I’ve been a sloth this summer, ate way too many popsicles, and need to get my house and self in order. I am slowly getting back on track. Do you go through high energy cycles and lazy ones? I think it could possibly be a healthy thing and one is refocused and renewed.
On that note, some fun activities also came up in the last week. In other words, more excuses not to write. I thought I’d share some cool local places with you.
On my birthday my husband surprised me and took me up to Palo Alto to check out the cute and funky Chocolate Garage! He works with a few foodies who are always scoping out the next cool thing and this was it.
The Chocolate Garage is an interesting spot. Lovely idea by a woman, Sunita who wants to change how chocolate is bought. I love that she wants to educate us more about the chocolate trade. More about her and that on their site.
I’m sorry. but just seeing these photos makes me want a bar!
It’s open on Saturday mornings until 1:00 p.m. and Wednesday nights. All the chocolate is what they call, ‘happy’ because it’s chosen by fair trade, farming standards, and conditions for workers. Bars are sampled -about six a day, and you can try milks, salted, darks and nothing tasted remotely the same. Very fun!
I also got to my favorite cafe in Los Gatos, The Purple Onion. This little corner destination has the best spot in Los Gatos, nestled at the base of the beginning to the Jones Trail, a favorite of hikers, walkers, bikers and runners. It’s always buzzing with folks right off the trail and has excellent food. There’s a view of the foothills and a cute outdoor seating spot too.
They are open for breakfast and lunch. I indulged in a mocha here. They make amazing mochas that are not too sweet with decadent chocolate. (Hmm, I’m onto chocolate again.) A great motivation for the end of a hike, especially for people like me who aren’t particularly motivated!
Last Friday I was kindly invited to have a picnic and wine taste with friends at Savannah-Chanelle Winery in nearby Saratoga. Dreamy location and seriously excellent wine. They specialize in reds, but also have a Rose, a bright Chardonnay that I loved and an Estate Zinfandel that is pretty fantastic.
Thanks to our severely warm weather in California, it’s a stellar year for many vintners and the grapes were ready to be harvested big time. Check out these babies below… I admit we sampled a few after the picnic and they were quite yummy. These are their Zinfandel vines planted in 1910 and some of the oldest in California.
My neighbor who is a winery owner and wine maker in Calistoga said this year all the grapes were all ready within 6 days this year. Crazy.
I love Savannah-Chanelle’s location. You drive through redwoods and emerge on a knoll with panoramic views of the foothills. Their wines are mostly sold on site and their picnic spots have bucolic views. We brought cheese and crackers and if you’d like to picnic you need to buy a bottle of wine. They have a connection with the Picnic Guild who will set up and cater a picnic for you there as well. Fun idea! Click on the picnic link on the SC website. Lucky for us, my friend is a member and we were her guests. The members have a lot of perks including live music on weekends and many member events to attend. This is a quintessential Northern California spot with a lot of history. Such a treat to spend a few hours there.
Lastly, I forgot to add if you are in Palo Alto, not so far from the Chocolate Garage, check out Lyfe Kitchen. This is one of my favorite stops for fresh, locally sourced and delicious food! There are seven Lyfe Kitchens in the U.S. and just one so far in Northern California.
Okay I admit it, I’ve been doing a lot of eating and drinking lately!
Back to the grind and veggie sticks!
p.s. This post I did two years ago really evokes a September mood I think.