In one of the last quiet moments before the summer rush leaves you clamouring for a spot at a Napa Valley tasting table, our HR Director Shivani enjoyed a bundle of fabulous experiences in a quick jaunt to the Bay Area. Here are a few of her favourite moments...
After a short drive from the city to Napa, park your car (convertible if you can swing it) and forget about it until Sunday. From trolleys to Uber (they have made it here too), there are plenty of easy ways to get around. Who needs to walk? You are in wine country – kick up your heels and leave the thinking to the experts. We had an amazing, intimate experience on a private wine tour for the day which was carefully and thoughtfully curated by Platypus Wine Tours. We discovered a variety of boutique, family run wineries - a must-do for those who want to speak directly to passionate wine makers and support small production wineries. By noon, winter doldrums were far behind with a picnic lunch in the hills and a chilled rose in hand (cheese and cracker pit stops welcome and encouraged, sipping starts at 11 am and continues…).
Following a day in the sun and a few* flights of wine, the evening awoke to the plethora of food options in the region. Thanks to power naps and bar snacks we headed to our destination for the night: Yountville, a picturesque town with an enclave of Michelin starred restaurants and charming bars. Whether it is a special occasion befitting a budget-busting night at The French Laundry or a cozy dinner at Bistro Jeanty (the tomato soup is phenomenal!), Yountville is so quaint and full of beautiful details that time seems to stop, stretching a weekend away into what feels like a long summer in the countryside. Before you jump in your car and head back to San Francisco on Sunday morning, stop in for a delicious pastry at Bouchon. Their melt in your mouth pastries will fill you with so much joy, it will take the edge off of leaving your wine weekend behind.
Back in San Francisco, we set out for a low-key day near our friend’s crash pad in Haight Ashbury, where we found unbelievable coffee (Cold pressed anyone?) at Fly Wheel Coffee, lounged about in Golden Gate Park, and recovered just enough for one night out in the Mission District, perfect for a casual – sticky floor, dive night out and a fabulous dinner at Monk's Kettle. If, like us, you find yourself with a few bucks left in hand after a weekend of drinking (and buying!) so much food and wine, take your last meal at El Farolito, where your last ten dollars will treat you to authentic, fresh and abundant Mexican food so delicious, it will become a staple every time you return.