Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm encompasses the original headquarters of an 800-acre ranch owned by former Congressman Albert Simms and his wife, Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms. The original property extended from the Rio Grande to the crest of the Sandia Mountains. The inn and surrounding property was their private residence and headquarters for their extensive business, dairy, farming, and nursery endeavors.
In 1932 Mrs. Simms hired local architect John Gaw Meem, known for developing the Pueblo revival style, to renovate the ranch house and to create a cultural center for political and community events. Numerous artists and craftsmen employed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), part of Roosevelt’s New Deal, contributed their talent to the project. There is a true fresco by Peter Hurd, carved doors and mantels by Gustave Baumann, tinwork by Robert Woodman, ironwork by Walter Gilbert, photography by Laura Gilpin, and landscape architecture by Rose Greely.
Organic Farm & Historic Inn
Penny and Armin Rembe purchased half of the property in 1976, raising their four children there. In 1999, the other half of the property, including the La Quinta Cultural Center, became available. The Rembe’s were concerned about commercial development of the site. They decided to purchase the land with their four children and developed a preservation plan designed to maintain the architecture, gardens, and open farmland in perpetuity. They launched Los Poblanos, a family-owned-and-operated organic farm and boutique inn.
“One could spend a lifetime at Los Poblanos and never fall out of love.” – Su Casa Magazine
Their field-to-fork philosophy and unique Southwestern aesthetic have been heralded worldwide. The property garnered national recognition over the years, featured on the Food Network and PBS. In 2013 Bon Appetit included Los Poblanos as one of the top ten best hotels for food lovers (ranked #6).
The inn’s 50 rooms and suites are a testament to the ranching history of the property, with kiva fireplaces, hand-hewn ceiling beams, hardwood floors, folk paintings, and painted viga ceilings. Each room is stocked with the farm’s signature lavender amenities, distilled on-site, harvested from the purple-blue lavender fields bordering the property.
Love for Lavender
Los Poblanos in known for lavender, from their wonderful line of lavender products to incorporating lavender in the menu. Located in the Rio Grande flood zone, the property is ideal for the plant. Lavender grown at higher altitudes produces a finer, sweeter grade of lavender oil.It thrives in sandy soil, at high altitude, with intense sunlight. Over one thousand plants were added in 2017 to satisfy the growing demand for their extensive line of lavender products. An additional three thousand plants were added in 2018. All of their lavender products are available at the Farm Shop (next to the restaurant) or online.
From the southwestern charm of the rooms, to the surrounding fields, Los Poblanos remains true to the agricultural legacy of the property. The 25-acre organic farm grows between 60 – 90% of the food for the restaurant (varies seasonally). There are chickens, cows, and honeybees. Guinea fowl and resident peacocks roam freely.
The restaurant, Campo, opened their newly renovated kitchen, dining room, and menu in 2017. The former Creamland Dairy milking barn was converted into a beautiful, shotgun style, window-enclosed bar and dining space. The restaurant overlooks the lavender fields and Sandia Peak.
It is worth noting that breakfast, prepared with fresh ingredients from the surrounding fields, is complementary for guests. Breakfast, brunch and dinner service is available to the public as well, but it is a good idea to make reservations: 505-338-1615 or online.
Los Poblanos’ executive chef, Jonathan Perno, has received numerous accolades locally and nationally. He is an annual contender (and winner) of best local chef honors. On a national level, he has been a semi-finalist for the James Beard Best Chef of the Southwest honor several years consecutively.
Jonathan is an Albuquerque native, but his culinary career has taken him around the world. He started his journey at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He landed his first job at Postrio, working under Wolfgang Puck. As his career progressed he honed his skills under the tutelage of a variety of chefs, working in California, Colorado, Utah, England and France before returning to Albuquerque. Those chefs cultivated a dedication to “field to fork” principles, which is a function of recognizing that fresh ingredients are integral to crafting good food. He relies on several local farmers and La Montañita Co-op for ingredients that aren’t available from the fields surrounding the restaurant. La Montañita partners exclusively with growers and producers who live within 300 miles of Albuquerque.
Given the prevalence of Lavender in the fields, it is no surprise that it is prominent on the menu as well, including this cupcake recipe that he shared with me.
LAVENDER LEMON CUPCAKES
Yield: 18 cupcakes
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups lavender sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup grated lemon peel
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18-standard muffin cups with paper liners.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl.
- Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time. DO NOT OVERBEAT.
- Beat in dry ingredients in 3 portions, alternating with buttermilk added in 2 portions.
- Beat in lemon juice and lemon peel.
- Divide batter among liners and bake the cupcakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes.
- Transfer to rack and cool completely before frosting.
- For an additional lavender flourish, garnish with Los Poblanos culinary lavender.
- Please leave your recipe modifications, or any questions that you may have, in the comments.
Please leave your recipe modifications, or any questions that you may have, in the comments.
4803 Rio Grande Blvd N.W.
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107
Set among 25 acres of lavender fields, enormous cottonwood trees and lush formal gardens, Los Poblanos is one of the most magnificent historic properties in the Southwest. The property was designed in 1932 by the region’s foremost architect, John Gaw Meem, the “Father of Santa Fe Style”, Los Poblanos combines 50 guest rooms, a working organic farm and world class cuisine. It is the ideal setting for meetings and special events. The natural beauty, comfort and privacy of Los Poblanos provides their guests with a memorable experience in a truly relaxing environment.
Campo is a casual fine-dining experience featuring the purest field-to-fork menu in the Southwest. Located at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, their Rio Grande Valley Cuisine is rooted in seasonal organic ingredients from their fields, as well as from longstanding relationships with local farmers and herdsman.
To make a reservation: 505-338-1615
The Los Poblanos Farm Shop takes pride in hand-crafting quality, meaningful products. The shop features artisan lavender products made from the organic lavender grown in the fields and distilled on the farm, including culinary lavender. In addition to their products, they sell items by other local businesses.
Contact the Farm Shop: (505) 938-2192