The Suite Life in Wine Country

Happy Friday everyone, any plans this weekend?

Let me tell ya, the suite life is the best life. @Twelfthknight and I love our staycations, and it was only right that I treat him to an early birthday getaway in wine country this past week. It was our first time to Healdsburg, and to be quite honest…we like this quaint beautiful town much more than Napa or Sonoma itself.

235 Luxury Suites is nestled in the heart of downtown Healdsburg and it’s an incredible 3 bedroom stay for couples, families, or small parties. It’s incredibly charming, cozy yet spacious, and still feels familiar like home.  We stayed in the Fitch Mountain Suite, decked out with a huge spa tub that I used nightly, dual walk in showers, and giant CA Kings in each room. 235 pays attention to the tiniest details which is what we loved. They even offer light, medium, or hard pillows so that you can sleep optimally :D I’m a firm by the way.

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Cheers to the suite life!

This hotel is located a few steps away from the square of downtown Healdsburg, so you really don’t need to drive anywhere in town. You’re within a few steps to wine lounges, Safeway, Farmer’s Market, bakeries, and coffee shops. In fact, we never drove the entire time we were there, unless you count an Uber briefly. So convenient right?

We would absolutely stay here at 235 again, it felt like a true getaway but so comfortable like being at home. If you’re ever looking to get away and relax in wine country’s hidden gem, I highly urge you to visit Healdsburg.  After exploring this little town, we didn’t want to leave, but we look forward to our next trip!

Below, you’ll find our favorite spots and recommendations if you fancy a trip out here yourself. Cheers and thank you for reading!

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Where to Eat:

Valette: Dinner

Dinner service was spectacular. Chef Dustin is a rockstar and provided a 5 course tasting menu that blew us away. Valette is the newest kid on the block in downtown Healdsburg and it’s one of those fine dining experiences you’ll have engrained in your memory for a long long time. Below are some of our favorite highlights.

Cocktail: Watermelon Fresca

Favorite app: Dry Boat Scallop en Croute- Squid Ink Puff Pastry with Scallop & champagne inside. Blew my mind!

Entree: Lamb Shoulder and NY Strip Steak.

Dessert: A salty/sweet Deconstructed Snickers Bar (which we still rave about)

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Cafe Lucia: Lunch

Downstairs in the 235 hotel courtyard lives Cafe Lucia where Portuguese food meets Wine Country. @Twelfthknight has been to Spain and he talks about the tapas and paella there all the time. Naturally, we came down for lunch and we still talk about their food, overwhelmingly gracious hospitality, and service.

Tasting Plates: House wine, house pickles, blood sausage, sturgeon & capers

Tip: Order the Portuguese Mac n Cheese, we still talk about it today.

Favorite Entree: Seafood Stew with mussels and jumbo shrimp

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Where to Drink:

Reeve Wines:

We visited Kelly and Noah of Reeve Wines our second day in Healdsburg and we loved tasting all of their small batch wines.  Their estate is picturesque and currently undergoing some exciting renovations which we look forward to seeing on our next trip up. Our favorite wine of theirs were their chilled rose which we had to take home with us. *P.S. Noah is the co-founder and Head wine maker at Banshee Wines in downtown Healdsburg and Reeve is a labor of love by night. Visiting Reeve Wines honestly felt like going to see your friends (who happened to have a winery) and it’s just fun, relaxing, and comfortable.  Cheers!

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Siduri Wine Lounge:

Siduri is located literally a few steps from 235 Hotel. There’s something to be said for the decor and open window/day bed seating that attracts so many people aside from their delicious wine and pairings. I especially liked their cheese board with their pinot and would recommend sitting by the window while you sip and people watch.

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Cheers!

Two Thirty Five Luxury Suites

 

An Afternoon at Arrowood

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend an amazing wine and food pairing in Sonoma. Hosted at the ever charming Arrowood Winery in Glen Ellen, myself and fellow Bay Area bloggers were whisked away for the day to wine country, and I can honestly say I am really truly grateful for the experience. I’ve heard raving reviews about the delicious food served at renowned restaurant, Girl & the Fig. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw that the event would be catered by their lead Chef.

I’d like to thank Kristina Werner, wine maker at Arrowood. She herself is quite the inspiration, who went from a BioChemistry and Agricultural Economics degree to pursue winemaking full time. Something I took away from listening to her that I’d like to share:

“Taste everything you can get your hands on.

Never stop learning and never get bored.”

I couldn’t agree more. Cheers to an amazing day that I don’t take for granted. My eyes and stomach are very full :)

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First Course: Roasted Carrots, Saffron Crema, Honeyed Almonds
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2nd: House Ground Polenta, Braised Oxtail, Cocoa Nibs, Squash, Sage Pesto
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Final: Black Pepper Ravioli, Triple Cream Mornay, Black Truffles

I have found a new appreciation for wine, what goes into making it, and how it really can transform a meal and your senses. If you’re in Sonoma one of these days, be sure to visit Kristina and the Arrowood staff and taste for yourself. I personally would go back in a snap.

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For those who are interested in Arrowood wine but can’t get to Sonoma anytime soon, I’m offering 15% off anything on their site using “ARROWOOD15” here. I had an amazing time and can’t wait to go back.

Overwhelming thanks to:

Arrowood Winery for the hospitality

Girl & The Fig for an incredible meal

Emily E Martin Communications for this amazing trip

Holidays at Home

I’m cozying up this week with my friends at Riviera Towel Company on this very special holiday post. The holidays have changed over the years, but some of my fondest moments are of the house smelling of Mom’s gingerbread, espresso biscotti, and my brother and I icing cookies for the gaggle of family coming in and out of our house. Christmas has always been sensory and visual, from the fresh tree to the baked goods.

img_8848img_8855As time goes on and everyone gets older some of those smells have gone away. We don’t do much on gift giving, in fact we don’t partake in Christmas shopping at all anymore. For us it’s really all about food, family, and banter. Not that it still isn’t, but as we’ve gotten older my Grandparents are no longer here with us and gatherings have become smaller and smaller. The fresh trees haven’t been in our house in a long time, but we do have garlands, Boo (our fur baby in his Christmas sweater) and fairy lights strung up which is nice. I miss certain things from childhood and I hope that one day we find that again.

To bring back some holiday spirit into our home, Riviera Towel Company prompted my idea for this shoot just in time for Christmas. Their towels are 100% Turkish Cotton and so incredibly soft and versatile. I wrapped myself in one, gathered my current favorite holiday things, and voila: a cozy holiday picnic, right in our own home :) *Scroll to the bottom for 20% off your own blankie.img_8862img_8854img_8852

Life is like a box of chocolates. These are from Christopher Elbow

img_8861A favorite wine from this year’s Paso Robles trip: Ecluse Vineyard

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I toast to all of you this holiday season. Thank you for reading and keeping up with me this year. And special thanks to Riviera Towel Co. for bringing warmth and reigniting my creative spark this Christmas. It’s the best gift of all.

For those of you who want to cozy up, you can purchase their gorgeous towels (these are $32 ) on their site here . They also give back to organizations who help save our oceans, I love that I can help support their mission.

Even more, take 20% off using code “sashimi20” at checkout

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

xx

Lauren

Wine Country

People are always shocked when I say that I’ve never really experienced Napa Valley, simply because as an adult I’ve been in Southern California the majority of the time. My parents go often, either for themselves or to entertain guests so I end up living and eating vicariously through them. Bouchon, The French Laundry, Ad Hoc…It seems like everyone and their cousins have been except for me. So to my surprise last Sunday after being bed ridden with what seemed like the plague, the beau decided to pack me in the car and drive on up to Napa for the day. Sweet, right?

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Trip highlights:

Perusing all the vendors at Oxbow Public Market. There’s just so much going on and so many wonderful smells of all kinds of cuisines permeating the place. It’s overwhelming, but in a tasty sensory overload kind of way.

Making a pit stop at Vallarta Market to try their famed burrito. Who goes to Calistoga for a burrito? We did…and it was divine….it’s hidden in this tiny little Mexican grocery store, luckily you can get directions to such establishment here: 1473 Lincoln Street, Calistoga, CA

Going to Bouchon Bakery to pick up gingerbread muffins for Mama and Papa. It’s a bustling little place that I call bread heaven: 6528 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Ending our trip with a surprise dinner reservation at Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller. Each night is a different prefix menu and I’m still full just thinking about our meal. In all honesty, the Cream of Mushroom Soup was my favorite, served with a gruyere cheese crostini. The main dish was Veal Scallopini served on whipped gold potatoes and broccolini romanesco. And finally for dessert, Vanilla Ice Cream Sundaes with butterscotch, pecans, and strawberry sauce. Needless to say, I am back at the gym and hot yoga to work all of this off!

Model Behavior at The Model Bakery in Napa. How cool is their planter box sign? Little succulents make up their signage. http://www.themodelbakery.com
Model Behavior at The Model Bakery in Napa. How cool is their planter box sign? Little succulents make up their signage. http://www.themodelbakery.com
Had to try Model Bakery's world famous English Muffins. You'll never settle for store bought packaged english muffins again.
Had to try Model Bakery’s world famous English Muffins. You’ll never settle for store bought packaged english muffins again.
The Oxbow Wine and Cheese Merchants are inside the public market in Napa. I'm a big cheese fan, so of course we had to try their charcuterie and delectable cheese spread. The ideal lunch, really.
The Oxbow Wine and Cheese Merchants are inside the public market in Napa. I’m a big cheese fan, so of course we had to try their charcuterie and delectable cheese spread. The ideal lunch, really.
Pit stop to take in the view at Robert Mondavi Winery. Beautiful estate, and by this time we got there as the sun was about to set.
Pit stop to take in the view at Robert Mondavi Winery. Beautiful estate, and by this time we got there as the sun was about to set.
I love this view. It was very cold, but luckily my Lovers + Friends Moto Jacket kept me warm. Check out those endless rows of grapevines!
I love this view. It was very cold, but luckily my Lovers + Friends Moto Jacket kept me warm. Check out those endless rows of grapevines!
I was surprised by a wonderful dinner reservation at Thomas Keller's famed Ad Hoc. Every night is a different prefix menu, I think I'm still full from it all. Just perfect.
I was surprised by a wonderful dinner reservation at Thomas Keller’s famed Ad Hoc. Every night is a different prefix menu, I think I’m still full from it all. Just perfect.

>>>The Model Bakery<<<

>>>Thomas Keller<<<

What I wore: Lovers + Friends Babe Moto Jacket