“The Mirabelle Inn brings you back to an era when service and elegance pampered the weary traveler by a staff, well prepared for the task. This boutique hotel is designed to provide the special details and touches to make you feel at home and attended to, like nowhere else in the Santa Ynez Valley. A well-trained staff, a proper service attitude, make your stay memorable and comfortable beyond your imagination. From the moment you cross our threshold, our staff is empowered to make your stay special.” The Mirabelle Inn Website
Vacaville is not what you would call a “happening” town, lol. Nor do we have a flock of tourists like our neighboring cities, i.e. Napa. In fact, most people don’t know it exists, and those that do rarely give it much thought. Vacaville is actually pretty centrally located (no more than 1.5-hour drive) between some of the biggest touristy places in Northern California – San Francisco and the Bay Area, Napa Valley, Sacramento, and Silicon Valley.
Below I have a list of five places in Vacaville you MUST try if you’re ever in the area.
As mentioned in my last post this week I’m doing a quick review on my new water bottle. I know it’s a little weird, why would I review a water bottle and why would you care? The thing is this isn’t like every other reusable water bottle on the market – at least nothing I’ve ever tried – this is a S’well bottle. For those of you who haven’t heard of this company, S’well makes reusable bottles that claim to keep your drinks cold for 24 hour and hot for 12.
I purchased my Moonstone S’well bottle (pictured above) because I couldn’t resist the simplicity and uniqueness of it, but also because I was going on a work trip to the dessert and having cold water was a must. Sadly, it didn’t arrive until after I left so I couldn’t give it the ultimate test, but I managed when I got back home.
S’well bottles, although shaped like a traditional glass bottle, can be used for anything; water, tea, juice, coffee, and even WINE! Yes they actually have a size large enough for hold a full bottle of wine. S’well bottles come in three different sizes: 9 oz, 17 oz, and 25 oz.
Each S’well bottle is insulated and made out of the highest grade stainless steel, there’s no condensation, and of course they’re eco-friendly. The beauty of S’well bottles is that they come in so many different colors and textures so you’re sure to find one that fits your style. You may have been able to guess, but these bottles are not cheap.The prices range from $25-$45 depending on the style and size, so of course they are a splurge for some people – including myself. It’s a little hard to justify spending that much money on a bottle, especially since you can buy other reusable bottles at a much cheaper price point. However, I will say that the insulation and no condensation are not found in many lower priced bottles, but what really sold me on justifying that higher price point was their partnering with WaterAid, KCA, and Drink UP.
As far as their claims to keep your drink cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, they’re not kidding. Your drinks will stay cold or hot and you never have to worry about holding a cold or hot water bottle. Also, the design of the neck is large enough for ice cubes. I have been using this bottle since I received it, and absolutely love it. It is perfect for keeping yourself hydrated though out the day, and it’ll be great for my hot morning coffee or tea when the weather gets a cooler. My only suggestion for improving the bottle – and this is only a personal preference – is to have a defined marker to indicate when to stop filling the bottle. As you can see from the picture above the cap goes down part of the way into the bottle neck, a way to help the seal to keep the drink cold or hot I assume, but this also means that if you fill it too much when you close it it will over flow and spill everywhere. However, this is not a deal breaker, it’s just making me pay more attention to what I’m doing. All in all, I would totally consider getting another S’well bottle in the future in either the 9 oz or 25 oz size
Thank you for reading, and if you already have or end up purchasing a S’well bottle please let me know what you think and add a picture of which style you got 🙂
Talk to you all soon. Have a great weekend!
*This is not a sponsored post*
**I am not affiliated with S’well and all opinion are genuinely my own**
***Photo taken from S’well website***
Thursday I had to go to Napa to drop something off to a friend (lets call her K), and since I’m not right next door to Napa we decided to make a thing of it. We went to dinner and I wanted to share with all of you this amazing restaurant we discovered in Napa Valley…ZuZu! ZuZu is a tapas bar in downtown/ Old Town Napa. For those of you who don’t know, a tapas bar is a Spanish style restaurant where all the plates are small portioned and the point is to ordered a few things on the menu* and share. The first time I had ever eaten at a tapas bar was in Spain on my vacation in 2012 and I was so excited to try it again here in California.
I am sad to say that our overzealousness trumped me photographing all the food we ordered, so I can’t show you guys, but I can tell you how delicious it all was! K and I ordered four things, plus dessert, and shared everything. We ordered everything at once (apart from the dessert) then our server brought things out in stages. Our first course was a Sunchoke and Portobello salad (pictured above). I had never eaten sunchoke before but it’s actually very good. Our second course was a Sunchoke and Artichoke soup, which again very good choice. Soup and/or salad great way to start a meal. Next, we had Tortilla Espanola; Traditional Potato & Sweet Onion Spanish Omelett, absolutely delicious and highly recommended by me. Lastly, we had Croquetas. They’re a little hard to describe but essentially they’re oval shaped stuffed deep fried … things. Unfortunately that’s the best way I can describe them, but it was my favorite out of the four and I highly highly recommend this dish. We weren’t planning on dessert, but when you’re in a delicious restaurant having a night out with a friend and the server asks, how can you say no? Lol we ordered the Andalusian Pot de Creme: Three Chocolate Custard with Whipped Cream. Let’s just say that anytime chocolate is involved it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s going to be good, and let me tell you this did not disappoint.
ZuZu is the perfect restaurant for a romantic dinner or for friends hanging out. Good wine, good food, good atmosphere, and all for a reasonable Downtown Napa Valley price.
Thanks for reading and hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
*I found that the online menu is different from the restaurant menu*
**I am in no way affiliated with ZuZu. All opinions are my own**
On Saturday I had the pleasure of going – for the first time – on The Napa Valley Wine Train. For those of you who don’t know what that is here’s a link to their website, but in short it’s a beautiful restored train that takes it’s passengers on a 36-mile round-trip journey from Napa to St. Helena. They offer many packages, but I was fortunate enough to be invited to their Vintner’s Lunch event with Kenzo Estate. We (myself and my friend who invited me) got to enjoy the ride in the Vista Dome car, which is two-stories and has glass windows all around to provide a wonderful view. During our two-and-a-half hour ride we were served a wonderful fixed three course meal prepared by Executive Chef Kelly Macdonal, which he specifically crafted for pairing with the three Kenzo wines we tasted: Asatsuyu, Rindo Red, and Ai. I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience this.
This was our first course, which consisted of Asatsuyu Sauvignon Blanc paired with Dayboat Scallop on Gravlax Cracker with Avocado, Local Caviar and Salmon Roe.
Here is our second course; Rindo Red Blend paired with Crackling Mustard Seared Duck Breast with a Mango and Red Onion Marmalade Beurre Blanc.
And for our third course we tasted the Ai Cabernet Sauvignon (my favorite out of the three) paired with Petite Filet on Serrano Ham with Wood Oven Roasted Dry Figs and Red Pepper Puree.
Lastly, the dessert! Freshly prepared Chartreuse Mousse in an Edible Bowl with Sun Dried Raspberries and Caramel Sauce…Delish!!
The food, wine, company, and overall experience was amazing and I encourage everyone who has a chance to take a ride on the historic Napa Valley Wine Train.
I hope you all had a wonderful first weekend in the New Year, as always thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you all soon!
*I am in no way affiliated with The Napa Valley Wine Train. All opinions are my own*