With a burgeoning design scene, handsome eateries and chic retail, Napa Valley is proving it’s not all about wine. For your next weekend trip, consider a crop of both new and celebrated staples.
Above No|Ma House. Photos by Katie Newburn.
Located along St. Helena’s idyllic Main Street, newly opened NO|MA House Café & Collective is the brainchild of owner and lead designer Ann Backen. Appointed with grey-and-white checkered flooring, a cozy white brick fireplace and an indoor-outdoor bar, the part café-part retail space is stocked with a few of Ann’s favorite things like Japanese cast-iron cookware from Vermicular, handwoven wool pillows by Treko, glass match cloches by Skeem, amber-hued glasses by Hawkins New York, extra-virgin olive oil by Sardel Kitchen in Puglia, Italy, and an exclusive line of outerwear by British brand Marfa Stance.
In Downtown Napa, Juniper Station—an eco-conscious mercantile-turned-refillery opened by friends Jess Benjestorf and Kristina Palmieri—features hand-poured soy candles in recycled glass by Flamingo Estate; refillable hand, detergent and body soaps; and gourmet pantry items such as organic honey, marinara sauce and trail mix in compostable packaging.
Above Faust. Photos by Matt Battey and Adrian Gaut
Poised right at the edge of the Napa River, Wilfred’s Lounge—a two-story, tiki-inspired watering hole layered with a bamboo-wrapped bar, colorful glass floats, thatched awnings and wooden carvings by artist Billy Crud—serves up cocktails in tiki mugs including the Uma Ube with white rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and ube (the purple yam native to Southeast Asia), alongside pu pu platters featuring Kalua pork sliders with pineapple chutney and coconut-crusted fried shrimp with mango habanero sauce.
Further north in St. Helena, venture to Faust for wine tasting of limited production and estate wines. (Reservations required; from $75 per person.) Take in valley views from the expansive outdoor terrace or comb the interior of the 19th century Victorian Faust Haus appointed with a black-and-white staircase mural by Paris–based artist Roberto Ruspoli; a study clad entirely in a rich red paint; and a large, framed goat tapestry by French artist Jean Lurçat.
Above Slanted Door. Photos courtesy of Slanted Door.
Head to Brasswood Kitchen+Bar for seasonal fare spanning crispy arancini with duck Bolognese or basil pesto, house-made corn ravioli, and mains like flat iron steak Niçoise salad with red onion and kalamata onions and spicy chipotle barbecue pork ribs paired with honey cornbread. If time permits, stop by the wine shop for a selection by consulting winemaker Angelina Mondavi from pinot noir to cabernet Franc, or wander to the Brasswood Bottle Shop+Boutique by M. Frederic for a curated assortment of jewelry, felt hats and outerwear.
Culinary powerhouse Charles Phan—the mastermind behind San Francisco’s beloved Vietnamese eatery Slanted Door Napa, originally opened in 1995 and currently undergoing renovation in the Ferry Building—has recently opened doors to another location in Napa. Menu highlights include green papaya salad tossed with rau ram (or Vietnamese coriander) roasted peanuts, fried shallots and fish sauce dressing, and cellophane noodles with wild Dungeness and blue crab, green onion, black pepper and sesame.
Above Hotel Yountville. Photos by Marcus Edwards.
Hotel Yountville, tucked in the heart of downtown Yountville near a slew of tasting rooms and eateries such as Bouchon Bistro helmed by famed chef Thomas Keller, is a must-visit. The 80-room property features rooms with four-poster beds, rain showers and stone fireplaces; a heated outdoor swimming pool framed by cypress trees; a 4,000-square-foot spa; an acclaimed on-site restaurant, Heritage Oak; a fleet of bikes available for guest use; and partnerships with select wineries for perks including two-for-one tasting fees.
“My favorite aspect of the hotel is the overall ambience, which creates the sensation of entering someone’s home,” says hotel manager Stephanie Burdette. “It emanates a warm and inviting atmosphere and lays the foundation for a memorable experience. Additionally, enjoying an añejo Manhattan, my personal favorite, at the Y-Bar Lounge and Terrace allows you to unwind by the stone fireplace in comfortable seating areas.”
Above The Madrona. Photos by Tanveer Badal and Matthew Millman.
Originally built in 1881 as a private estate for business tycoon John Paxton and his wife, Anna, The Madrona in Healdsburg is co-owned by Cory Schisler, Kyle Jeffers and lauded San Francisco–based interior designer Jay Jeffers. Revamped following a $6 million renovation, the 24-room boutique hotel is artfully layered with Jeffers’ touch with an elegant parlor dotted with artwork and antiques (more than 30 pieces from the Paxtons’ collection were integrated into the current design) and a sunny yellow dining room highlighting cuisine by chef Patrick Tafoya. The 8-acre hideaway also offers a saltwater pool, a fitness center replete with Peloton bikes and a Tonal smart gym, a garden, complimentary car service to downtown Healdsburg and daily complimentary breakfast.