16 October 2009

Hennessy House B&B, Napa, CA

Guest post by Lisa Novacek Hertel

On a recent vacation, our family stayed at the Hennessy House B&B in Napa, Calif. The experience merits mention given the consistent quality of comfort, hospitality, and yummy provisions we enjoyed.

Heath, Lil (our 4-year old) and I arrived early enough on a Thursday afternoon to participate in the complimentary wine and cheese tasting provided to all guests each day. The selection hit the spot, with an array of hearty cheddars and white cheeses to soothe the appetite, fruit to complement the cheeses and satisfy Lillian, and a mix of local wines to sip and savor. We especially enjoyed a Cabernet Sauvignon from a familiar name but one we had not previously associated with wine production -- the Francis Ford Coppola collection. We were very pleased with our discovery (and you can learn more at http://www.franciscoppolawinery.com/).

The Hennessy House afternoon taste fest managed to tide us over very well until dinner. The B&B is well placed in the heart of Napa with several fine dining establishments within walking distance. We chose an Italian restaurant, Uva Trattoria Italiana (http://www.uvatrattoria.com/), which had an inviting menu and something for everyone. Naturally, Lil wanted cheese pizza, but it was such a delight, her parents helped her devour it! Heath ordered the Fettuccine Pollo with mushroom-cream sauce, and I settled for the simple Penne Pesto. Both of us were pleased with our choices as well. A very satisfying meal from start to finish.

Now, back to the Hennessy House. Returning to our room, we found that staff at the Hennessy House had helped to ensure a comfortable evening with in-room services of sweet sherry and gourmet chocolates, movies to delight younger guests, and at least five pillows per occupant! We appreciated the cozy end to a travel-heavy day.

The next morning, we made our way to the dining room while taking in the lucious smell of breakfast cooking and baking. Freshly squeezed orange juice, hot coffee and a tea lover's paradise of flavors welcomed us as we took our seats. Soon, staff entered and placed full sundae dishes of fresh fruit on our china plates. This was act one of a three-part production, which segued into a delicious slice of cranberry bread pudding accompanied by sizzling bacon. While we may have been content to stop at this point, we managed to find room for the third and final offering, fresh-from-the-oven, homemade muffins. Lil and I chose sour cream raisin, while Heath enjoyed a parmesan cheese muffin. These delights were served with butter and divinely melted in our mouths.

The Hennessy House staff members were as attentive and gracious as we completed our stay as they were at the beginning. We were given extra muffins for the road and bottles of water to keep us hydrated. Directions were shared to a local park that is a favorite of the owner's children. And no goodbye could be complete without a few photos for the scrapbook, which the innkeeper personally took for us.

We left the Hennessy House with a very positive impression, and we know we'll be back.

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