Testing the New DxO ONE 20.2 MP Digital Camera For iPhone and iPad at The California Science Center-San Francisco
I ran across the DxO ONE 20.2 MP Digital Camera…
Archetype, formerly known as French Blue is one of my favorite restaurants in St. Helena. I may have had a slight heart palpitation when I heard the restaurant had “closed” but instead was just getting new owners-and I was thrilled to learn that not much had changed when they took over! The food is still delicious, the atmosphere is warm and inviting, the service is always exceptional and the decor is open and airy. This was my first stop on a perfect day in the Napa Valley, come along with me…
This is the “outdoor” seating area. I’ve eaten out here a few times-it’s perfect.
And here we are in the main dining area. My photo’s don’t do it justice.
I love a restaurant with an open kitchen–watching the chefs in action! Executive Chef Ryder Zetts graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and went on to work at other famous restaurants such at the Bouchon Bistro in Yountville and Solbar at the Solage in Calistoga–just to name a couple!
We were there for Brunch-my favorite! The menu comes to you on a clip board.
While being seated I saw these donut holes being served to almost every table–so obviously that was the first thing I ordered-ha! They are the Maple Sugared Donut Holes with Butter Pecan Sauce and they did not disappoint!
I was trying to be a little healthier after ordering the donut holes so I opted for the Potato & Leek Omelet. It was good–not amazing like every other meal I have had here before. Only order it if you are trying to be healthy, otherwise I don’t recommend it. Especially after tasting the amazing Norwegian Eggs with Smoked Salmon across the table that were OUT OF THIS WORLD! Their smoked salmon is always perfect (never slimy, always fresh), the dill was so pungent, the eggs poached to perfection and the hollandaise sauce was heaven. Archetype now serves Hobbs Applewood Smoked Bacon–made famous from being The French Laundry Chef’s favorite-Thomas Keller.
Norwegian Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Poached Eggs, English Muffin, Dill and Hollandaise.
Potato & Leek Omelet with goat cheese and mixed greens.
Here is the side of Anson Mills Cheddar Grits. I had never had cheddar grits before, so I wanted to try them, they were just what they seemed. cheddar and grits! I enjoyed them.
All in all it was another memorable brunch at this unpretentious and welcoming restaurant!
Archetype is open for Brunch: Wed-Sun 9:00am to 2:30pm
Dinner: Wed-Sun 5:30pm to 9:00pm, Happy Hour: Wed-FRI 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Phone: (707) 968-9200
After brunch we decided to take a stroll down the street before going vineyard wandering. This is the cutest little Olive Oil store-Olivier!
They’ve got it all-body products, cookware, books, herbs and spices, linens, the list goes on and on.
Unique to this store is their Olive Oil Tasting–you can try before you buy!
They are located at:
Don’t miss Woodhouse Chocolate if you are in the area! This beautiful chocolate store is so fun and they have a lot of other options for the non-chocolate lover (me).
How cute would a chocolate turkey be for the Thanksgiving Hostess in your life! They come in large array of sizes too.
I got a 12 piece box for $30. You can choose your candies or just grab a pre-assorted box. How cute are their bags! I’m a sucker for packaging–that yellow striped tissue paper was right up my alley. Woodhouse Chocolate is located at:
1367 Main St.
Saint Helena, CA 94574
My next stop was St. Helena Antiques–I love a good antique store. This one has some very interesting finds!
The associate let me know that this horse head was used by butchers long ago in Europe to let people know horse meat was available-yuck!! Cool Horse antique though.
I always pop into Fideaux if I see one. I love these stores! They have the cutest dog outfits!
All the Christmas gear is in but I restrained myself!
There are a few jewelry stores along the way–I love to look! Some Buccellati Jewels below.
Hello heart shaped Diamond! Be lonely no more, come stay at my house.
Acres Home & Garden is one of my favorite stores to wander in while in St. Helena. It’s a popular place–always packed but they have some of the cutest home decor and they had Christmas in already!!
These flowers aren’t real…they fooled me!
Acres is located at:
Right next door is Jan de Luz–a French Linen store. The Embroidery Machine at work below. How cute would monogrammed kitchen towels be for a newlywed gift.
They have a large array of colors and fonts. They can even do custom logos. Located at:
There are quite a few art galleries for the art lover in your life to see. CaldwellSnyder has been around since 1983 and showcases contemporary artist work. Located at 1328 Main Street. The exhibits change monthly.
If you are in the area you have to go into Berlin artist and designer, Michael Dute’s store front! The designs are so interesting and the associate’s are always very friendly and welcoming. The day I came, the associate had his 10 year old Black Lab greeting people–he was adorable! For more info Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the ring that caught my eye. Apparently it’s from a LA designer they had just got in that day–the rings were so cool! They are gold plated and going for $198. I was good again and skipped the purchase but I still have them on my mind!! Oh dear, I may be going back to pick these up soon!
Before heading to some vineyards I decided to grab a little pick-me-up at the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company. Their brews never disappoint and the Maple Latte was AMAZING, healthy? no. Delicious? Yes! A more appropriate name would be the “Elf” Latte though!
Located at 1400 Oak Ave, St Helena, CA 94574
I grabbed a few photos of the Vineyards on my Way to the Castella di Amarosa.
And here we are at Dario Sattui’s Castello di Amorosa (Castle of Love)–A must see if you are going to be in the area! You can’t miss this Italian medieval Castle! It is one of the most interesting Winery’s I have ever been too. This 121,000 square feet, 8 level (4 of which are underground) castle has 107 rooms!
According to Sattui, more than 200 containers came from Europe filled with old furnishings and materials to keep with the authentic theme in building this architectural masterpiece. Not to mention the 8,000 hand-chiseled stone and 1 million antique, handmade bricks from Europe that were used while authenticly constructing this while only using methods that would have been employed 700-800 years ago!
I have driven up here time and time again, saw that it was packed and drove away but this day I was determined to park and get in there! Be prepared for a lot of people and parking attendants directing you.
Here is the lucky wine Club Member’s parking spot.
Upon arriving on the property you will find farm animals roaming about. This is so great if you have kids that need some entertaining! Yes, apparently people bring kids to wineries–this one even offers them grape juice tastings! –why don’t they offer that to the non-drinkers! Ha! However they do not allow strollers
This is something that I have never seen before–there is admission to get inside the castle–even if you aren’t tasting or getting a guided tour. It was $25 a person just to get in–no discounts even if you aren’t tasting, which I think they need to change. I can see why they do it though–probably to regulate the crowds.
I could have stared at this place for hours. It is just mesmerizing!
After heading up the stairs and through these doors, you will take the entrance on the left to purchase your admission tickets.
It looks like they have monthly special events. They seemed to be setting up for one while I was there. The Masquerade Ball looks like fun on New Years Eve!
This is the cut off area–you won’t be able to get any farther with out purchasing tickets in the room shown above. The staff is super friendly and helpful with this.
The owner below.
This is the Great Hall–they seemed to be setting up for an event at the moment. Notice the Hand painted Frescoes and stone floor from Luxemburg.
I snapped this to show you what your private event might look like. Beautiful!
This is the way down to the tasting room and gift shops.
A couple of Castello’s wines are on Amazon.
If you don’t drink there is still plenty to see and buy. I got their Olive Oil–it is delicious. I also ran across, tapenades, mustards, balsamic vinegars, grape seed oil and dressings just to name a few!
Doesn’t this look like the Medieval version of the Mad Hatter’s table!
I spent at least an hour just wandering around taking in the architecture. Next time I want to do the tour and get to see more of those under ground floors!
I took a few more snaps before I left. I couldn’t help it!
I found the pig’s home–he seemed to be eating dinner and did not want to be disturbed!
We had to park in the employee parking because it was so packed but it gave us an upclose look at the huge stainless steel wine tanks!
Here are a couple of their upcoming events. Click the photo’s if you would like to book one. They also have Photography packages and Proposal packages available. They do not do weddings.
Too book a Trolley Wine Country Tour that makes a stop at the castle click here.
After the Castle we decided to try Tra Vigne’s Pizzeria. If you want a super casual atmosphere to grab a quick meal this is your place!
Margherita Pizza with arugula–fresh and delicious!
I wasn’t going to get any gelato until the waiter said he had Pumpkin Spice gelatto–must he know my weakness!! It was a perfect Fall dessert ending to a perfect Fall day in the Napa Valley!
Pizzeria Tra Vigne is located at
For take out call: (707) 967-9999
Thanks for coming on a day with me in the Napa Valley! If you have any recommendations please let me know in the comments!