Claremont Hotel gets ready for Michelle Obama

A view of the new vegetable beds at the Claremont, which the First Lady will pass by during her visit. Photos: Frances Dinkelspiel

Ever since the news broke that Michelle Obama will be talking at a fundraising breakfast June 14th at the Claremont Hotel, the hotel has been spiffing itself up. Rumor on the street is that the First Lady, or FLOTUS, will be spending Monday night at the resort before a day of activity in the Bay Area.

The First Lady’s penchant for edible gardening is well-known, as she has heralded the new organic garden at the White House and been the driving force behind an “eat healthy” campaign aimed particularly at kids. Alice Waters is also preparing locally grown food for the event.

That may explain the appearance of two new large, raised planting beds right near one of the Claremont’s entrances. The bed closest to the hotel has tomato plants nestled in wired cages, and the other raised bed is planted with radishes, carrot, beets and parsley. The new vegetable garden can’t be missed when getting in or out of a car at that entrance.

New raised beds at the Claremont

The Claremont also paved the road leading up to the back entrance. Workers are also touching up the paint in the historic hotel.


UPDATE: A spokeswoman for the Claremont Hotel contacted Berkeleyside via e-mail at 9:45 pm on Friday to say that the vegetable beds were not installed for the benefit of the First Lady. “The garden at the Claremont has been in the works since last fall,” she wrote. The chef at the Claremont, Josh Thomsen, plans to use the food for Meritage restaurant.

New paved driveway at the Claremont Hotel. Let’s hope it impresses Michelle Obama

Hat tip: Ginny O’Brien