Meadowood is the most incredible place to wake up.
For a start you wake in the biggest, softest marshmallow of a bed, nestled in your little cottage. The birds call from the trees outside and if you throw open the window, the breathtakingly cold, crisp air floods in and revives you from your hibernation.
There’s no sign of traffic, or even the noise of other people. Just silence… and nature.
My chap and I slipped on our swimmers and padded over to the pool in our slippers (it’s only a stone’s throw from the cottage steps).
Leaping from the cold into the warm pool.
We swam up and down the lanes, playing along the way and half drowning with laughter.
We hot footed it over the icy ground to the jacuzzi and eased ourselves into the almost painfully hot bubbles. Our muscles relaxed and we quietly melted, cuddled up beneath the pines, watching the clouds drift by.
Once we’d turned into hot and happy prunes, we wrapped up and raced back to the room, determined not to catch a chill!
We warmed up beside the fire in the cottage. Stripping off wet swimsuits and stretching out in the warmth, while furiously rubbing hair dry and laughing.
Keen to get a move on, we had a very important date!
An appointment for all four of us, at the spa.
It’s only just been finishes, and it is heavenly.
I love a good spa, and this place goes above and beyond. The finish is really quite spectacular.
For our treatments we were all collected by our therapists and led in different directions, along corridors with open sides where we could watch the rain coming down and listen to it pouring from fountain-like gutters.
I was taken into a room, the size of most city flats, and given a cuppa on a huge squishy sofa. We had a chat, my therapist asked me to close my eyes and choose between two scented oils. (Funnily enough they use these, which I have at home for baths!) I picked the one that made me say “oh, wow!” and was sent into a steam shower with a small wooden bowlful. I lay back in the steam and smoothed the oil over my chest and neck, breathing it in and letting it works its magic.
I dried off, lay face down on the soft, gently warmed massage bed and covered myself in a silk blanket.
My therapist returned and slowly worked every bit of tension out of my body. My tight muscles from travelling half way around the world and changing timezones, melted under her touch. I forced myself to think of nothing but the rain trickling down the window, and after 90minutes I felt utterly reborn.
She led me through to a room where I found Julia waiting by the fire.
We sat with cups of tea and waited for the boys to finish their treatments.
With half of the room open to the elements, all you could smell were the oils on our skin and the cool scent of the mossy forest.
There was no way we were moving.
We stayed in the spa as long as we could, until we just got too hungry to wait and strolled over for brunch above the croquet lawn.
After brunch we retired to our cabins, read our books, snoozed and played games.
Polishing off the afternoon with a spot of, you’ve guessed it, wine tasting!
This time at Napa’s oldest winery, the Charles Krug estate.
You’ll never guess the year they started.
(Small hint above.)
We chattered away with our charming hostess, Carole.
Who’s daughter, Emma, I hear is a Londoner reader!
Hey Emma! Your mum is brilliant. Good luck with the exams!
But back to Charles Krug… we grabbed our glasses to tour the cellars and grounds.
The barrels here are very sensibly stained along their middle with cheap red wine, so the good stuff doesn’t make a mess when it dribbles out of the top.
Outside, we wandered the estate in all its fall foliage finery.
Believe it or not, we didn’t dress together! The matching boots were a happy coincidence.
We snuggled up out front, with a view of the vines to enjoy our final sips of Krug.
Without getting too soppy, I cannot tell you how much fun we had with Julia and Thomas.
They are two of the most wonderful, generous, kind and funny people I know.
They each have keen business minds and during our time together we talked of everything from news, to work, to planning adventures, family, friends, but mostly just making fun of each other…
Which would result in peals of laughter, snorting and aching stomachs.
As an adult (oh god, am I an adult?!) it’s rare to meet people you feel like you’ve known a lifetime but when you do, you have to hold onto them.
So here’s to many more adventures together!
We finished up our tour with port and chocolate.
Hugged our goodbyes (Americans are bigger huggers than us Euros) and we trotted off to supper.
At Thomas Keller’s Bouchon.
Julia still loving the Silver May Sparklers!
The snails in garlic butter, topped with little pastry hats.
My cheese fondu.
I can’t remember what Julia chose, but she got food envy anyway so got stuck into the wickedly good cheese fondu!
J and I shared a whole sole, in browned butter.
Along with truffled fries, for the table.
A pretty spectacular end to a pretty spectacular day.
If you’re still umming and ahhing about a trip to Napa, go!