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Friday, May 11, 2012

The B&B to stay at while touring Sonoma's Wine Road

If you're looking for a comfy and cozy wine country Bed and Breakfast with outstanding food, and I mean breakfasts that are as delicious as they are beautiful, look no further than the Haydon Street Inn in Healdsburg, Sonoma County.

Owners John Harasty, Keren Colsten and Haydon the cat.

The Haydon Street Inn

After a long day of wine tasting on the Wine Road, it was tough work but someone had to do it LOL, this is the vision I came home to each evening. . .


 *Sigh* With its white picket fence, blooming pink rose bushes and glowing porch light it was the epitome of quaint and so gorgeous I couldn't believe I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to stay at such a special location for two nights.


The Inn is located at the corner of Haydon Street and Fitch Street just a few blocks from downtown Healdsburg. You can walk over to shop and have lunch or dinner when you're not out on Wine Road. And their breakfasts are special because in his former career owner John was the executive chef at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY for 12 years. Keren's background includes hospitality (Palmer House Hilton) and management consulting. What a perfect pair and great complementing skill sets to run a B&B!


Over breakfast the first morning, which was served in courses, John told me how they had searched and waited until they were able to find the right bed and breakfast in the right city. Finding the right place to live was as important as the bed and breakfast itself. When they came to Healdsburg to visit the Haydon Street Inn they knew they had found their new home.


And lucky for me or I wouldn't have enjoyed this mini chocolate chip banana muffin and spoonful of strawberry soup for breakfast!


It was followed by a fruit parfait in a tall, blue, martini glass.


I'm not a fan of whipped cream but ate it to be polite. To my surprise it wasn't whipped cream, it was whipped cream cheese infused with citrus! OMWCC (Oh My Whipped Cream Cheese) it was delicious! I could slather it on anything and everything from ice cream to cookies, cakes and sandwiches.


And my final course was this polenta waffle topped with a mixed berry compote. One look at the plate and I said to John "OK, now I understand why they sent me here." LOL. You all know how much I love food and sometimes I think I enjoy photographing beautiful food even more than I enjoy eating it. This meal was as much a feast for my eyes as it was for my stomach.


Wherever this waffle is is where I belong :)


The overall feel of the B&B decor was modern Victorian. There were the usual decorations and furnishings one expects to see at a B&B but no busy wall paper or doilies. If you stay, ask John where all of the doilies are :P


My room, the Rose Room, was on the first floor right across from the main entrance.


I loved my room! There was even a little set of steps to make getting up onto the bed easier :) I can't imagine a room being more snug and cozy than my room was.

It was difficult to photograph only because we were gone all day when the light would have been at its best for photography so I had to take theses pictures early in the morning.


Can you imagine falling into this comfy king-sized, pillow-top bed each night? 


And I had a spare bed in the little alcove that faced the door as I entered the room.

The closet held a valet, robes and an extra blanket.

The closet was nice and roomy. I'd brought my clothes on hangers so I hung them up, lined up my shoes, hung my hats and tucked my suitcase in the closet out of the way.


The bathroom was spacious and the shower would be great for tall people as not only is there a typical head that comes off the wall, there's also an overhead rainfall shower head that's mounted from the ceiling so you don't have to bend or crouch to get wet from head to toe.

The bathroom had a jacuzzi tub, plenty of towels, complimentary soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion as well as a shower cap in case I forgot to bring my own. I liked that the window glass in the bathroom is all frosted so it adds a nice layer of privacy meaning I didn't have to close the blinds to take a shower allowing more natural light into the room.


I briefly met Keren the next morning right before breakfast. She had to leave for an appointment so we didn't get to talk for very long. I'd love to be able to chat with her more when I go back. They are a fun and friendly couple whose personalities are perfect for the direction they lives have taken running their own B&B.

The second morning I was joined by some local winery people for breakfast. Their stories were entertaining and they told me about several of the big events held in the area each year. You can check out the winery event calendar on the Wine Road website for a full list of events  you can attend in the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley.


Breakfast day two began with a petite fruit smoothie.


And a freshly baked cranberry oat bran muffin. It was still warm.


A fruit parfait in a champagne glass was from the top down: Half of a heart shaped fresh strawberry, fresh sweet pineapple finishing with a berry compote in the bottom of the glass.

I felt so spoiled!


And the main course was a delicate Monterey Jack cheese omlet, topped with the most finely shredded fried potatoes I've ever seen, framed by a swath of bright green spinach pesto.


Here's a clear shot of the pesto. I ate every bite. It was delicious. I seriously can't imagine why anyone would stay anywhere else when John is crafting such beautiful courses at the Haydon Street Inn.


While the front of the property along the picket fence was literally full of blooming roses the rest of the property has a more casual English wild garden feel to it with plants and blooms peeking out from here and there. These were just some of the flowers (and a fruit) I saw while walking along the front, side and back yards.


The back patio is also very special. There's seating and an arbor but the main attraction is. . .


John's hand-built, outdoor, pizza oven! WOW. I'm pretty sure that anyone who's ever laid eyes on it walks away with pizza oven envy.


He said it takes about 90 minutes to heat up and they use it to make pizza for their guests on weekends. I am definitely going to go back up to Healdsburg and stay over a weekend. I'm thinking September right before the harvest or in October while the leaves are changing colors on the vines would be a great time for hubby and I to take a long weekend, stay at the Haydon Street Inn and go shoot some wine country photography.


When we go maybe we'll invite a group of friends along. The property includes this guest house behind the pizza oven. The amenities inside are more modern including a full kitchen and a private back patio with a hot tub. Fun times!


In my room was a guest book. I signed a page thanking John and Keren for their hospitality. If you go and stay in the Rose Room you can read what I wrote :)

Here's all you need to know to plan your own stay with John and Keren:

Haydon Street Inn - website
321 Haydon Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448 - click here for map
(707) 433-5228
(800) 528-3703

For additional information about Northern Sonoma County's wine country visit www.WineRoad.com



Photo Credit: The photo of John and Keren at the top of this post is from their website www.Haydon.com



Additional posts from this trip include:

Wineries, tasting rooms and the beauty of nature in Dry Creek Valley

The Wine Road Russian River Valley Wine Tour

Touring the Alexander Valley with the Wine Road

The B&B to stay at while touring Sonoma's Wine Road Featuring the Haydon Street Inn

I went on a Sonoma County Wine Country Adventure! Includes the list of bloggers I was on the Wine Road with for three days.

2 comments:

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