A weekend in the Wine Country can be just like a dream. As you know, I live in Napa Valley and love my Napa vine-living life, but I also love to explore Sonoma County, and especially Healdsburg. On January 24 – 26, 2020, an awesome event will take place in this charming little town in California: the Healdsburg (more details here) Tastemaker Weekend!! They put together an enticing list of hands-on Healdsburg experiences with everything from an authentic Italian wine cave dinner to a pastry making class at a popular local bakery with a history reaching back almost a century. Our blogger group had the pleasure of participating in a sneak peek preview weekend before the actual event, and here I’ll share some of the weekend highlights with my lovely Napavalleytip readers.
I stayed at the luxurious Hotel Les Mars, a member of Relais & Chateaux, which brings the romance of French living style to Northern California. Les Mars is located one block from Healdsburg’s historic town square. They serve complimentary French breakfasts along with daily wine and cheese receptions.
We started on a gorgeous winter Saturday morning, which was a bit chilly but overall the weather was lovely. Our first stop was at Mateo’s Cocina Latino Restaurant in downtown Healdsburg. We met Mateo Granados, who is the chef and owner, and learned about his incredible journey that brought him to Healdsburg. His restaurant is a Yucatan-inspired restaurant kitchen. For the Tastemaker weekend he will teach and demonstrate a cooking class so you can also learn to make masa tortillas, followed by a lesson on slow-braised French Poulet and aromatic baked rice. Included is lunch and a seasonal margarita (which is seriously delicious) or non-alcoholic agua fresca.
Next up was a quick stop at Harmon Guest House for spectacular views from their rooftop. It was my first time visiting the newest addition to Healdsburg, where you can visit for Happy Hour or dinner and stay in one of their guestrooms for a very reasonable price.
The next exciting stop was at Costeaux French Bakery for a pastry class. President and CEO Will Seppi and head pastry chef Karah Williams will lead you on an afternoon where you’ll explore Pâte à Choux, a classic light pastry dough. The dough, which is made simply of butter, water, flour and eggs, is versatile for both savory and sweet applications. It will be hosted at the venerable Costeaux French Bakery & Cafe in downtown Healdsburg and involve a hands-on experience. We each received a super cute apron, unique recipes, and a champagne reception following the class. This class was one of my favorite moments of the day because we not only learned so much about baking, but also ate delicious and beautiful Christmas themed cookies.
After a fabulous day, we had a bit of time to explore the shopping in downtown and then relax at the hotel before our decadent dinner at Valette Restaurant. It was my third time dining at this phenomenal restaurant, and I will always include them in my Healdsburg itineraries.
For our Sunday Funday, the agenda called for some running with Healdsburg Running Club but our group decided to just walk in the vineyards instead, which were truly gorgeous. The guided trail run from Healdsburg Running Company in downtown is also included in the Tastemaker Weekend itinerary, and is FREE and open to all distances and paces.
The last stop of the weekend involved a delicious brunch at Journeyman Meat Co. This place is a local’s favorite and is now one of mine, too. Second time brunching there and can’t wait to go back again.