150 miles south of Monterey stands California’s most famous monument to wealth and ambition. Hearst Castle, built on one of the highest summits of the Santa Lucia range, enjoys staggering views across to the Pacific.
It was a perfect day trip for Hilary and her sister Stephanie.
William Randolph Hearst, the famous newspaper magnate of the 1920s-1940s entertained Hollywood stars and royalty at this sublime estate dripping with ancient European antiques, decadent pools and superlative gardens.
His mother, Phoebe was a famous Californian philanthropist in her own right, dedicating much money to the education of women. William had to wait until she died in 1919, before he could start to build his dream home, and spent the next 30 years developing it, working closely with Julia Morgan, the first qualified female architect in California.
One of the most famous films of all time, Citizen Kane, is loosely based on his life. However our guide told us he was deeply unhappy about the film’s release, since it portrayed him as an unhappy recluse at the end of his life, when nothing could have been further from the truth.