Napa...for all the wrong reasons

Dear wine connoisseur,
I am perfectly aware that the Napa Valley in California is known for its fabulous wine. I know very well that the USA is the fourth largest producer of wine in the world. I am also aware that vacationers tend to plan their time in Napa visiting as many swanky wineries as possible, and spending countless hours discussing the importance of the perfect cheese and wine pairings. I appreciate that, really I do - I like cheese. However, I don't drink wine...(there, I said it).
This post is not for you.
Viola -notafanofwine- Doyle
Dear cupcake, pastry and bread-heads,
Did you know that the Napa Valley in California, (apparently also called 'wine country' or something like that) has so much more to offer than that other stuff it's known for? In fact Napa and Sonoma are home to some of the most delicious, heart warming, soul satisfying breads I have ever had the pleasure of breaking. Not to mention the myriad of cupcake bakeries offering some of the most appealing flavours I've encountered.
This post is definitely for you.
Viola -ieatcakewithmycake-Doyle

  So if you can't already tell, I'm pretty serious when I say that Napa and Sonoma have so much more to offer than expensive wineries and high end restaurants. Not so long ago, I was speaking with some friends that were about to spend some time in San Francisco. When I suggested Napa as a gorgeous place to spend a night or two, the response I got was "oh, we're not really big wine drinkers". Lets just say, if you appreciate the simple things in life - you will love Napa.  By 'simple' I am referring to:

Green pastures, fresh crisp air, all enjoyed while sipping on some of the best artisan coffee in America The most delicious fresh crusty sourdough with locally made berry jam A mid morning hot cup of tea with an amazing coconut cupcake Nourishing organic soups and chowder, with a bit more of that bread on the side Perfect homeware boutiques boasting the best in vintage styling Locally grown vegetables and fruits, lovingly displayed at farmers markets...enough to inspire the average home cook  to want to prepare a festive feast...

I went to Napa with the intention of visiting as many bakeries as possible. In the end, Napa was more than just about bakeries. I discovered that more than wine, cheese, fancy markets and restaurants, Napa's colour and enthusiasm for supporting local growers, and fierce appreciation for living off the land was enough to fuel my culinary imagination for a long time to come.



Just a little sign on the road...


Oooh! What do we have here? A Street sign pointing me to another bakery??

The Model Bakery


Kara's Cupcakes

Sweetie Pies

Bouchon Bakery