Our first full day in Napa Valley began with fabulous run through downtown Yountville. It was early so no one was out. The only two places that seemed open were the Yountville Coffee Caboose and Bouchon Bakery, which filled the air with sweet smells of pastries and bacon. Turns out Bouchon Bakery makes a heavenly bacon scone. Although, waiting in line for their treats may not be worth it. We were the second people in line when the doors opened and it took nearly 30 minutes to get out of there. Their efficiency is severally lacking. (Yountville Coffee Cabouse makes great lattes! I actually enjoyed my latte from them better than Bouchon Bakery, not sure if it really tasted better or if the three-minute wait vs. 30 minute wait made it taste better.) The best part of the morning though was walking through the French Laundry’s gardens. I’m not sure if we were supposed to do this but they were gorgeous. The herb gardens were something of a dream to me given that I can’t grow basil to save my life… We weren’t able to visit the French Laundry this trip given that it was a last minute to-do. You MUST book reservations months in advance. The Husband thought I was ridiculous for stopping at the Visitor Center to admire the “rock garden”. But seriously, how fun is this! They have carved out a part of the garden and placed little statues of rock mushrooms. (They’re on my list of must haves for the garden at home next Spring.) We had planned to meet up with some friends for breakfast at The Hopper Creek restaurant – Hotel Yountville’s restaurant – prior to heading out for tastings. Wine Spectator had recently written it up noting how wonderful its upscale take on the farmstead breakfast, such as eggs Benedict with crisp Kurobuta pork belly was. They were right. Awesome! Its no wonder though. The Hopper Creek restaurant specializes in breakfast, in fact that’s all they offer (open 7:30am-noon). Its chef, Adam Clark, who previously worked at Barndiva, Aqua and Calistoga Ranch, and did an internship at The French Laundry has really created a menu that makes breakfast the most important meal of the day. At least it was for us.
As we were wrapping up our breakfast I received a frantic voice message from our driver who would be taking us to a few vineyards that day. Note, this is the same driving service I used the last trip – Private Limousine Service. Apparently, the car we were scheduled to have had a problem so they needed to change the type of car we were to have for the day. (I thought they were going to bail on me. I quickly felt my heart pound, palms sweat, essentially I began to freak out since we were with people The Husband worked with and I was “in charge” of the day.) I was told that instead of getting a SUV we were going to have stretch limo. They thought I might be upset. Really?!?! Deep breath. I played it cool. There was no need to let them know I jumping up and down in my head. I felt like a rock star.
A a good run, a top-notch breakfast, good company and now an awesome ride. We’re off to drink wine in style. Cheers!