Napa Valley Part 2: St. Helena

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As of March 3, 2021, Napa County is currently under a Red Tier in regards to the State of California’s COVID-19 restrictions. There are no quarantine requirements for arrivals in California, however the United States has prohibited arrivals from several countries if you have been there within the last 14 days (see list here). Please note that this blog post serves as a reference for travel later in the future. Nonessential international travel is not recommended at this time.

Continuing our week in Napa with Visit Napa Valley as we traveled to Yountville and stayed at the beautiful Bardessono hotel in town. While we were sad to leave Calistoga, more of Napa Valley was yearning to be discovered and so we drove 20 minutes south towards Yountville where our next part of our adventure awaited us.

Bardessono Hotel is conveniently located right in the middle of Yountville (yet also feels like its own oasis), making it the perfect spot for those who not only want to venture out to the vineyards for wine tasting but also want to be close to local shops and restaurants.

It is also a LEED Platinum certified hotel, which certifies the entire property as environmentally friendly (yay!). We were handed a glass of champagne as we pulled up to the uniquely modern hotel, but since our room wasn’t ready yet, we dropped off our bags and hopped back in the car to head to another vineyard for a tasting.

As we pulled up to the gorgeous B Cellars vineyards, we knew we were in for a treat. We were immediately welcomed with a citrus and strawberry water (it was 90 degrees out so that water was definitely refreshing!) before our wine guide Forrest arrived to show us around the property. With a fresh glass of rosé in hand, we toured their beautiful vineyards and got to see some new grapevines that were just planted only a few years ago that will be ready for winemaking next year. After a tour of their organic garden, we moved on over to their massive wine cave.

Now, I am not much of a red wine drinker (I get serious migraines whenever I drink a full glass of red wine so that’s why I stick to whites and rosés), but when Forrest offered Tor and I a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon directly from the barrel, we could not refuse him. It’s not everyday you can say you’ve drank wine straight from the barrel, and oh my goodness it was delicious! It quickly became my favorite of the day – I didn’t care if it would give me a headache or not! After we toured the wine cave with our Cab Sav and Tor saying I looked like Cersei Lannister with my glass of red wine in my hand (yeah, I resent that!), it was time to sit down for a food and wine tasting.

Food and wine pairings are my absolute favorite way to enjoy a wine tasting, since I feel food can really help bring out the flavors in wine and vice versa. We began our tasting with a sauvignon blanc accompanying a melon and ricotta starter dish, followed by a Chardonnay accompanying a marinated shrimp. Red wines paired with a mushroom empanada and burger with goat cheese cheddar and cabernet aioli (I asked them to bring out Chef Derick to beg him to give me the recipe for the cabernet aioli because it was AMAZING). Forrest tried to get me to try other Cab Sav’s, but my heart belonged to the one directly from the barrel and so Tor and I bought two bottles of it before we said our goodbyes for now to B Cellars.

Back at Bardessono, our room suite was ready, so it was time to officially check in. After settling in, we had a knock on our door as it was time to experience our in-room 90 minute hot stone massages. While a hot stone massage is my favorite type of massage, Tor had never had a hot stone massage before and so he was in for a real treat. It’s very rare for me to fall asleep during a massage, but this time I was so relaxed that I fell asleep twice and even had two dreams (one involved the tv show The White Princess).

I know these trips look like one big vacation, but a lot goes into these trips for us so we can provide the best content for brands, hotels, and for you. We get stressed just like anyone else who works hard at their job (and I’m an overachiever) and we can sometimes bicker when we get super stressed (things you don’t see on Instagram). But for the rest of that day, our muscles felt like noodles and our minds felt more clear. At the same time, we were pretty happy our dinner reservation was on property because we felt so relaxed that we didn’t feel like going anywhere else!

Before we got to sit down for dinner at Lucy, Bardessono’s restaurant, we got to tour the hotel’s organic garden with Chef Corey. As someone who went to culinary school, I love getting a behind the scenes look of what goes on beyond the kitchen. After sampling some fresh tomatoes, green beans, figs, and yellow cucumbers straight from the garden, it was time to eat. Lucy is named after the matriarch of the Bardessono family, Lucy Bardessono, who also happened to be an avid gardener right on the property before the hotel was built.

Our “cuisine steward” addressed us as “Lord and Lady Coombs” at the start of our meal, which made my royal-obsessed self dance with glee. Since the chef boasted about their fresh green tomatoes, I had to try their green tomato soup with creme fraiche. We also munched on burrata with fresh tomatoes from the garden (of course), dungeness crab risotto (again, of course), and seared ahi tuna. We also dined on snapper, steak, and fresh carrots and green beans also from the garden. We saved a bit of room for dessert to savor the restaurant’s homemade chocolate and banana ice cream before rolling all the way back to our room.

The next morning, we had a tasty breakfast in bed where we dined on eggs, Valrhona hot chocolate and bananas foster French toast (the French toast was OUTSTANDING). Before checking out, we made sure to put the “champagne tub” to good use and had a quiet bubble bath with a [very large] mimosa as well as a quick shower in our suite’s outdoor shower underneath the trees.

As sad as we were to say goodbye and head to our final stop on our Napa trip with Visit Napa Valley, Tor and I have a strong feeling we will be back at both Bardessono and B Cellars again very soon. Check out our visits to Calistoga and Yountville from our visit with Visit Napa Valley.




Thanks to Visit Napa Valley, Bardessono, Lucy at Bardessono, and B Cellars for hosting us. As always, opinions are my own.

Photos by Torrance Coombs.

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  1. Debbie

    This trip looked amazing.

    • The A List

      Thank you, Debbie! It was 🙂

  2. Christle

    Awww, that last picture is the one I loved so much when you posted it before! 🙂 Torrance just looks so happy that you’re there with him, and you look so peaceful…Also, can I just say that the lovely blue dress you’re in makes you look like a pretty version of Margaery Tyrell? (And now I want to know about that White Princess dream, even though I’ve only seen The White Queen…)

    • The A List

      Aww thank you Christle! And that’s a huge compliment about Margaery Tyrell because I happen to think Natalie Dormer is one of the most beautiful women in the world.

      • Christle

        I’m not her biggest fan, but that dress immediately made me think of one she wore on the show, and I think you look gorgeous in it 🙂

  3. Ariana

    The location looks amazing! I love that you take the time and make an effort to plan your looks to correspond to the locations you visit. It results in beautiful blog photos! Simply stunning.

    • The A List

      Aww thank you so much, Ariana!