|The Bessie Strauss Suite at the Headlands Inn Bed & Breakfast in Mendocino Village|
|Headlands Inn Bed & Breakfast|
In 1893, a businessman purchased the house and moved it to its present location on the corner of Howard and Albion Streets. Horses pulled the house over a series of logs, which were used as rollers.
John and Bessie Strauss owned and lived in the house for the longest stretch of time: 55 years beginning in 1924. In 1979, the house was transformed into a bed and breakfast inn.
When current owner and innkeeper Denise McNicol was looking to embark on a new life in 2003, she had initially assumed bed and breakfast inns were only handed down through families. “I didn’t think people sold B&Bs,” said Denise. “I thought they were inherited from grandmothers.”
But former co-owner of an auto body shop in Sacramento had a hunch she might enjoy the work of an innkeeper. After a bit of research, Denise learned not only that there were B&Bs for sale, but that she could find one in a beautiful part of the state.
|The front yard garden at the Headlands Inn|
She laughs to herself. “Now I don’t know where to go on vacation anymore.”
|Bessie Strauss Suite at the Headlands Inn|
|George Switzer Room|
On the second floor, the spacious Bessie Strauss Suite elegantly blends florals and stripes in rich hues of burgundy and gold. The suite features a large bay window with handsome woodwork and ocean views, a lace-draped table with two antique chairs looking out over the sea, and a sitting area with a deep-cushioned couch near the fireplace.
|John Barry Room|
When I ask Denise if she has a background in interior design, she quickly demurs.
|Mitch and Denise|
The inn houses seven guest rooms in total, all named for previous owners. Each morning, breakfast is served on antique English china and delivered to the privacy of the guests’ rooms with fresh flowers and a copy of the morning’s newspaper. The menu varies each day, but consists of a choice of coffee or tea, juices, home-baked pastries, fresh fruit, and a hot entrée. Guest favorites include a Southwestern soufflé, a savory artichoke frittata, and Denise’s signature peach-stuffed French toast. Vegetarian, vegan, and special diet breakfasts are available upon request.
Outside, Mitch leads me through the gardens where he and Denise were married 12 years ago. The gardens are a profusion of blooms with Adirondack chairs nestled here and there. Glass hummingbird feeders hang from the trees. The yard is lined by a white picket fence. It’s a lovely spot to exchange vows. Along the side of the house, Mitch shows me a vegetable garden he built off the kitchen for his wife’s herbs and vegetables, which is whimsically bordered with antique brass bed frames.
|Gardens at the Headlands Inn|
“We’ve been making friends for over 12 years now,” says Denise.
Headlands Inn Bed & Breakfast
10453 Howard Street
Mendocino, CA 95460
707-937-4431 or 800-354-4431