Day 15: Calistoga

What a lovely time we had in Calistoga! A couple of days of relaxing in the sunshine with good wine and good food was the perfect finale to a wonderful honeymoon.

It seems to me that Calistoga is a very relaxed place. For example, when we arrived, we went out for a drink at the Calistoga Inn. We sat at the bar and watched the Monday night football. When we got hungry, we kept our seats and were able to order some excellent food from the formal restaurant next door. We like that kind of thing.

We stayed at the Wine Way Inn, which I would definitely recommend for:

  • The lovely owners, Nick and Gillian (coincidentally, they used to live in Bristol);
  • Amazing breakfasts – not the usual fry up, but interesting and unusual dishes like sausage and tomato plait, chardonnay baked pears and special muffins. It was cool that all the guests sit at the same table, like a family, so you can chat to each other;
  • Traditional, but not fuddy duddy, style;
  • Grape vine round the porch and maple trees in the back garden;
  • The ‘Wellness’ package (see below);
  • The location: just off the main street;
  • Home made wine for nightcaps!

After a good night’s sleep and a gourmet breakfast, we were ready for our Wellness package consisting of bed and breakfast, a couples’ spa session, two local wine tastings and dinner at a local restaurant.

This was Tom’s first spa experience and I think he enjoyed it. He won’t let me show you the picture of him in a volcanic mud/bubble bath 😦

Instead here are some lovely rubber duckies:

Three rubber ducks in foam bath

Image via Wikipedia

In the afternoon we went for our two wine tastings at Lava Vine and Laura Zahtila. We met some very lovely and friendly people.

The Lava Vine tasting room and (in the garage) wine-making space!

Tom in the Lava Vine tasting room

Interesting idea for tasting dessert wine - dark chocolate, olive oil and sea salt.

Wine tasting aftermath

The very cool BBQ space at Lava Vine - bet they have some great parties!

One of our favourite honeymoon memories is of sitting on the terrace at the Laura Zahtila tasting room. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, we had some delicious wine, there were dogs and a cat running around and we were chatting to the tasting host, a couple who were long-term traveling around the States and some guys from a local restaurant (who we happened to bump into later that evening!)

The wine in the glass is made from the vines in the background.

NB dogs in the background!

That evening we had dinner at JoLé – a ‘small plates’ restaurant where we ate (among other things) lamb bolognese and brussels sprouts with cranberries, squash and hazelnuts. What a good day!

The date was 15 November 2011. Next – Day 16: Last Day.