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M.F.K. Fisher’s ‘Last House’ in Glen Ellen undergoing restoration

M.F.K. Fisher liked the color red, as this restored bathroom wall in her Last House in Glen Ellen shows. Fans can visit the Last House ona special Aug. 26 preview. (Heather Irwin/Press Democrat)

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Plans to restore M.F.K. Fisher’s Glen Ellen residence into a destination honoring her legacy and celebrating her love of food, wine, literature and nature are moving forward with two announced events in coming weeks.

Known as “the Last House,” the single-story adobe on the grounds of the Bouverie Preserve, designed for the legendary food writer by architect David Pleydell-Bouverie, was her home for the final years of her life.

The “palazzino,” as she called it, featured two large rooms – one of them a kitchen – divided by a huge bathroom, with black tile floors throughout and built-in bookcases for over 2,000 books. She lived here most of the time, aside from intermittent trips to Europe, from 1971 until her death in 1992, at the Last House.

As part of the restoration, some of her personal art, books and other possessions have been returned to the house from storage. The Chinese Red wall of art in her bathroom has been recreated, and can now be enjoyed as it was when “Mary Frances” welcomed visitors to Last House.

“Reaching out to family and friends who have lovingly shared items, memories, and stories has been rich,” said Kennedy Golden, Fisher’s daughter and an advisor on the project. Among the donated items, Fisher’s Coronomatic typewriter sits quietly in one corner, rough draft secured on the platen for curious observers.

“A Peek into the Last House” will be offered on Saturday, Aug. 26, by Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR), which owns and manages the Bouverie property. Attendees will be able to tour the house and grounds from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and refreshments will be served. Tickets are $45, $40 for ACR members, and available until Aug. 19 on Eventbrite at tinyurl.com/y95ez5xs.

“With Bold Knife and Fork,” a benefit for the Last House, will be held on Sunday, Oct. 8 at the General’s Daughter in Sonoma. The menu will feature cassoulet, one of Fisher’s favorite dishes, prepared by the Depot Hotel and Epicurean Connection, as well as other dishes. Tickets are $100 for members, $125 for others, at tinyurl.com/y83yrqug.