In the heart of Silicon Valley lies a cozy hideaway where millionaires and billionaires play. Little do many San Franciscans know, The city of Saratoga is a South-bay gem that is a must-experience for visiting and local luxury dwellers alike. Here are our recommendations on the hautest places for a weekend staycation in Saratoga.
Where to Eat
Quiet sophistication sums up this upscale restaurant, which lends a grown-up presence to the quaint downtown area of Saratoga with its dimly lit and romantic environment. The Plumed Horse epitomizes the Michelin experience. While every dish on the chef’s seven-course tasting menu is a piece of Michelin heaven, Ricotta Gnudi is a major standout. You’ll be impressed with the artful preparation and seamless progression of each course.
Where to Drink
This hip and happening tasting room serves their own wine amongst a cool backdrop of stunning vineyard photos and live music on the weekends. For those who enjoy a more laid back tasting experience, with wine by the glass or bottle, artisan cheeses, cold cuts, spreads and other fine foods, then Cinnabar is for you. Award winning wines are a must try, especially the 2012 Incantation Blanc. The tasting room turns into “The Mud Room,” which is the after-hours wine bar on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
Many of us know Mountain Winery for their rockin’ Summer Concert Series; this is a truly special place where artists have been performing for over 55 years. But the history, which dates back to 1878 when Paul Masson arrived in San Francisco, is well worth spending a day or two to to become acquainted with this iconic property. In fact, we highly recommend discussing the life and times of Paul Masson with the Mountain Winery historian. In addition to the winery’s storied past, the indoor tasting room captures an Old World ambiance with touches such as historic photos that line the wall, plus a bar table that sits on wine barrels. You will be pampered, and often entertained, by the attentive staff like Jesse the “Mayor” of Mountain Winery. One of the most worthwhile places to sip and enjoy the sweeping views of the South Bay Area, the scenery here is so stunning that you may never want to leave!
One of wine country’s most unique experiences, Cooper Garrod offers guests the peaceful serenity of a horseback ride followed by a well-deserved wine tasting (of course, you are free to choose either, but we recommend doing both!). This is so much more than a wine-tasting experience, with a wide variety of activities available on a beautiful day! You may end up here with a large group for a picnic, nice glass of wine, a pony or horse ride, or just a relaxing stroll of the property and the hiking trails. The tasting room has a very rustic, farm-house charm to it. And even more charming is Doris Cooper, the daughter-in-law of George Cooper, the owner and winemaker. She’ll show you the ropes, serve your flights, impress you with the Cooper Garrod’s “Test Pilot” red wine blends, and most importantly, make you fall in love with this very special property.
Where to Shop
Deja & Co.
This Saratoga haute spot is like an awe-inspiring jewelry box where every piece will start a conversation. From the moment you enter, you’ll be warmly greeted by the superb staff that is ready to pamper you with sweet nibbles, champagne, and a lot of bling. Deja personally searches the world for artisans who create one-of-a-kind pieces, from necklaces to rings and everything in between, with fantastic and colorful gemstones. Yes, there are many traditional pieces to be adored, but why not go for the more avant-garde? Deja & Co. will create a personal profile for you, whether looking to window shop or buy. From engagement to anniversaries, birthdays and holidays, this unique jewelry store offers a lifetime of service personally tailored to your wishes.
Where to Relax
Preston Wynne Spa
This friendly and charming spa is a gem in the heart of downtown Saratoga. While the staff is warm and inviting, the location is especially relaxing because the surrounding area is quiet and serene. Massages, wraps, body work and even sports-recovery massages are on the menu. We had a chance to try a sports massage first hand and highly recommend this!. There’s nothing like having a relaxing spa treatment (especially after a day of shopping for fabulous jewels at Deja & Co.).
Where to Stay
Saratoga Oaks Lodge
This lovely lodge is located in the center of the quaint town of Saratoga is run by a husband and wife team who work around the clock 24/7, and captures all of the quaint charm of downtown Saratoga. Stay in the upper cabin where the view, private parking, large shower and jacuzzi tub are just a few of the VIP perks, not to mention that accommodations are spacious and have a homey feel. Each morning, head downstairs for a complimentary breakfast that includes produce from farmers markets and fresh-baked bagels.