Driving through vineyards, the leaves still green with just a hint of rust creeping in. Relaxing by the deep blue pool, the autumnal sun—lower in the sky, warming your toes. Lazing on a massage table as the therapist drives away the knots. Gazing on an endless blue sky and watching it turn into an inky dark, starry night, around a dancing fire. Enjoying the fruits of the season as they become spectacularly mouth-watering dishes under the magician’s touch of a world-class chef.
These are just some of the joys of sneaking away for 24 hours at the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, north west of Santa Rosa.
We’re in the midst of an endless summer. Hard to believe it’s mid-October, and not August, and yet I barely enjoyed this summer. Too much work and fun travel adventures outside of the U.S., mean that lately I haven’t explored close to home.
I heard about the Farmhouse Inn, owned by siblings Catherine and Joe Bartolomei, a while ago. Situated on the River Road (7 miles east off the 101) it’s built around a Victorian farmhouse which now houses a 14-table Michelin-starred restaurant. A recent building project to add a pool and more accommodations has come to an end, and the result is a peaceful, soothing spot, complete with a gorgeous spa which is housed in a barn-style building. Each massage room has a horse’s outline sketched on the wall, as if in charcoal, though surely not. When the top of the stable door swings open, you spot a horse, mooching about in his stall. The ambiance is restful, calm and restorative, just as it should be, even if your nerves are jangling and you can’t settle into your skin.