Are you looking for luxury in Sonoma’s wine country? What about a romantic getaway? There’s no shortage of upscale boutique hotels and resorts in one of California’s prime wine destinations.
When your car motors by The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in Forestville, you might dismiss the understated farm-to-table property as not luxurious enough. Stop! Don’t drive another mile down River Road. Quiet luxury and quality personal service are hidden in that unpretentious setting.
The Farmhouse Inn offers a choice of 18 luxury accommodations—two rooms in the main house, a collection of cottages scattered along the edge of the 6-acre property and the barn annex. You’ll find luxury with any of the accommodations, but Alan and I suggest booking one of the barn room suites for a romantic splurge. That’s what we did while traveling on a coastal California sports car road trip.
The barn annex, built on the site of the original barn, resembles farm buildings that you’ll see on drives through the hilly vineyards of the Russian River Valley. Inside, the rooms are decorated in mostly white, including overstuffed, slip-covered upholstery pieces that combine with rustic architectural elements to give a beach cottage meets California wine country feel —sophisticated yet elegantly simple and oh so romantic. Our suite included a sitting room, large bathroom with separate steam shower and bedroom with see-through fireplace to a secluded patio.
Upon entering the suite, heated marble floors of the entrance hall continued into the bathroom, where a jetted tub sat in front of a large window with views of the patio and fireplace. The computer panel on the wall operated the tub although it took pushing a few buttons before I figured out the process. Locally made organic toiletry products and my favorite brand of robe completed the luxurious bath amenities.
In the bedroom, a black four-poster bed with Heaven-sent feather mattress stood across from a see-through fireplace. With a click on the wall panel beside the bed, the fireplace came to life, a romantic accompaniment to the soft jazz playing on the in-room DVD. And each afternoon, upon returning from our daily wanderings, we found a plate of warm, freshly baked cookies waiting on the nightstand.
The on-site spa is a natural extension of the farm-to-table theme. Reserved for Farmhouse Inn guests only, the spa focuses on treatments incorporating produce harvested and distilled on site. Guests may sample the products at a spa bar in the concierge cabin. I cut a slab of olive soap, then filled a small cup with buttermilk powder to try out in the jetted tub of our room.
Dinner at the Michelin-starred Farmhouse Restaurant is a must (better make reservations). Combining the best of local food products with outstanding Sonoma wines, or international pairings if you prefer, this is a dining experience to be savored. We particularly appreciated the quietness of the dining room as well as the discrete but exemplary wait staff. When our server poured the brandy cream sauce over a chocolate soufflé that Alan and I shared for dessert, the soufflé gave a little poof before collapsing—an expertly prepared decadent end to the meal.
Farmhouse Inn room rates include breakfast consisting of an egg dish, fresh produce and house baked pastry, once again with an emphasis on local products. During our visit, we devoured a quiche made with asparagus, mushrooms and goat cheese topped with a light sauce. Lemon poppyseed muffins added just the right touch.
At the Concierge Cabin, a staff of six concierge are available to plan excursions throughout the area. Yes, there are wines to be sampled at local wineries and beautiful countryside to be explored. But Alan and I recommend saving time to savor the luxurious peacefulness and romance that is Farmhouse Inn.
Disclosure: Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant provided a portion of this travel experience.