Our family is highly nomadic and it is easier for me to visit my sons and their families rather than having them come see me. So this Christmas it was off to Aurora, Colorado to spend time with my youngest son and his family. I always have a marvelous time as we eat, laugh, tell family stories, eat and laugh even more. A Christmas tea has become a tradition for the family women. Last visit we had high tea at the Brown Palace Hotel. This visit, the three generations (mother, mother--in-law, daughter and granddaughter took a luncheon tea at the historic Castle Marne in Denver.
A majestic building, the exterior construction is rusticated native lava stone, known as Castle Roc Rhyolite quarried in Castle Rock, Colorado. Composed mainly of quartz, mica, and feldspar, it sparkles and glitters. The Marne stood unoccupied and neglected from 1982 until 1988. The owners turned off the gas to save money but neglected to turn off the water. Serious water damage ensured, vagrants got into the building and stole virtually everything that wasn't nailed down and seriously vandalized the building.
The Peiker family purchased the derelict structure in 1988. A year later and after an extensive restoration and renovation, the Castle Marne Bed and Breakfast opened its doors for business on the 100th anniversary of the construction of the house. For a detailed history of Castle Marne, click here, it is enjoyable reading.
As we entered the Castle Marne, we were greeted by Melissa Feher-Peiker with a welcome and a smile at the door. The family are hands on owners and are all busy working around the castle. I have to say that I was immediately over stimulated by this beautiful building. I didn't know where to turn or look first. I was surrounded by marvelous things and all were decorated for Christmas. Owner, Louis Peiker, gave a lovely guided tour before the luncheon.
We headed up the stairs to the second floor. Gorgeous golden oak paneling abounds and showcases the lovely banister.