Filoli, a grand house and garden on 654 acres of rolling green grounds along the California coast, has been a supporting character in the 1980s television drama “Dynasty” and the 2001 romantic comedy “The Wedding Planner.” It has been the venue for top-dollar nuptials of Facebook executives, and the public can tour the gardens.

Just not on Wednesday.

Top aides to President Biden have worked with Chinese officials for weeks to ensure that this manicured setting would be the perfect backdrop to host a diplomatic summit between Mr. Biden and President Xi Jinping of China — two men who share a deep skepticism of each other, but also a mutual belief that their countries must avoid allowing their diplomatic and military interactions to deteriorate from fierce competition into outright conflict.

San Francisco, the host city of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation — known as APEC, a group of 21 countries that surround the Pacific Ocean — would be too bottlenecked and too frenetic to host such a meeting. U.S. officials, given the mandate to plan a summit that would show Mr. Xi respect and keep him away from protesters, landed on Filoli during their anxious planning process.

The site was appealing for a few reasons. It is set among the hills, one of the more isolated spots in a densely populated corner of California. The White House kept the location of the meeting secret until a day before, presumably to keep protesters from surrounding the venue. None were visible at the gates on Wednesday morning as Mr. Biden’s motorcade approached the locale, but some could be seen along the route from San Francisco.

Filoli is a giant estate amid some of the most expensive real estate in the country, built in the early 20th century by a family that made its fortune in the California gold boom and wanted a retreat not far from San Francisco. William Bowers Bourn II, the original owner of the home, decided on the name “Filoli” by mixing together the first few letters of his personal motto: “Fight for a just cause. Love your Fellow Man. Live a Good Life.”

Today it is surrounded by wealth that makes the gold boom look like a low-stakes card game. The headquarters of Google, Apple and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, are all within a 30-minute drive. And the estate has become a go-to wedding site for the new rich of the tech boom, with expansive gardens, a large ballroom and plenty of space to wander off.

The two leaders shook hands at the entrance to the 54,256-square-foot, 56-room house before an extensive bilateral meeting, flanked by their security teams. Mr. Biden is scheduled to deliver a news conference on the grounds of Filoli after meeting with Mr. Xi, who is not expected to make public comments.

Biden administration officials do not know what the two leaders will be eating for lunch, if they get hungry during their extensive meetings. “I don’t even know what I’m having for lunch,” an only slightly exasperated, maybe hungry-sounding John Kirby, a White House spokesman, told a reporter who asked.

But should the two leaders feel peckish, Filoli does have a restaurant, chefs and a mobile wine vehicle on the premises.

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