A Whirlwind Weekend in Napa

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I spent last Thursday through Sunday in the beautiful Napa Valley with some girlfriends. We had such a great time and I am looking forward to doing it again! We had the wonderful fortune of staying at this gorgeous home designed by renowned architect, Howard Backen. The home an location were so idyllic and I must say that the house was so thoughtfully designed and the place is completely charming. It was featured in Architectural Digest last year. We were only in Napa for a few days, but were able to do so much! We spent time shopping on St. Helena’s main street, visited with the locals, did a little wine tasting, and ate delicious food.California Fall 2010 007 {The Front Courtyard Looking Toward the Guest Cottage}

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{Front Courtyard}

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{Pool Area}

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{Bocce Ball, Anyone?}

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{View from the Master Bedroom…Does it get any more idyllic?}

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{Part of the Kitchen / Family Room, Complete with a Rotisserie}

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{Lovely Kitchen}

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{The Dining Room Adjacent to the Kitchen}

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{Erin Martin’s Showroom in St. Helena}

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{If you know me, then you know I went bananas for this Greek Key table!}

California Fall 2010 052   {I cannot say enough good things about Swanson Vineyards! I have an entire feature devoted to Swanson planned, but until then, I just have to say that this is a definite must if you are planning a trip to Napa. The tasting room is at once grand, elegant, and eclectic, the wines are marvelous, but more than anything, he Swanson Vineyards family (especially the doyenne, Elizabeth) is composed of the warmest, most welcoming people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a very long time.}

{Our fun group included Kyle of Knight Moves, Shannon Wollack, me, Ashley Steen of Orchard 11, and Jeni who was taking the picture.}

We also had a wine tasting at Mai(s)onry, which is such an interesting space. They’ve combined a tasting room with an art gallery and a well-curated interior design boutique. They carry the exclusive Blackbird Vineyards label which produces excellent wines. This visit was also an incredible experience that I am planning to feature more about soon.

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{From Left: Ashley, Maura, Shannon, Me, Kyle, and Jeni.}

As usual, everything I ate in Napa was out of this world! From a simple sandwich at Giugni’s on Main Street in St. Helena to dinner at Redd (pictured), I am always so impressed by the delicious seasonal cooking in this part of the country. On our first night in Napa, we had dinner at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, owned by Cindy Pawlcyn of the famed Napa restaurant, Mustard’s. Everyone loved their food and the service was outstanding. On the second day, between tastings at Mai(s)onry and Swanson, we had lunch at Michael Chiarello’s Bottega, which is a new favorite of mine. Again, everyone loved their food and Chef Chiarello visited with us for a while. That night, we went to Redd, which is a personal favorite of almost everyone in the group. Their Heirloom Tomato Salad and Lobster Risotto are out of this world!

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