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Veladora shares its moniker with a style of candle, and as its namesake would suggest, the scene at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa’s upscale Forbes Travel Guide Four Star restaurant is radiant. The recently renovated space is awash in stunning hacienda-inspired décor. Stately iron chandeliers hang from masculine open-beam ceilings while a glowing fireplace finished in cobalt-blue plaster flickers in the corner. Plush banquettes and sofas are replete with pillows covered in vividly patterned fabrics — they lend an element of softness to the scene.
Candelabras and lanterns add to the shining ambiance, but a centerpiece by renowned artist Damien Hirst is perhaps the most intriguing detail of all. Mounted along the San Diego restaurant’s back wall, the magnificent art piece mesmerizes. Created from a vast collection of real butterfly wings arranged in a kaleidoscope pattern, the stunning masterpiece seems illuminated from within.
Outside of the lovely dining room, two beautiful patios beckon. One overlooks the resort’s world-class tennis courts and lushly landscaped grounds, while the other offers views of the resort’s splendid courtyard. The latter is the larger of the two and boasts a multi-tiered fountain, an elegant fireplace and seating suitable for large groups. Both areas are popular dining spots for breakfast and lunch as well as Veladora’s sumptuous Sunday brunch.