I always just assumed that I had been to Glen Ellen since I’ve been to Sonoma umpteen times, but much to my chagrin, when I arrived there last week, I discovered that NO- I actually never had been there and what a major oversite on my part!
Glen Ellen (a measly 60 miles from San Francisco) is right in the middle of lots of great wineries, plus has the added treat of having been “home” to 2 major celebs, author Jack London and foodie icon, M.F.K. Fisher.
You could easily spend a whole day exploring Jack London State Historic Park, which is a memorial to American writer and adventurer Jack London, who made his home at the site from 1905 until his death in 1916. You can tour London’s furnished cottage residence and where he wrote his books, stables, stone barns, silos and “pig palace” or ramble about a mile to a dam, lake, and bathhouse built by London. Other hikes lead up through fir and oak woodlands to views of the Valley of the Moon, or to Jack London’s grave and to “Wolf House,” London’s dream house, which was destroyed by fire in 1913.
After a fascinating tour and exploring the unspoiled town of Glen Ellen, I took the 1/3 mile detour off the main drag to Glenelly Inn & Cottages. What a major treat!
Sure, it has all the usual amenities that I’ve come to expect from wine country Inns….in particular, gorgeous views, a beautiful garden shaded by a big ol’ Cypress tree, transplanted from Golden Gate Park, and I particularly loved the outdoor hot tub with it’s complimentary aromatherapy treatment provided by the tangle of roses, lavender and jasmine that surround it.And yeah, owner Kristi Hallamore Jeppesen has got that comfy room thing down to a “T”,(Ok, so maybe she goes the extra mile because of her Scandinavian heritage, but I had no complaints as I nestled deep into my oversized bed buried under Norwegian down comforters, luxurious linens, with no less than one dozen pillows piled on top -no exaggeration! And the only reason I could leave my bed was to shift over to my claw foot tub to partake of the bubbles-both for sipping and soaking!
I was already sold already after some of the most relaxing sleep I’ve had in some time…BUT the icing on the cake, where Glenelly really separates itself from the pack, is Kristi’s Internationally Inspired Breakfasts!
After over-indulging in two creative gourmet brekkies, I was thrilled to find out that Kristi has compiled her recipes in a cookbook, which although they taste like you spent hours in the kitchen, are actually quite easy to prepare. You will gather in the bright cheery Common room for breakfast which starts at 9:00 (trust me you’ll want to sleep in here) where you can mingle with the other guests (or not, as you prefer) and I chatted up some very interesting people-a wine-loving couple from San Diego who generously shared their champagne so we could make mimosas with the fresh squeezed O.J.) and I overheard a few different European accents coming from the other tables. Standouts: the etheral Espresso Coffee Cake, Breakfast Bread Pudding with Mixed Berries and Yogurt, the Cheese and Herb Puff…actually it was all scrumptious! And at night the Common room offers complimentary wine, chocolates, homemade cookies, and an exotic tea assortment.
Loved my weekend stay, but I still don’t understand why Kristi won’t even consider adopting me so I can join her fam for breakfast every morning.