Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Musings: A St. Helena Getaway

Last week, we had the pleasure of spending two nights in beautiful St. Helena. St. Helena is in Napa and is home to many gorgeous wineries, fantastic restaurants, beautiful hotels, and quaint shops. We were visiting to celebrate our friends' New Year's Eve wedding. Because of the holiday, we had to book two nights at our hotel (I know--twist my arm), which was the perfect excuse to have "Babymoon Part II." When we arrived on December 31, the weather was in the seventies. We ate a fantastic lunch outside on the main street in town at Sogni Di Dolci, a coffee shop and panini restaurant.

Though casual looking, the food was great. It felt surreal to be sitting outside sipping lemonade after having just left the cold of the East Coast! That night we headed to V. Sattui winery where the wedding was held. The ceremony was outside complete with heat lamps and white blankets for the guests to snuggle under! Loved it. I even managed to do a bit of dancing despite my cumbersome size, so it was a great way to ring in the new year. What we hadn't realized was that much of the town would be shut down on New Year's Day. We woke up and walked about a mile and a half to Dean & DeLuca where I indulged in a most insane morning bun. Luckily I had the walk back to burn (one bite of) it off. Later that day we ventured into Yountville, home of the famous French Laundry and Bouchon and the Bouchon Bakery. It is one of the chicer areas of wine country, in my opinion, and I'd love to get back there when I can drink and spend more time! For dinner (yes, we were still eating), we had a fantastic New Year's meal at Farmstead, which was a relaxed, cool, farm-to-table restaurant. We sat at the bar because we were early for our reservation and enjoyed conversation with the delightful bartender.

On Thursday, we walked around the town and saw the more residential part of St. Helena, which is bordered by lots of vineyards; it's truly beautiful. For breakfast, we went to The Model Bakery, which is famous for its English muffins. If you are town, they are not to be missed. We had our coffee at Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Co. (This was actually courtesy of the hotel who provide this with the room!) I would probably come here everyday to try all their coffee options and do work if this place were in my neighborhood.

As a gingerbread house aficionado, I was amazed by this creation at The Model Bakery. My own gingerbread house this year was pathetic!

After our walk, we popped into the cutest store, Pennyweight, where I got a lovely orange 2014 planner. Always good to start the new year with a new planner. When we returned home, I immediately got out my washi tape and fancy pens to start marking in all the visitors we will have the pleasure of seeing after the baby!

One place we missed that looked absolutely delightful was French Blue, which was directly across from our hotel, The Wydown (highly recommend it). Check out their interior!!

On the way home, we stopped at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa. For any foodies, it showcases all sorts of artisan products and delicacies. I had a gluten-free, vegetarian bahn-mi by Cate & Co. that made me believe in gluten free bread.

It was a perfect two days of eating, sleeping, walking, and being together. If the way you spend the new year sets the tone for the kind of year you will have, ours is going to be something special.

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