Two trips to Sonoma in the past month – sounds outlandish but it’s truly not, given my recent discovery that wine country is home to the best damn food and drinks ever. Sonoma feels like the best of both worlds: offering a taste of the countryside, but without sacrificing the quality and comforts of city life. Below are a few of my top finds:
FAVORITE WINERY: Kunde Family Estate was by far the loveliest vineyard we visited, spanning over 1800 acres with lush foliage, water fountains and – get this – wine caves! Wine caves take advantage of the natural landscape to provide ideal conditions for storing and aging wine, and Kunde offers free tours of their tunnels by the hour. They also have a gorgeous main room which apparently can be rented out for special occasions.
FAVORITE RESTAURANT: The Kenwood's Yelp reviews are super mixed, but don’t let that stop you. Either the staff got their act together or the reviewers were unreasonably nostalgic for the former occupant (sounds like a combination of both). All the ingredients are locally sourced and organic, and the food is nothing short of magical – especially the kale caesar salad, the foie gras and the crispy trout. I’d recommend sitting on the outdoor patio so that you can enjoy the view of rolling hills surrounding you on all sides as you eat.
FAVORITE CAFÉ: Basque Boulangerie Café is located in the heart of the adorable historic downtown area, and the baked goods are to die for. Literally wanted to try everything here but it’s their famous beehive cake with real honey that earns Basque a notable mention.
OTHER NOTABLE MENTIONS: Girl & The Fig is probably the most famous Sonoma stalwart. Yeah, the food was phenomenal but the restaurant itself felt overhyped, especially since we had to wait until 10:30pm to snag a dinner reservation. I also found its picnic-style fare better suited for lunch. El Dorado Kitchen across the street, on the other hand, is far more spacious, with equally-looking delicious food (unfortunately didn’t have the chance to sample it). I can speak for their cocktails though, which were top-notch.
I’ve always had this thing for military jackets – they just make me feel so tough (and tough I am not). I remember with great fondness that the first trend I spotlighted as fashion editor for the Beijinger was the “Combat Craze.” That must’ve been in June 2010 … damn I was young. But it also goes to show you the longevity of this look – army-inspired gear is still circulating the runways, if the Fall 2015 shows are any indication.
From day one, I've been wearing the fruits of my grandma's labor. Yarn caps, sweaters, gloves, socks, blankets – you name it, she's knitted it.
My grandma has been knitting me stuff to wear for as long as I can remember. Knit caps, sweaters, gloves and of course scarves. This one was handmade for me when I told her I was going to Smith College – she wanted to ease my transition to the east coast climate.
Sadly this black scarf wasn’t quite chunky or warm enough to protect me against the cold in Northampton, MA (nothing could have accomplished that), but it serves me pretty well here in the Bay Area.
Lately I’ve been wearing my glasses out of the house more – and why not when they’re from Warby Parker, my new favorite glasses company. This might sound like an ad for them but I promise I have received no compensation for this post.
Glasses used to cost $400 easy when your vision is as bad as mine. Warby Parker offers a really awesome selection of frames for just $95 including the prescription lenses. Also, their San Francisco store in Hayes Valley is super cute.
Anyway, I realize that with a baggy cardigan, my overall look starts to look a little… librarian, but oh well. Sometimes it’s fun to embrace the cliché.