Sunday, August 3


Friday morning we drop off the kids with Sloan and Rob's nanny and, sans kids, drive to Napa for a day of wine tasting and adult time. We meet Mary and Amado at the Indian Springs Resort, which exists since the 1920s and has both a family and movie star feel - there is a 33 meter pool with natural spring water and shaded lounge areas for the bathers. Cooled spring water, spiked with cucumbers and lemons, is found about everywhere and Sonnet and I indulge in afternoon messages. This after a day in the vineyards, mind you, so we are pretty er relaxed. Sloan organised this weekend to celebrate various 40th birthdays and we dine at Martini, a famous local where we drink more champagne.

Napa is an obvious pleasure source for those living in or around the Bay Area. Strangely, I did not explore here often growing up - perhaps due to the Bear Valley house or state drinking age - by the time I was legal, I was gone. The obvious striking thing here is the weather, which is hot and dry (it is POURING rain in London BTW). Evenings cool down so the climate year-round temperate and ideal in summer. Then there are the grapes, which fill every nook and cranny of everywhere. Spotting the valley are the wine houses, second or third homes and restaurants like Tra Vigne and Auberge du Soleil. Not surprisingly outside St Helena is the Culinary Cooking Institute of America and we present a collective bow as we drive by. I spent two years in Sonoma at Help The World See and while Sonoma has excellent wine and its own valley flava, it does not match Napa for le chique and style.