Nothing says the weekend like indulging in some gourmet cuisine. Saturday night reservations at your favourite restaurant, what could be better? How about packing a bag and heading up to Northern California to the undisputed gourmet capitals of Napa and Sonoma? The home of farm-to-table cuisine, rolling vineyards and world-class spa treatments, this oh-so-chic twin-trip is the ultimate sophisticated long weekend away. Spend four nights sipping some of the valley’s favourite labels, cycling over sun-dappled hills and cosying up in Cali’s most luxurious properties. Fine dining, luxurious surroundings and hot air ballooning adventures – it’s no wonder it’s our favourite way to spend the weekend.Read more
Nip to Napa
Flying into San Francisco, you’ll head out of the Bay and into the Valley. A short drive later and you’ll arrive at Calistoga Ranch, a luxury resort nestled amongst acres of oak trees, and your home for the next two nights. Dotted with secluded lodges and boasting a tranquil spa, this is a place to check-in and switch off. In the evening, you’ll get your gourmet escape off to a start with dinner at The Lakehouse. Overlooking the peaceful waters of Lake Lommel, the four-course set menu emphasises organic and local produce and is the perfect introduction to Napa’s rich food and wine culture.
Tomorrow, you’ll get to know this world-famous wine region as you sip and cycle your way between vineyards. Pedaling along the quiet back roads of Calistoga, it’s the perfect way to take in Napa’s beautiful scenery. Stopping off at four unique vineyards, you’ll be treated to a Grapes 101 as you learn to sip, swirl and taste the Valley’s best wines. The perfect accompaniment to a vineyard cycle, we’ll also set up a gourmet wine country picnic lunch along the way. Perfectly balancing wine with wheels, your private guide-come-sommelier can customise your ride according to how leisurely or high-octane you want it to be.
Sophistication in Sonoma
Before leaving Napa, we’ve got one more trick up our sleeve. Waking up before sunrise (not sounding like much of a treat so far, but bear with us), you’ll head out for one of the best vantage points of the valley. Up in the air. Boarding a hot air balloon, you’ll float over the valley in total peace as the sun rises up over the horizon. It’s an unbeatable view. Touchdown and enjoy a champagne breakfast before jumping in the car and heading off to Sonoma.
Arriving at Farmhouse Inn, you’ll immediately feel at ease. Spend the afternoon poolside or indulging in a farm-to-spa-table treatment before enjoying a Michelin-starred evening at the Inn’s iconic restaurant. Tomorrow, you’ll cross over to Sonoma’s more active side on an aptly-named, private crossover tour. Redwood hikes, Pacific coast views, bakeries, cheese tastings, gourmet picnics – and, of course, wine tastings, it’s the tour that’s got it all. Take it all in in a classic combination of driving and cycling. After all, some of the best routes are those that take you off the road and into the valley. Who knew wine tasting could be such an adventure?
Finishing off this culinary getaway in style, cosy up around Farmhouse Inn’s firepit and toast some gourmet s’mores before heading into Healdsburg for dinner at one of the outstanding local restaurants. In the morning, your gourmet getaway comes to an end as it’s back to San Francisco for your flight home. One thing’s for sure though, weekend takeout on the couch will never be the same again.