We left Monterey in the earliest of mornings for our next surprise destination. The plan was to arrive in Napa and hop on a wine train for lunch, something I knew Mr. Branflake would never expect. I told him the attire was business casual. His snarky response?
"Am I going to a job fair? Do I have to take a resume workshop or something?"
Needless to say, he was quite surprised.
Napa is all about ambiance. Yes, the food and wine is world renown and incredible, but sitting in our plush seats, overlooking the magnificent scenery, and being surrounded by old world opulence is what makes the wine train special.
After hors d'oeuvres (pictured above), we stepped onto the observation deck and enjoyed magnificent views. Be warned, though, that you go through quite a bit of residential areas before you get to the vineyards. But once you do get there, it's unbelievable how beautiful it is.
After taking a gazillion photos,
we came back inside and walked to the other end of the train to the dining car for lunch.
Now for the main event....
|The bread was warm and some of the best we had in Napa.|
|Grilled salmon filet on a bay shrimp risotto with wilted spinach and shaved parmesan.|
|Coriander seared chicken breast in a wild mushroom pappardelle pasta garnished with pesto.|
|Creme brulee with fresh blueberries|
|The most decadent chocolate truffles in the world.|
It was a special gift from the Wine Train when they heard we were celebrating Mr. Branflake's graduation.
~ We took the Napa Valley Wine Train. There are multiple fares depending on how nice you want to go. Since we don't drink alcohol, I booked the Gourmet Express, which included hors d'oeuvres, dinner, and dessert. You pay for your alcohol separately.
~ There is a wine tasting included before you board, so you're paying for that with your fare no matter what.
~The trip is about three hours total.
~ There are evening rides available for those who want to watch the sun set over the valley.
~ There is a photographer who will take your photo before you board and during the ride. He used a flash so the photos came out a bit overexposed and we didn't buy them.
~ The staff was oddly unfriendly in the tasting room before boarding then super friendly while on the train.
~ People in Napa are casual. I wore a cotton maxi dress and Mr. Branflake wore a button down short sleeve with jeans.
Have you ever been on a wine train?
What was your experience like?
photos by Dancing Branflake
(well, there were a few by Mr. Branflake- like the ones of me- but I'm taking all the glory. Snap.)