Transforming 30 acres of rolling hill country pastureland into a French country fairy tale estate where you can celebrate a marriage, learn to make herb butter, or enjoy a classical concert is an ongoing labor of love for globe-trotting attorney couple Christopher and Jessica Walters.
Sereno was born from an idea to bring the couple’s 20-plus years of international travel experiences to Central Texas. Officially opened this year, Sereno continues to be an “endless artistic project,” Christopher says, “whether it’s creating a menu that incorporates our fresh-grown produce, or developing a tapestry of colorful plants, trees, and architecture to support our guest experience.”
In addition to weddings, Sereno’s team of experts host everything from cooking classes to wine and chocolate pairings and coffee tastings featuring coffees from around the world. In December, they will travel to London to work alongside a classically trained Italian chef to develop the menu for their soon-to-open wine bar and café. In February, they will also partner with 2020 Market Scratch Kitchen & Bar to present an evening of expertly paired wine and food with a live jazz performance by Grammy-nominated artist Megan Shung.
HILL COUNTRY GEM
Ready for a change from their fast-paced lifestyles, Christopher, an international rule of law attorney and former Fulbright Professor of Law, and Jessica, who worked in the areas of human rights and refugee law, set out to build a community-focused place in Texas where families could share a glimpse of what the couple had experienced in their travels. They decided to search for a location no more than 30 minutes from a major population center and no more than 15 minutes from a Starbucks. “My morning coffee is essential,” Christopher says. With Georgetown’s “tight-knit community, university, and access to a strong arts, food, and music scene in Austin,” they thought, what better area than Central Texas to build something special?
Over the last few years, Christopher and Jessica have worked to create a property that embraces the area’s natural beauty while adding old world charm. Several Provence-style timber and stone buildings make up the estate, with each stone hand-selected and laid by stone artisans. “It’s like being transported to a different place and time,” Christopher says.
Sereno is a working estate where the Walters actively grow organic farm-to-table herbs and produce, including rosemary, lavender, and figs among others. Lavender fields and acres of statue and flower gardens inspired by Europe’s community-oriented parks add to the Sereno experience. “The gardens of Europe are a special place. They are where you go to read a book under the canopy of a large oak, share an ice cream with your child, or perhaps propose to that someone special,” he says. “That’s what we want Sereno to be—somewhere to share a glass of wine or cup of coffee, stroll in the gardens, spread out a blanket and admire the wildlife, or enjoy an outdoor concert.”
Sereno, Italian for serenity, is a fitting name for the venue that many visitors call peaceful and serene. Reviewers thank Christopher and Jessica for going out of their way to make their stay relaxing and special, whether for a wedding or weekend getaway for the family. “I cannot think of a more beautifully serene garden venue for weddings, events, and gatherings than Sereno Farms,” one reviewer shares. “More importantly, the owners are personable, gracious, and hospitable.”
A Perfect Day
A fairy tale is how Lana Angle describes her October wedding at Sereno. She and her husband made multiple trips to the venue before getting married and were mesmerized. “Every time we visited I thought, I can’t believe this place is real. I felt like I was being transported to another place.” She loved the greenery and the many trails that led to “speechless views.”
Many others have enjoyed similar experiences thanks to the beauty of the grounds and its creative planning process, which allows Christopher and Jessica to embrace each bride’s vision in a unique way. “Our venue is alive and organic. It changes from month to month. We’re always planting new things—new statues, new gardens, new fountains,” he says. “If we find bride has a color set, we’ll try to plant those colors in our gardens to complement.”
Sereno’s limited number of wedding dates per year also ensures a close relationship with each couple. “We get to know these brides and what’s important to them to make that day special for them. Sereno works with a team of excellent vendors led by Samantha Chacon at Unveiled Planner.”
That special day often includes a ceremony in the garden, cocktails in the Grande Hall, and dinner under the oaks in the garden surrounded by statues and fountains—all of which continue to create unforgettable wedding experiences. “We really do believe it’s unlike anything you’re going to find in the area,” Christopher says.
Click here to learn more about Sereno Estate and book your next memorable event, wedding, or holiday vacation. • 512-422-0222 • 8989 FM 487, Florence