A quick drive and an escape from the summer fog in SF, a sunny weekend awaits in Russian River Valley. Nestled amongst the redwoods and vineyards, the Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant has become my home away from home.
With fond memories of a relaxing and comfortable stay, I was overjoyed to return back to this retreat. Twenty-five rooms situated on what was an old farmhouse, the hotel brings the best of wine valley into the experience. Cozy rooms, farm-fresh food, and sun-filled pool days are just a few staples of a visit to the Farmhouse.
Each morning is greeted the same. A cup of coffee on the deck, and then a short walk down to the restaurant for my favorite part of the stay. A two-course breakfast at what is the Michelin Star restaurant at night, featuring fresh ingredients picked right on property. It's elegant yet understated, artfully plated and filling, and it's a magical way to start the day. After breakfast, a walk back to the room through the rose-lined pathway always has a brief hello with Charlotte, the resident cat, which I just adore.
The day has many ways it can go. It usually starts poolside under the umbrella, and then eventually a retreat into the cozy room. A stop at the beautiful spa is always in order, and the homemade s'mores at the fire pits becomes a nightly routine. As the day unwinds, the large barn-like rooms with a fireplace, steam shower, and soaking tub makes for a perfect place to retreat to. The special touch of milk and warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies during turndown is also another highlight to the end of the day.
With Healdsburg only an earshot way, a stop in town at favorites like SHED for lunch, ice cream at Noble Folk, and dinner at Chalkboard inevitably finds its way into the weekend. This time around we added two new things to what will definitely become staples of a weekend in Russian River Valley:
The first, dinner on property at the Farmhouse Restaurant. You really don't have to leave the hotel if you don't want to with the breakfast included in your stay, a yummy poolside lunch menu, and the restaurant available for dinner. The Michelin Star Farmhouse Restaurant was a highlight indeed, with a pre-fixed menu that captured all that the Farmhouse is. The pure ingredients matched flavors like octopus and fennel that was exciting yet comforting. I wish I hadn't waited so long to dine here.
The second thing we added to the itinerary was a drive down the road to Iron Horse Vineyards. Coming highly recommended, this winery perched atop the rolling hills had a friendly yet educated welcome to wine tasting. Known for their sparkling wines (many have been on White House' menus), we opted for a sparkling flight. The family-owned winery produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, creating some of the best sparkling wine (like their '11 Classic Vintage Brut and '11 Russian Cuvee). The bright and cold sparkling wine was indeed ideal for a hot summer day.
As we drove back home to the city, the fog started covering the Golden Gate Bridge. Immediately we were reminded why we head out to Russian River Valley for a weekend at the Farmhouse.