Thank you .. ‘Dirt du Jour’

for the glowing review! "Go ask Alice ... where all the best vineyard gardens are. She's an erudite charmer; you'll have fun!"

Foodie Havens

Thomas Hill Organics: Farm to Table Flavorful!

Thomas Hill Organics Graphic Photo: Alice Joyce

It’s the rare occasion when a meal surpasses my expectations in every way, but lunch at Thomas Hill Organics qualifies. The dishes were so memorable that I returned the next evening for dinner. The owners’ discerning taste extends to the bistro’s graphic design sensibility, while the ambiance of the covered dining patio is a relaxed and inviting space. The Wine Wrangler, Coy Barnes provided my introduction to the eatery presided over by Joe and Debbie Thomas – with a menu based on the fresh organic produce grown on their Paso Robles farm. Coy put together an itinerary that called for a satisfying mid-day meal between our morning and afternoon winery visits. A confident, flavorful melding of ingredients emerged in each outstanding dish.

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Paso Robles Prospects

Thomas Hill Organics [Photo: Alice Joyce]

During an all-too-brief trip to bask in the low-key ambiance of summertime in Paso Robles, I enjoyed the pleasures of palate-tingling wine tastings and foodie havens deserving of lavish accolades. In addition to meandering on my own, I explored the region for two full days with Coy Barnes of The Wine Wrangler, a knowledgeable, resourceful tour guide who put together an itinerary encompassing wine and food pairings at Cass Vineyard & Winery, wine tasting at Le Vigne Winery – where winemaker Jac Jacobs treated us to enticing barrel tastings, and an unforgettable tour of the historic Ancient Peaks Winery Santa Margarita Ranch, in the company of co-owner Doug Filippoini.

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Historic Gardens

Gravetye Manor Resurgence

Gravetye Manor - Wm. Robinson's Garden Room Photo © Alice Joyce

Once home to the doyen of 19th century English gardening, William Robinson’s historic Gravetye Manor is enjoying new life as a luxe country hotel and celebrated restaurant, just as the acclaimed gardens are regaining their rightful role. Having left his post at Great Dixter, Gravetye’s head gardener Tom Coward is managing the restoration of the property’s established gardenscape, while promising to add contemporary panache to planting beds, borders, and bucolic landscape.

Continue reading Gravetye Manor: A Resurgence in Sussex