California Wine Country

Sonoma .. Napa Holiday

Sonoma Valley Inn BW

Lovely weather in December stirred a desire to spend the Christmas holiday in Napa Valley and Sonoma Wine Country. I never cease to wonder at the beauty of the landscape, where eye-catching vignettes emerge along roadways. Certainly the notion of enjoying fabulous food and wine made the brief getaway a very special holiday, indeed. Christmas Eve lunch at Bouchon .. quite simply a feast! To start: Endives au Roquefort salad with fuji apples, toasted walnuts & walnut vinagrette. T. and I shared satisfying Hors d’Oeuvres: a heaping serving of Rillettes aux Deux Saumons – prepared with fresh and smoked salmon, along with delectable cod beignets!

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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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England

Fab Food: London to Lewes

Ebury Cocktail

Travel always presents adventures in dining, and hopefully locating a restaurant that satisfies on every level, from the ambiance of the decor to the satisfaction of an excellently prepared meal. After dealing with the crowds on opening day at the Chelsea Flower Show, I chose a nearby restaurant… The Ebury – on chic Pimlico Road where I met T. for lunch and a carafe of Ros√©, ready to relax and unwind. My favorite selection appeared on the A La Carte menu: Duck Confit, succulent and tasty. Tom sampled the three-course lunch Set Menu: the soup of the day followed by a delicious fish main dish, and chocolate confection for dessert that I would have photographed had I not been fully occupied with my meal. Traveling from London to Sussex for a countryside idyll in the area of the South Downs, the town of Lewes offered informal, tasty meals at Bill’s Cafe, Restaurant and Store.

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