In the two weeks I’ve been back from vacation, I’ve been dying to share all the details of my wine country adventure, but found myself stuck. Not stuck as in “writer’s block” stuck, but instead just utterly overwhelmed by how I was going to compile all of the information! If I just started posting with no train of thought, then it could seriously go on for weeks, and I wouldn’t want to put you through that. I mean, it’s interesting, but c’mon, it’s probably not that interesting ;-)
Instead I’m going to break it down into 3 or 4 installments that include only the absolute BEST experiences of our visit. I know for a fact that at least a couple of you will be making a trip to Sonoma and/or Napa in the very near future, so my hope is that not only are all of my stories entertaining, but they’re also useful.
First things first, you must know that my favorite little town in California’s wine country is Healdsburg in Sonoma County. However, the original trip plan the girls and I came up with didn’t include a stopover there. Instead we were going to spend the whole four days in Napa County. This really weighed on me- how could I go all the way across the country and be that close to Healdsburg and NOT go? Not only that, how could I not share this cute little town with my friends??
Turns out, our final plan was totally different than our original plan. Once we started making decisions on wineries and restaurants, I started mapping. Yes, I map my trips using Google Maps. I’m that anal. (it’s actually quite fun to use the cute little icons. you should try it!)
Once the map started to take shape, I realized that the lodging we’d chosen in Napa wasn’t the best fit for our itinerary, so I started looking into other accommodations in different areas, which included my beloved Healdsburg (yippee!). That’s when I stumbled upon some exciting information. Healdsburg had a new hotel – h2hotel, exactly the sort of uber hip place the girls would love.
As if the photos and renderings weren’t enough to sell me, there was more. Only in my wildest dreams could this place be this awesome! The bar in the hotel, Spoonbar, had Scott Beattie, one of the country’s very best mixologists, at the helm. Seriously?! This guy is super famous for his inventive, fresh, seasonal cocktails. He’s been featured in all sorts of national publications including Food & Wine, Gourmet, and GQ. He is the bartender of all bartenders. Well that did it. We were staying at h2hotel! At that point, I held my breath as I checked the pricing. Accomodations like these are typically pretty pricey in the area, so I had no idea what kind of $$$ was going to appear before my eyes. Woo hoo! What do you know? We could actually afford it!
I won’t go into all of the amenities of the hotel because you can find that on their website, but I just have to share a few photos:
The hotel reception area looking into Spoonbar
This sun-filled sitting area was a beautiful place to relax after a long day.
There were even grapevines in the very gorgeous pool area!
Our comfy room.
(Rooms only come in 1 Queen or 1 King, although the King rooms can be converted into 2 twin beds)
And of course, no post would be complete without some sort of food or drink featured…
my Spoonbar cocktail, The Siddartha: Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Citron, Beefeater Gin, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Thai Coconut Milk, Lemon Verbena
Now here’s a tip for those of you that are making plans to go to Healdsburg or the surrounding areas. They have started offering hands on artisanal cocktail classes with Scott Beattie himself! If they had been offering these when we went, you better believe I would have done what ever re-arranging to our itinerary that needed to be done to make sure I was sitting front and center for that! The class size is limited to 30 lucky guests and the cost is only $50, which includes all produce, spirits, materials, and snacks. Click here for a list of upcoming classes, and book your reservation by calling Spoonbar at (707) 433-7222.
If you find yourself in or near Healdsburg, I highly recommend trying to stay a night at the hotel, or at the very least, drop by for a drink!
Healdsburg, CA 95488
This sort of hotel might not be your style, so if you’re looking for more of a quaint Bed & Breakfast atmosphere, I have a an awesome spot that will be perfect for that too. Check out Four Sisters’ Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza. My husband and I stayed there on our trip a couple of years ago and we absolutely loved it. You might recall me talking about the amazing breakfasts we had at the Inn, so amazing that I bought their cookbook before I left and even made this Blackberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake the very next day after returning home!