemite National Park in California. It is all too easy to mistake Yosemite for a stuffy hikers haunt, but there is something utterly captivating about the area.
Almost wholly unspoilt, the scenery is dramatically sculpted by glacial erosion, with rolling plains and ragged cliffs meeting seamlessly at rows of giant redwoods.
If ever we are lucky enough to return to Yosemite, we hope to stay in the park itself, as this year we opted for a chateau outside the town of Oakhurst. Oakhurst is, comparatively, rather mundane.
Our chateau, however, was glorious. Chateau du Sureau proposes a totally different experience to Solage, but is almost as enjoyable. With acres of forestry and secluded gardens, including a fairytale trail complete with antique swings and a lakeside gazebo, Chateau du Sureau is inspired by traditional traits of romantic resorts in Europe.
The Austrian founder Erna has an enthusiasm and warmth that enhances the elegance of the welcoming resort. Each lodge is stocked with treats including fresh lemonade and cookies studded with golden raisins, and every morning guests are offered freshly baked croissants and brioche with homemade jams.
The true gem of the hotel is Erna’s Elderberry House, a dining establishment with an inspiring five-course menu, which changes daily. The restaurant is suitably refined, with a smart dress code and exceptional service to match the carefully considered cuisine.
Our meal began with tender sea bass, followed by a sweet plum gazpacho, a rich beef dish, a palette cleansing strawberry salad and a duo of desserts. Decadent, yes, but delicious nonetheless.
WHAT I WORE
It’s been a good while since I’ve dined at a restaurant with a dress-code, so I thought I may as well make an effort. No H&M menswear hoody here, folks.
Somewhat predictably, I opted for a tan-enhancing strapless dress in finely pleated ivory silk. This prom style is from H&M a couple of years ago, but I still love its elegant look. Try this cute style or this delight in Champagne.
To inject a little colour, I added a Zara statement necklace in jade and aqua and complimentary hoop earrings with turquoise drops. I loosely parted my hair off-centre and tied it in a low-slung ponytail before teasing out strands for a messy look.
Last but not least, I popped on my beloved Zara sandals and set off for Erna’s Elderberry House.