The sampling of Wagyu at Jory and house-made charcuterie and wine flight at Kings Inn Estate in wine country Oregon had us on a quest for equally, if not better, fine dining and wine pairings. Thankfully, Napa Valley was awaiting 489-miles south. With mbrace Plus concierge being a standard feature of our car, we sat back and enjoyed the ride and views (it snowed!) with peace of mind that we could call on mbrace to assist in finding and reserving a hotel room and making dinner reservations when we neared Napa Valley.

Lady Holiday Verified

we’ve stayed here and it meets are standards

Alas, even in a spaceship like the CLS 63 AMG, it took us all day and most of the evening to arrive at our wine country destination. We hit the mbrace button around 8PM. With such a late check-in and for just one night we requested an affordable, clean hotel close to a restaurant serving late. French country-inspired Maison Fleurie bed and breakfast is just a few doors down from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, which serves classic French faire till 11pm—perfect!

A view of Mount Shasta on Lady Holiday's Ultimate Road Trip #1

A view of Mount Shasta

When we arrived in Yountville it was somewhere around 10:30PM. Our mbrace concierge had informed us that Maison Fleurie’s doors would be locked by then and we’d have to call the receptionist to let us in. That sounded like a red flag, but we were so exhausted we just hoped for the best. To our dismay, there was no phone number on the window as promised and when we called our mbrace concierge it began a good 30-minute phone tag session between us, mbrace, the third party booking agent and the manager of Maison Fleurie. To add to our frustration, we were nearing our 11PM kitchen cut-off deadline, we hadn’t eaten since Oregon and we still needed to freshen up after a long day of travel. It’s these sort of unexpected mishaps that come with the territory of taking an Ultimate Road Trip on the fly. During challenges like this it’s a suitable time to remind yourself that this free-spirited approach in travel leaves you open to the adventures of spontaneity.
I must admit, I was ready to make a walk-in reservation at Villagio Inn & Spa across the street. But, when we learned of their $400+ room rate for what was essentially going to be a few hours it just seemed economically impractical. Villagio is definitely on our hit-list next time around!
Breakfast at Maison Fleurie, Yountville, California
Homemade quiche, scrambled eggs, bacon, toasts, granola and cereals are served daily in the main house at Maison Fleurie, Yountville, California.



Maison Fleurie, 6529 Yount St., Yountville, CA, 94599, maisonfleurienapa.com.

When we finally did reach the receptionist and check-in to our stand alone bungalow (Carriage House), all was well. Maison Fleurie offers 13 unique and cozy guest rooms with a French country-inspired theme. Each morning, the historic main house hosts a beautiful breakfast spread (included with room rate), which was perfect for our early morning departure. If we weren’t in somewhat of a hurry to get back to our puppy in Laguna Beach, California we would have borrowed Maison Fleurie’s bikes for a day of wine tasting and valley cruising and returned to enjoy complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres and an afternoon by the property’s pool and Jacuzzi.


Bouchon Bistro, 6534 Washington St., Yountville, CA, 94599, 707.944.8037, bouchonbistro.com. To our disappointment, as we were driving out of Oregon we learned that we missed out on the sold out annual Oregon Truffle Festival (you can purchase tickets for next year’s festival, Jan. 24-26, 2014, here). Naturally, you can imagine what we were craving when we made it to our next stop. As our waiter placed two Moscow Mules on the table and before leaving us with a moment to review the menu he remarked, “Just to let you know, we have black truffles available tonight, which can be shaved on anything you please.” I have never seen such a heavy-handed shaving of this fragrant fungi mounted at least one-inch thick on a New York strip. Mr. devoured the gargantuan guilty pleasure, which satisfied his truffle fix for the next few months. Lady picked the moules au safran—Maine bouchot mussels steamed with white wine, mustard and saffron served with a sprinkle (in comparison to Mr.’s “shaving”) of black truffles. When it comes to French cuisine I doubt one can describe anything “light” unless they’re using it in decadence, such as fluffy, light, buttery croissants. In similar tone, the moules au saffron’s light, comforting seafood broth was the perfect base for truffle fries to be used in lieu of a spoon. Oh, thank heaven for the French.