November 29, 2009

Ladies' Tea? Yes please.

You know it's going to be a good time when they greet you at the door with sherry. This was not how I thought "ladies high tea" would begin, and I was gratefully surprised. Usually potential members have to be nominated by current well-established members, but The Santa Barbara Women's Club open their doors once a year and invite potential members to a rush tea on their lovely estate tucked in the hills just above the Santa Barbara Mission.


"Imagine your aunts, sisters, best friends once a week getting together and doing what ladies do," states Cece Postman. The Santa Barbara Women's Club is a unique group, in that they are not a community group, but rather a social group. They have weekly teas, daily club meetings and monthly day trips that all, coincidently, include food. The activities calendar is enough to keep a women busy nearly 24/7. The sense of sisterhood is strong at the woman's club and the tradition is nearly 117 years old.


The SBWC has a long history in Santa Barbara. Originally called "Fort Nightly," the club was established in 1892 for "advancing civil enlightenment of members." The club met at members' homes and many local landmarks before finding it's current location in the hills of Santa Barbara. Rockwood, where SBWC currently calls home, was originally a resort for the stars. When the place burned nearly to the ground in 1927, the then president, Mrs. Max Shotz put a $100 down payment on the land and remaining cottages. Edward, Spunkit and Howell, the architect of The Granada, designed what we now enjoy as the club, and it was open to members by 1928.


The club is available to rent out for weddings and special events, and has many events open to the public. Recently, the club held a mayorial debate in it's main hall and hosted the 12th annual Empty Bowls fundraising event for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara.


So ladies, it is this lady's opinion that the Santa Barbara Women's Club rocks. For more information, call 682-4546.