As my partner and I drove up California’s San Bernardino Mountains last December, I watched the weather change from mild and gray to bitterly cold and stormy. We were told that snow was coming, so we pulled over and a local helped put snow chains onto our tires. Needless to say, we were a far cry from the motorways of London, where I live.
We soon arrived in the small town of Running Springs, passing a handful of stores en route—I could hardly believe we were just an hour and a half from Los Angeles. We followed the winding roads to the end of a small neighborhood and there, hidden among rows of pine trees, was Lightfoot Cabin, the Airbnb we had booked for Christmas.
The Airbnb hosts had set up a warm welcome: a beautiful wreath hung from the front door and the fire was roaring inside the rather spectacular freestanding fireplace in the living room. As we entered it immediately warmed our freezing hands—although I was almost too preoccupied with the feeling that we had stepped into a scene of a Hallmark movie to notice.
The cabin was even more captivating than the photos in the listing; hard to believe, as those photos had stopped me in my tracks when planning this trip. I imagined us cuddling up in front of a fireplace and sipping mulled wine while wrapped up in blankets inside a private, cozy cabin—it felt like the most romantic way to spend Christmas, and Lightfoot Cabin had it all. Aforementioned fireplace, check. Cozy loft bedroom, check. Adorable kitchen with all the tools for making endless hot drinks, check, check, check.
In person, everything about this place felt special, from the beautiful, dark exterior to the perfectly considered small bench to leave your shoes. The cabin was small but spacious enough for two, and packed with amenities like a hot tub and large deck, complete with space heaters for the winter. The interiors were designed with mid-century features, making the aesthetic modern and fresh, while the wood paneling throughout maintained that traditional cabin feel. The kitchen's mint Smeg fridge and breakfast bar provided everything needed to make coffee and pancakes (essentials for a romantic stay, if you ask me). The window over the sink overlooked the forest of evergreen trees, which certainly made washing up feel like less of a chore. Those views are one-upped, though, by the bedroom’s A-frame window, with a scene that makes you feel like you’re looking into a landscape painting.
Each day spent here was more idyllic than the next. We played Al Green on the Airbnb’s record player, cooked fluffy scrambled eggs and pancakes for breakfast, and soaked our bones in the hot tub on the deck overlooking trees that looked like they’d been dipped in powdered sugar. Come nighttime, we settled into the secret movie room downstairs—not shown among the Airbnb listing’s photos, it features an enormous projector, popcorn maker, and help-yourself jars of candy.