Final Post

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 I hope you have been enjoying our trip through the Napa Valley California.  There is more to see but not on this website address.  This will be the last post here.  Please come with me to my new address.  I have a new look and lots more to share with you so click on the website below and don’t forget to add it to your favorites.

http://www.magpiewalkabout15.wordpress.com

as you can see it’s almost the same address, I have simply added the number 15 for 2015

see you there.

Love L

up up and away

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After a fabulous meal at ‘The Restaurant’ @ Meadowood country club St Helen’s California I was awoken early the next morning to the sound of some heavy machinery….It was loud and non stop…finally I went to the window to see what was going on and to my amazement..

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I later found out that the hot air balloon takes off every morning from the carpark behind the Napa Valley Railway Inn, Yountville weather permitting.

We had a short walk to the bakery with the thought of getting something for breakfast only to find the line was twenty yards out the door so we decided to head back down south to Napa…….

Stay Posted   Love  L

‘The Restaurant’ a true dining experience

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After a lovely afternoon of wine tasting we headed on up to Yountville, a small town in Napa County California, staying in a converted railway car.

IMG_4811Later that evening MP, Thomas ( a friend traveling with us ) and I went for dinner.  MP told me before we left the UK to pack a cocktail dress.   That was all the information I was given.  Thankfully I packed just the right one with heels to match, as it turned out we went for dinner at ‘The Restaurant’ at Meadowood. St Helena  Napa Valley’s first country resort.  ‘The Restaurant’ is a Michelin Three Star restaurant.  Christopher Kostow is the chef.  Once the booking is made he creates a specific menu just for us. There is no set menu.   As we approached the front steps a doorman was there to greet us personally and show us to our table.  The open fire in the front room was lit and lots of comfy chairs surrounded it. The curved dinning room had approx 8-10 tables all with views out to the grounds. With crisp clean white table clothes and shining silver cutlery we settled in.   I’m not really sure but I think we had 4 waiters.  Our first wine for the evening was served and we were told that the dinner would consist of 13 courses.  ‘Good Grief’ I thought ‘how was I going to manage that’.

As each course was served a member of the staff would explain what it was made from and where the ingredients came from…. a lot from their own gardens on the resort and local farms.  Each course was tiny, sometimes just a few mouthfuls and at first I was skeptical of all these fancy ingredients and strange looking dishes.  After the third course I began to relax…Every dish so far was exciting and delicious.  The wines to match where superb.

I’m sorry I have no photos to show you but to me, grabbing my phone and taking pics was not the right thing to do.  So be sure to have a look via the links.

So …..here is our menu

borage oyster leaf mignonette ….( oyster…easy…love oysters…but where is it..? no oyster?  but it tastes just like an oyster..!!! How did chef do that ?? )

miner’s lettuce caviar asparagus smoked butter……..(“Oh no..!! I hate asparagus.. !!!  ……..and I thought I hated asparagus.)

mackerel green apricot escabeche celery…..( I never thought I would say “more celery please )

abalone beans wild onion…..( loving that abalone….nothing will ever match that. )

kohlrabi cooked in its own juice rye porridge mustard seed……( Huh ?? but I really want some more )

trout buckwheat fermented turnip…..( fish ? no veg ! no fish….who cares  its greeeaaat )

duck tea chrysanthemum dill..  (mmmm refreshing….more ??…..no….ok I’ll drink the wine….. )

coal seared foie raw rhubarb….( RAW.!!!! RHUBARB!!!!……..I’m sold  )

Wait for this one……………………………are you ready.?????

grilled duck fudge yam sorrels….( yuck….yams !!!!! …did she say yams ???? ..would it be rude to reach over and take MP’s?)

goat cheese apple porridge bread..(mmmmm……I really want to lick the plate. )

sheeps milk yogurt hibiscus rose wild plum…..(….no i’m NOT sharing….)

chocolate burnt milk walnut spicebush….(  Chocolate !!!! bring it on…..Heaven…I’m in heaven…)

chocolate chestnut……(……go away….I’m not giving this dish back….)

and  the wines to match…

Williams Selyem “Limestone Ridge” Chenin Blanc  San Benito County  2013

Latour-Giraud  Premier Cru  “Meursault-Charmes”  Meursault  2012

Frederic Esmonin  Grand Cru “Mazy-Chambertin” Gevrey-Chambertin 2010

Seavey  Cabernet Sauvignon  Napa Valley 1999

Graham’s  Vintage Port  Oporto  1975

Afterwards we sat by the fire with coffee/tea and port.  It was ok now to get my phone out.

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and the waiter gave us each a copy of our menu with our names on it…

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wax sealed…..!!!!!

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What an experience ……

I have to go now….I’m really hungry.

Stay Posted … Love L

Heading into the sun

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Are you sick of looking at China Town

Sorry guys…. It’s been flat out these last few weeks and I haven’t always had access to wifi.

Even now I have only a few mins …

After enjoying some time in San Francisco we hired a car and drove to the Napa Valley.  It was just beautiful and of course we had to stop for a few wine tastings.

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We then visited the O’Brien Estate

We were able to sit out in the garden and look over the estate at the vines and the distant hills and they would bring out any wine you would like to taste ….a total personal tasting experience. Wandering through the vineyards with a cool glass of wine in your hand enjoying the warmth of the sun, watching the local pussy cat wander about the garden.

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It can’t get much better….

Stay Posted ..Love L

San Francisco Bay

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Today we went down to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and as the day was clear and the rain wasn’t  due for a few hours yet we decided  to go on an hour boat tour…

 

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Under the Golden Gate Bridge…..where we were told it is traditional to make a wish as you go under it….

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back around …doing a big U turn….IMG_4716

and headed for Alcatraz ….

a former military and federal prison.

It certainly doesn’t look very inviting…

IMG_4722on the way back to the hotel I saw this in the window…

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IMG_4727 IMG_4728 how amazing is that…!!!

Stay Posted   Love L