Our first trip to the States was always going to be a busy one. There are so many glorious pockets in California, and sadly we only scratched the surface. San Francisco, Napa, Yosemite and Monterey were our main stops, though I would love to have visited Los Angeles and the idyllic Malibu beach.
Following our initial days spent in San Francisco, we ventured out to SFO airport to pick up our rent-a-car. Oh, and what a car. As a family we have always gravitated towards generic family models by, the now defunct, Saab, so imagine my father’s joy at being handed the keys to a big fat Chevvy. A big ole’ American car in burnished silver, ready to drive all the way to the levvy ‘til the levvy goes dry.
Our next stop: Sonoma. Sonoma is a charming town nearby Calistoga and the world famous Napa valley. Celebrated for glorious wines and luxury resorts, Sonoma is a sweet rural town with an abundance of charming gift shops and suitably elegant dining spots.
We stayed at The Lodge in Sonoma, a complex of contemporary cottages with a main lodge building complete with a grand staircase and quaint coffee shop/wine bar, Bean & Bar. The pool is just dream, particularly when accompanied by a glass of cucumber infused mineral water and Be Awesome by Hadley Freeman (I highly recommend a read).
Having caught the last few rays of the day, I got ready for a dinner in the hotel’s popular restaurant, Carneros Bistro. Using local produce and herbs and vegetables from their impressive garden, The Lodge offers all manner of refined Californian fare from lighter fish dishes through to hearty steaks and very naughty desserts.
For dinner at this versatile establishment, I opted for my favourite Topshop wrap front playsuit in cream. I bought this last Summer, but Topshop have frequently released similar versions, such as this ethereal long-sleeved interpretation. For something near identical, Missguided have cheekily replicated the style here (I love the crisp aqua shade too). I layered with a lace trim nude camisole and added a touch of colour with No 7’s fiery orange polish “Tangy”
Keeping it suitably simple, I added my nude and white sandals from Zara, an assortment of charm bracelets and rings, my new chunky cage cuff from & Other Stories and my Mulberry mini Alexa in Oak.
Nothing highlights a tan quite like bright white, even if said “tan” is more crème than caramel.