Your cart

Color in the City, St. Helena... on Three...


Let's face it- even in the midst of intense Color in the City research, a girl's gotta eat!

Which brings me to the more local side of things... the food, the people, the lifestyle of St. Helena and Calistoga.

When you get off the beaten path a bit- which simply means walk a block or so off the main streets- you run into homes and people just waiting to share their stories...

Like this beautiful neighbor sitting on the porch of a most perfect little stick style house behind the Calistoga museum. I noticed her as I was admiring the colors of her sweet cottage and asked if I could take pictures. We ended up chatting on the steps about her family and how she and her husband landed here about 7-8 years ago. When I asked how she chose the colors for her house, she smiled and said that she just used the colors that were already there because she liked them so much.

Just a block or so further is the Holy Assumption Monastery for nuns of the  Orthodox Church in America. Built in the 1940's by nuns escaping Russian and China for religious freedom, the  buildings changed hands a bit and were recently re-modeled and restored for the nuns.

With its brambles of roses and evergreen branches trained along the walls...

And another strange twist of brackets and vines on a plain old pink house...

There are, of course, chic restaurants and accomplished chefs dotting the landscape like cloves on a ham. It's easy to get spoiled here.

I had lunch at JoLe: Farm to Table restaurant. Delicious.

The experience of eating in wine country is that of simple aesthetics, carefully grown and thoughtfully prepared foods, and sharing the experience with friends, family, and sometimes even strangers... I love the soft glow of these giant drum shades... (the fish tacos were incredible, but I'll leave the foodie commentary to well, foodies, or at least another blog post some time...)

And dinner at Cindy's Back Street Kitchen (because it's one block of Main Street in St. Helena...

The duck was out of this world and somehow, the simplest color schemes (black and white cottage style) and materials (mirror and black marker) are relaxed and refined in settings like these.

That lovely little drink at the top of this blog is a cappuccino (with a dollop of vanilla gelato, if you must know) at Sogni di Dolci with interior as delicious as their sweets.

Now, I don't want to sound snooty, but I do find it sad that so many boutiques have opened up full of things that nobody needs. But there are two spots I have to visit every time I come through...

St. Helena Antiques at 1231 Main Street...

 

And one of my all time fav spots- ever!- Martin's owned by Erin Martin, a designer I've admired since she first opened this store and talked about her design aesthetic at an event in San Francisco. It's no surprise that her interiors design services and two shops (the other, Coup d'Etat is in San Francisco) are thriving.

Notice how much of that burnt Manzanita red color there is all around. I'd say that was the major color I noticed- mostly as an accent- as I meandered the main streets and off the beaton paths of St. Helena and Calistoga. There's more to see and more people to meet, so check in tomorrow for my visit to the Greystone Culinary Institute of America, my chat with Ashley at Tres Sabores Winery and the incredible artists I met by chance along the way... see you then!

 

 

 


Leave a comment


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published