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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Restaurant Month in Napa

So we're thinking about a weekend away in Napa and I recently discovered they have a January "Restaurant Month". Rather like Dine About Town in San Francisco  they offer special deals to get you into restaurants at what is a quiet time of year. It may be too late for us to make it this year, but I think it's worth knowing about. I particularly  fancy the four course $35 "Whole Hog" dinner at the Culinary Institute of America.
Unlike the San Francisco program the Napa incarnation is more freewheeling in its style. Instead of a common price for a three course prix fixe meal, the Napa offerings are more varied.  Lunches, dinners tasting menus, even deals on tacos! It's  all part of "Cabernet Season" designed by the tourist board to take the valley through the doldrums of winter until they arrive at the next public relations invention 'the Mustard Season', complete with its own festival!