Oxbow Public Market Napa

We began our exploration of Napa with a stop at the Oxbow Public Market. This is located in the town of Napa and includes both an open air market as well as covered marketplace.

Oxbow-Market-Napa-2Picture perfect produce, all grown by local organic farmers, flowers, and artisanal cheeses, charcutrie, a butcher shop, local Napa products, and, of course, wine. They take their food very seriously in Napa and this is definitely foodie heaven.

Oxbow-Market-Napa-1Oxbow-Market-Napa-4The Hog Island Oyster Company has been farming oysters about an hour away from Napa for about 30 years. We sat at the counter and watched as a dozen oysters were freshly shucked and served to us. We sampled three varieties of Hog Island oysters. The plump, mild, Cliffside oysters were outstanding, served simply with lemon and a mignonette sauce.

Hog-Island-Oyster-Napa-1Hog Island Oyster Napa 2Other standout booths were the Spice Market, which offers and amazing array of spices, including custom rubs for every type of meat and sausage, an array of sea salts from all over the world and flavored sugars for your baking fantasies.

The Napa Valley Distillery is the areas only distillery and produces a line of organic vodkas, gins, and brandy-like concoctions. They also produce their signature Meyer Lemon liqueur and a variety of simple syrups that can be used to flavor teas or incorporated into your baking recipes. I’m going to use the lemon liqueur in a glaze for my Sicilian olive oil cake. Yum.

Oxbow-Market-Napaphotos by Patrice Wyndham-Smith

Oxbow Public Market

644 First Street, Suite D
Napa, CA 94559


Carneros Inn Napa

The summer has flown by mostly with work so we decided to sneak off for a few days of R&R and headed to Napa.

Carneros-Vineyard-NapaWe stayed at the Carneros Inn, a lovely low-rise development that is part of the Plumpjack group of properties.  These include some pretty swanky locations including Aspen, St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands and Castello di Casole in Tuscany.

Carneros-Vineyard-Napa-1Carneros Inn occupies 27 acres centrally located between Napa and Sonoma. It is a short drive to the town of Napa as well as dozens of top-flight wineries. We booked a Vineyard Suite, a two bedroom, two bath unit separated by a spacious outdoor terrace and overlooking the surrounding countryside and vineyards. The architectural style of the Carneros Inn is what I call “industrial farmhouse” and the buildings have a sort of modern barn appearance. The landscape is Mediterranean in flavor and one can meander long paths dotted with Italian Cypress, olive trees, and rosemary tumbling over rustic stone walls.

Carneros-Vineyard-Napa-2Our suite was stylishly furnished with a purple mohair sectional sofa, Saarinen table and tulip chairs, taupe wool carpets, a Corbusier chaise done in hide and modern lighting.


Carneros-Vineyard-Napa-4photos by Patrice Wyndham-Smith

The Carneros Inn

4048 Sonoma Highway
Napa, Ca 94559




In St. Helena, we had lunch at Farmstead. One of the farmers showcasing her produce at the Oxbow Public Market is also the owner of Farmstead and made the suggestion that we give it a try. Since she grows the stuff she serves at the restaurant, we figured you can’t get more farm-to-table than that.

Farmstead-1I had the lovely heirloom tomato salad with fresh burrata and a basil vinaigrette to start. Picture perfect, the tomatoes tasted like what a tomato should taste like. The second course was a beautifully pan seared local salmon on a bed of summer creamed corn and a composition of haricot vert green beans, summer squash and cherry tomatoes.

Farmsteadphotos by Patrice Wyndham-Smith


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