napa itineraries: the bon vivant


Kate Spade… everyone knows the urban legend of summer-resident Kate Spade: she started her eponymous handbag line out of the tiny studio apartment with her then-boyfriend, Andy Spade. She wasn’t even married yet, and took on the name Kate Spade– that takes MOXIE– and then created a magical empire celebrating life as she saw it!



We learn a lot about the Valley through the guests that come through our Salon + Sip Shoppe– and very top of mind these days is Hotel Yountville. Their guests always rave.

Looking like a spread out of the pages of Met Home Magazine, Hotel Yountville has found its niche, catering to the well-traveled visitors looking for chic/ cozy/ and well-appointed accommodations— and otherworldly breakfasts. For sure the best breakfast in the entire Valley– without a doubt. Service is the name of the game here, followed by location. Hotel Yountville is 10 minutes from downtown Napa and 10 minutes from St. Helena. This hotel wows by the commitment to detail + comfort.

Hotel Yountville
6462 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599


One of the best coffee purveyors in the valley is the Coffee Caboose serving organic Ritual coffee. After much sleuthing, I have to say that the darling ladies at the Coffee Caboose are making the best espresso drinks OOOOOOOOZING with love + care + intricate foam art (the hallmark of intensive foam training!). I know they are doing things right when I see the managers + waiters from Bouchon Bistro slink over regularly.

Read the blog post here.

Youtville Coffee Caboose
6523 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599


Swanson Vineyards
1271 Manley Lane
Rutherford, CA 94573


The Gott brothers’ burger joint is INSTANT NAPA to me—and a modern day slice of AMERICANA, that makes everyday of summer feel like the 4th of July! I covet the regular burger with extra special sauce, the sweet potato fries, and the espresso bean shake made with Double Rainbow ice cream.

Read the blog post here.

Gott’s Roadside
933 Main Street
St Helena, CA 94574


Across the street from the French Laundry is Thomas Keller’s enchanted + inspiring garden complete with corn stalks, berry patches, chicken coop and green house — open to the public. Like most residents of the Valley, we have watched with curiosity + delight as head gardener, Tucker Taylor and his crew of 5 full-time gardeners lovingly tamed/ transformed a 2-acre parcel of raw land into a flourishing urban garden in the middle of Yountville.

Thriving in his 53 meticulous patches are at least 25 tomato varieties, hominy grown from stashed Peruvian seeds, Cinderella pumpkins, Jerusalem artichokes, Padron peppers, baby zucchini, broccoli, kale, and a half dozen types of cucumbers + fingerling potatoes. All varieties are planted and grown in a checkerboard grid, on constant rotation, for best gardening + soil practices.


On your way out of Yountville, follow Yount Street north until you run into Yount Mill Road. During the spring, if you look to the west, you’d swear you are in Ireland; and if you look to the east, your eyes are blinded by a carpet of Technicolor mustard canvassing the valley floor. This little country road is a daily pilgrimage for our children and one of the most gorgeous drives in all northern California, complete with 14 owl boxes and a very large herd of long horn cows at the bend. We spend our days tracking down all the “moo babies” and our nights parked along the creek, listening to Yountville’s magnificent chorus of male tree frogs. Beware: they are loud, and will get silent at the first sight of headlights!

Read the blog post here.


Truth be told, Ira is one of Napa Valley’s great treasures and talents: his art is always found in the most interesting/ unusual/ eclectic/ photographed homes of Napa. Over the years he has painted everything from magnificent Wappo Indians, Victorian shoes, Marie Antoinette’s peasants, teapots, farm animals to mention a few– and his work is often signed under the moniker “Von Yeager, 1786.”  His paintings are highly imaginative + magical + brilliantly colorful.

Read the blog post here.

Ira Yeager Studios
3061 Old Toll Road
Calistoga, CA 94515

photo credit: C Magazine


Michael Chiarello has created a kingdom for himself in Yountville with Bottega Ristorante + his epicurean emporium, Napa Style. Legions of Food Network fans, local gourmands, rock stars, and any out of town guests of ours, P-A-C-K into his restaurant to savor his wild inventiveness! So should you!

Bottega Napa Valley
6525 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599

photo credit: Chow


XO Transportation

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