Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend.
In previous posts about my recent Girlfriends Getaway to Healdsburg, I wrote about Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites, where three of my friends and I stayed for the weekend. I also told you about our fabulously tasty and fun Savor Healdsburg Food Tour, part of the Girlfriends Getaway Special. But that’s not all we did! Today I want to share some highlights from the rest of our unforgettably fun stay.
After Michelle, Lawana and I checked in to our hotel at Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites, we headed out to grab a bite to eat at Barndiva, which is just a short walk from the hotel (not included in the Girlfriends Getaway Special).
This well-known restaurant is a favorite among Sonoma County locals and visitors alike. Not only is the food fresh, innovative and delicious but the decor is incredibly stylish – “elegant barn chic”, if you will.
My friend Lawana snapped a quick photo of me while we were waiting for our table at the reception area. It was a warm summer day so I wanted to wear something lightweight and comfortable. I wore my Girlfriend jeans with a tunic made of georgette fabric and camisole underneath, both from Stella Carakasi. I carried my favorite summer handbag, a Kate Spade Cedar Street Elissa, and wore my Janet Harrer geode pendant necklace.
Once seated at a table on the patio, we looked over our menus while enjoying a refreshing cocktail that was as tasty and refreshing as it was beautiful.
Michelle immediately knew she wanted their BLT made with fresh heirloom tomatoes.
After lunch, we stopped by Barndiva’s other property, The Gallery Bar & Bistro just to have a look around. It is so darling! We returned later that night to listen to live music in their outdoor space.
Later on Friday afternoon, my sister-in-law Debbie joined us and the four of us unpacked, relaxed and changed for dinner.
We didn’t have far to go! Right downstairs from Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites is one of my favorite restaurants in Wine Country, Café Lucia.
I have written about Café Lucia before – once when Bill and I dined there for the first time and again in the Savor Healdsburg Food Tour post. Tammy brought us to Café Lucia where we enjoyed tomato water and delicious scallops.
A $300 voucher to this popular restaurant specializing in Portuguese cuisine is included in the Girlfriends Getaway Special. Which was plenty for us to enjoy a wonderful meal and Raza wine from Portugal.
Michelle, Debbie and I all ordered the Arros de Camarão – wild prawns, arborio risotto rice, chouriço, roasted red bell peppers, peas, and uni butter. I cleaned my plate!
Lawana had the Pork Tenderloin “Redheado” with olive, fig and almond stuffing, São Jorge cheese potato “croquettes” and port wine sauce. I tasted her entree and must say, it is a phenomenal dish! I can’t decide which one I like better. The cheese potato croquettes are amazing, by the way.
Another experience included in the Girlfriends Getaway Special is a private food and wine pairing at Portalupi, just a couple of blocks from our hotel.
We arrived at our scheduled appointment time and were shown to the private tasting room, just behind the main tasting area. Casual elegance is the term that comes to mind when describing the Portalupi tasting room. It’s a fun, lively place and we immediately felt comfortable and relaxed.
Our wine host, Carolyn, is a vivacious and delightful woman who was full of knowledge about wine, food and the Portalupi story. She was so much fun!
Carolyn got us started with some wine tasting before bringing the food out. She wanted us to focus on the flavors and nuances of their wine first before pairing the wines with food.
Notice the two bottles on the table in front of Lawana? They are milk jugs filled with Portalupi wine. Carolyn told us that the Vaso di Marina wines are packaged this way to honor Jane Portalupi’s Nonna, Marina who bottled her wine in milk jugs for the people in the Italian village where she lived . You can read more about the Portalupi story here.
I bought a bottle of Vaso di Marina White to bring home with me and am keeping the bottle for a future refill!
Carolyn brought out a lovely tray of nibbles for us to enjoy. There were all so tasty and complemented the wines perfectly.
They were delicious little works of art! Thank you, Carolyn for your warm and gracious hospitality.
Once our lovely tasting experience at Portalupi concluded, we walked around the Healdsburg Plaza and did a little shopping before heading back to our hotel room. We needed to rest up because we’d be eating and drinking again in a few hours!
Lawana decided she didn’t want to eat and drink again that night and would rather get some shut-eye so she skipped dinner and the three of us went out instead. I wanted Michelle and Debbie to try Chalkboard (not part of the Girlfriends Getaway Special).
I had been to Chalkboard with Bill a few months back and fell in love with this chic place and its creative menu featuring plates to share and handcrafted cocktails. We all started off with a Ghost in the Shell – gin, rum, coconut, lime, cardamom, cilantro and basil – while browsing the menu. So refreshing and full of flavor!
We ordered several dishes to share including my favorite, the rich and oh so decadent Cocoa Trifoglio which has duck confit, chive, madeira, foie gras butter, and is sprinkled with bits of candied hazelnuts. The pasta itself has cocoa in it! For those of you who love sweet and salty flavor combinations, this could be your new favorite pasta dish. I know it’s mine!
After dinner we rolled ourselves back to our lovely hotel, with our comfy beds awaiting. It was our last night of the Girlfriends Getaway.
Sunday morning we enjoyed coffee and breakfast in our suite, then packed up our things and checked out. But we weren’t heading home just yet. We had one more visit to make.
I couldn’t visit Healdsburg without a trip to The Taste of Tea. We had plans for a tea tasting and spa tea treatment, included in the Girlfriends Getaway Special.
We were greeted by Donna Tokugawa, who owns The Taste of Tea along with her husband, Nez. Their daughter Tai is the general manager.
We were led to their Relaxation Room to experience their Shinwa Japanese Green Tea Treatment which includes a green tea foot soak…
a warm herbal neck wrap (doesn’t Michelle look relaxed?), a green tea facial mask and hand and nail towel.
It also includes a docent led tea tasting. Our docent was Alicia who was a virtual encyclopedia of tea knowledge.
We were served three small MarTEAnis. They were the ideal elixir after a weekend of wine and cocktails. Check out their MarTEAni menu to see all the tasty mocktail combinations. My favorite is the Emerald made with matcha, coconut milk and fresh mint.
After our very relaxing and revitalizing spa treatment, we moved into the main part of the tea room for lunch (lunch is not included in the Girlfriends Getaway Special but I highly recommend enjoying some of their outstanding Japanese fare while you’re there).
We ordered big bowls of noodles that we slurped down with specialty iced teas. Then for dessert we shared green tea ice cream and Ginger Rice Pudding with blueberries. So scrumptious and light!
This was the ideal way to close out our Girlfriends Getaway to Healdsburg. We felt relaxed, hydrated, satiated and ready to take on Monday!
A big thank you to Donna, Nez, Tai and Alicia for a wonderfully tasty and relaxing experience!
That wraps up our fun and tasty Girlfriends Getaway to Healdsburg! Thank you for reading and if you have any questions about the places we visited please feel free to contact me at [email protected].
For more info about this special package offered by Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites, visit their website or call 707-473-3500.
Today (Monday, 8/8) is the final day to submit your Cropped Pants look to be included in this month’s How I Wear My. Visit the How I Wear My page for all the details!
Make it a rich day!
Disclosure: Our visits to Portalupi, The Taste of Tea, and Café Lucia were part of the Girlfriends Getaway Special from Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites, which I was invited to experience, and were complimentary. All opinions expressed here are, as always, my own. Visits to Chalkboard and Barndiva were not complimentary.