San Simeon: Refectory

The Refectory, or main dining room, at San Simeon is suitably grand for a captain of industry or even the King of a small country! Located behind the Assembly Room, the use of architectural salvage is the highlight of the enormous space.The room was modeled on a monastery dining hall. Notice the scale of the space: the 2 tour members seen above could walk right into that fireplace.The flags decorating the room are Sienese banners, I love the color they add.The estate was added on to many times over the years (1919 until 1947), indeed building started before the drawings were even complete and with constant changes. This results in a lot of odd spaces, such as this window which looks into one of the stair towers in one corner of the hall.A close up of one of the sconces which light the space between the banners. Some beautiful wood architectural salvage from a European cathedral.Hearst's art collection was legendary (mainly for its size) and ancient statues and artifacts dot every spare inch of space; more is more! Again more antique tapestries insulate the stone room. While dining in such grand surroundings, the food could be quite plain: this was afterall "the ranch". Paper napkins were always used and the condiments were laid out on the table: ketchup and mustard!

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