Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Printed Summer Dresses + Straw Bags in Wine Country

Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery
Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery
Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery
Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery
Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery
Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery


A few days ago you might recall my expansive wine weekend in Healdsburg recap, it's here in case you missed it! On the last day our itinerary went a little something like this: wake up, eat pastries, put on unintentionally matching summer frocks with all ladies present, head to BBQ, eat hot dogs, drink wine, hang out in the sun. To say it was a perfect day was an understatement, if I could map out a summer day in my future, that is precisely what I'd want it to look like.

Chanda, Jules and I all unintentionally matched each other in our red, pink and white looks (see the 2nd to the last picture here for proof!) The weather in Wine Country wasn't terribly hot so I could get away with sleeves and a maxi cut. I love this apple red shade, it indeed is one of those shades that I would wear any time of the year, and somehow looks better on me when I have a tan. This little straw bag is my ONE TRUE summer score -- you'll never believe I found it in Chinatown for $1.99! They had it in a baby pink color too, but I figured I really didn't need two, I'm debating if I made the right choice.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

The Perfect Weekend Getaway to Healdsburg


The weekend before my summer holiday to Europe a group of friends and I booked it to Healdsburg to on what felt like one of the first warm Summer weekends. It was the perfect pre-getaway getaway. Healdsburg and wine country for that matter will always have a soft spot in my heart, it's the place I run off to when I miss the sun and the San Francisco Fogust (see fog + August) won't do. With all the unfortunate fires that have affected this area in and around the surrounding areas now is the time to really bring tourism back to Wine Country, I encourage those thinking about making a trip to do so! The city is thriving, the weather is glorious, the wine and food is second to none. Below I'm sharing my itinerary, where I ate, where I slept and where I wine'd. Follow along for the perfect weekend getaway to Healdsburg.

Stay: Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites

Why: This is a different kind of hotel, the property has four separate suites, and each suite has three rooms with en-suite bathrooms complete with a living area, and kitchen which we entirely took advantage of. It's the perfect lodging situation for a group of friends, or a larger family in which to visit the area. We stayed in the Plaza Suite, and it comfortably accommodated our party of six.

It's peak Summer season in tourist-driven Healdsburg, you'd think the place would be crawling with bellboys, check-in hosts, valet and the like but the property was smoothly run like a well-oiled machine by none other than Holly, a small but mighty innkeeper. She took care of everything, in fact, I barely saw another soul on the premises besides our group. Holly made sure we had all the fixin's to make sure our home away from home felt wine country ready, we were greeted with a glorious spread of wine, fruit, cheese and local bread to kick start our weekend.

weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,
weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,

Our rooms were spacious, luxe and the beds were so insanely comfortable. Definitely check out Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites the next time you are looking for a place to stay in Healdsburg.

Where: Half a block from Healdsburg historic downtown plaza at 235 Healdsburg Ave.

Where to Wine:


weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,


We visited some fantastic local wine tasting rooms, the majority of which were only a few blocks from our hotel accommodations, which is always a perk, no need to worry about who is driving to the next spot!

Banshee Wines: This hipster cool spot is number one on my list, it's the equivalent of Scribe, which almost everyone I know seems to love. It has a southwestern meets Palm Springs meets mid Century vibe. While that's a whole lot of vibe, just know it's cool, and the wine is good. Definitely book a corner booth to get the full landscape of your visit while enjoying the rosé. It's very photogenic.

weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,
weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,
weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,
weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,

Grapeseed: This was such a cool concept, GrapeSeed is known for their wine meets art experience, touted as the largest art gallery north of Los Angeles they do seated flights smack dab in the middle of their gallery. You also have the chance to sip and walk the property and experience it however you'd like. Loved this concept because it was very different from any other wine tasting flight I've ever done in Healdsburg.


Portalupi: This family owned and operated tasting room in downtown Healdsburg rounded out our day of wine tasting. And on the perfect note too as we did a wine and food pairing around 4pm right when we were feeling a little peckish. The Cali- Italian inspired bites were so tasty -- think goat cheese, sun-ripened tomatoes with balsamic glaze, and ravioli. Let's just say one morsel of each was enough to open this girls appetite. 


Dutcher Crossing: I absolutely love this brand, I've raved about them before on my Instagram and on my blog in the past so it should come as no surprise that I highly suggest visiting DC when you are in Healdsburg or near it. They are not just a tasting room they are a vineyard with beautiful sprawling fields, picnic tables to take in the scenery, complete with a sweet winery dog who doesn't mind company and isn't afraid to say hello. We happened to show up on a Sunday when they had a BBQ for the release of their latest Summer wine, and let's just say my new favorite food and wine pairing are a hot dog and with a bold red. True summer in a meal. 



Where to dine: 



There was so much good food consumed on this trip, and the hot dogs weren't even the best part. Keep on reading to hear a few of the restaurants really made our trip a foodie success.

Studio Barndiva: We visited the Gallery Bar on Friday when we drove in. After announcing our reservation, we were promptly sat in a beautiful, almost secluded, private corner with twinkling lights making for a very romantic mood for our party of six. You might not need a reservation after 8pm as we almost had the place to ourselves, so don't fret if you don't have one. The fare was California fresh fare with a French bistro twist. We left completely stuffed and only slightly buzzed as the entire table unanimously ordered the same drink -- the Special-- made with brown butter whiskey, heirloom apple juice, and fresh thyme syrup!

Valette: This was my second time at Valette, and boy did it not disappoint, slightly overwhelming but that was not at all a problem, you see my seatmates decided it was a good idea to do the chefs "Trust Me" tasting menu and since I had experienced it here before I assumed I already knew what to expect. I was very wrong. Assuming only five courses would be served as that is what I had read on Valette's website, turns out I read that wrong, and it actually said that it's a minimum of five courses! Long story short about 10 courses came out, and without actually knowing that I ate every since course, not wanting to waste any of the delicious food including that fantastic warm bread and butter they whip up in the kitchen. Let's just say towards the end of the meal my seatmates could not even finish their glass of wine-- UTTER SHOCK AND HORROR-- I guess they were really full. Truth be told, no matter how full I am the wine will always be drunk.

BIG thanks to the Two Thirty Five Luxury Suites, Banshee Wines, Grapeseed, Portalupi, Dutcher Crossing, Barndiva and Valette for an incredible weekend! 

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Partial photography by Stephanie Hopkins