Mar Vista Cottages
at Anchor Bay

Mar Vista Cottages - Press Comment

Pick Veggies, collect eggs, make breakfast at Mendocino Cottages.
And don't forget to pet the goats.

By Sharon Boorstin

Tom and Renata Dorn transformed a dilapidated 1930s resort on the Mendocino coast into an enchanting B&B — but with a twist. At Mar Vista Cottages at Anchor Bay the couple renovated the property’s 12 cottages and cleared the trails winding through the surrounding redwood forest and down to the beach. But instead of building a dining room in which to serve breakfast, they added a vegetable garden and a pen for 120-plus egg-laying hens so guests could help themselves to fresh ingredients and prepare their own. When my husband, Paul, and I stayed here recently, we made our own lunches and dinners too. We saw no reason to dine out because we enjoyed our cozy cottage and the fun of picking veggies, collecting eggs and tussling with Willy, Wally and Wiley, the pet goats.

The bed
Our one-bedroom cottage featured a bed outfitted with soft flannel sheets and puffy duvets, a well-equipped kitchenette with a gas stove, plus a dining table and two comfy armchairs facing a picture window that offered an ocean view. On the deck, we sipped Mendocino wine and watched the sunset tint the distant coastal cliffs pastel pink.

The meal

“Look what I got!” a 4-year-old guest called to his mother, proudly holding a zucchini he had picked in the garden. He and a few other children later helped gather eggs in the chicken yard. I joined in, enjoying the tickle of bobbing beaks as the hens gobbled feed from my hand. The next morning I scrambled their eggs for a sublime breakfast. For our dinners, I cooked just-caught Ling cod and homemade sausages purchased at Gualala’s gourmet Surf Market. Both entrees were enhanced by garden-fresh heirloom-lettuce salads.

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