Sebastopol is about 50 miles North of San Francisco where art, local wine, and organic food have intersected. It’s trendy and cute; affordable with accessible parking (do San Franciscans know of such a thing!?). It’s essentially the perfect place for a weekend away from the Bay. Although, I grew up there (on alternating holidays and every other weekend) so I am biased…
(Who wouldn’t have a sweet spot for the town you used to snag honey sticks and play pretend with your sister in?)
However, Sebastopol has changed since my
bike horse riding (we were really good at playing pretend, I’m telling you!) on dirt roads days. Specially there is the addition of The Barlow, a trendy area of shops, galleries, and eateries. Truth be told, Mike and I didn’t know The Barlow even existed. But what a pleasant discovery it was!
We opted out of the Hallmark fueled February 14th madness this year and postponed celebrating until the weekend (President’s Day weekend). We’ve been wanting to do a tour and tasting at Spirit Works Distillery for some time and figured the three day weekend was a perfect time to go.
Turns out, it poured almost the whole time we were there. Bloated rain drops pounded down with only a few pauses of dryness in between. My big, polka-doted umbrella was essential. Water proof shoes (and mascara!) a must. Puffy jackets and beanies taking priority over any date night outfit I had planned.
It sounds dreary but in reality, it couldn’t have been more perfect. A cozy, romantic, tipsy, love drenched weekend playing tourists in a nearby town. A pocket of time that I could feel how good the memories in-the-making were.
After we checked into the Sebastopol Inn, conveniently located just across the street from The Barlow, we started our night at MacPhail Tasting Lounge. Here we spilt a flight anticipating a boozy night with a tour and tasting scheduled next and dinner at a place with a seemingly delicious cocktail menu!
After our wine, we walked to Spirit Works. A grain to glass distillery located in The Barlow (seriously, best place ever). They use only organic grains for their alcohol and are a women run establishment. It’s safe to say there were a whole lotta things I liked about the place!
The tour was fun and interesting. And then it was on to the good part, the tastings! Everything we tried was so, so good. We ended up buying a sampler and a bottle of cask strength wheat whiskey.
My favorite was the sloe gin (that is basically gin and juice …that they call their gin and juice #mindonmymoney). I typically don’t like sweet drinks but this stuff was good. Highly recommended, y’all.
Then it was time for dinner at zazu kitchen and farm. Mike and I really like craft cocktails (if you can’t tell already) and local, sustainable food. Zaza was close to an oasis for us. We started with a cheese and meat plate (bad vegan…), picking the lonza, the weirauch st. rose (sheep) cheese, and iscalini cheddar pimento (cow) cheese. YUM!!
We spilt a salad, bacon wrapped dates, a bucket of Korean fried chicken wings, and a poutine-like dish (Mike is Canadian so we always order anything close to poutine when we see it on a menu). It was way more meat than we usually eat. I enjoyed every bite though.
We went back to the hotel after dinner. It was sprinkling out but we decided to go hot tubbing anyway! The Sebastopol Inn was literally perfect for our stay. Conveniently located, cute, clean, and equipped with a hot tub.
The next morning we went to Taylor Maid Farms for a quick breakfast and caffeine. My go-to coffee order is a cafe au lait with almond milk and a dash of cinnamon. Taylor Maid is the best I’ve ever had. So smooth and creamy and perfectly balanced.
It was raining hard when we finished our coffee and tea so we decided to go straight home instead of venturing down town. Besides, it was a 3-day weekend and we wanted to beat the traffic.
I can’t wait to go back for another weekend at The Barlow though! Sebastopol is perfect for a girls weekend or a romantic weekend away. The food, the wine, the vibe… it’s all dandy.