January 25, 2011
M's farewell tour is in danger of lasting as long as Cher's. This week's edition involves a trip to the Meadowood Resort in the Napa Valley. It is rather more pricey and high end than we would normally get involved with. But The Restaurant At Meadwood (pretentious name, eh?) recently won its third Michelin star. Since M and I are foodies (and she is going to be eating mostly millet and sorgham for the next two years in Mali) we wanted to sample it before she left. We could have stayed anywhere in the Napa Valley, but we bit the bullet and paid for one night at the resort itself. I shan't be so crass as to mention the room rate, but the adjective "eye watering" barely does it justice. The rooms are spectacular and well appointed, with fireplaces in each and a well-stocked woodpile indoors. The three-hour meal at the restaurant, which involved the seven-course tasting menu (separate vegetarian fare for my wife V), was mind-blowingly varied and good. The service was meticulous and attentive (V called it "fussy") and the restaurant was physically beautiful. M also had the matched wines for each course. The wines do, in fact, complement the food. As one would expect for the Napa Valley, the wine list was extensive and interesting. Prices, while (once again) eye watering, were, in fact, in line with other restaurants that have had a third Michelin star bestowed upon them. This experience truly reminded me of eating in the three-star restaurants of France. We stayed for spa treatments and a dip in the hot tub afterwards, then had lunch in the grill, with its view of the golf course and (yes) the croquet lawn. We'd have played croquet, but you are required to have croquet whites and flat soled shoes. By this time next week, Marlow will be winging her way to Mali, so this indulgence seemed appropriate.