Organize a Getaway

My husband and I have stumbled on what we believe is the perfect formula for a short getaway/extended date.  It’s easy to plan, doesn’t steal the prime social time from your precious weekend, requires no vacation days, and takes less than 24 hours start to finish.  

The formula is simple: a decadent Sunday lunch + Sunday night in a lovely hotel.

We were inspired to create this getaway by a lucky stroke of fate in the form of a reservation at The French Laundry for 11:00 a.m. on a Sunday – which arrived around 9 p.m. on that very Wednesday! And even though it was booked solid all weekend, we scored a room for Sunday night at the Bardessono resort and spa, just a couple of blocks from the restaurant.

We enjoyed our weekend in San Francisco as it had been planned for weeks, and just as the weekend felt like it was winding down, we started our date!

On a gorgeous, sunny Sunday morning that literally and most cheesily reminded me why I live in SF, we got gussied up, threw a few things in overnight bags, hopped in my husband’s convertible and drove to Yountville.  We got there in plenty of time to check in at Bardessono and get a tour of the petite but beautiful property before we walked over to The French Laundry.

Photo courtesy of

The French Laundry itself was everything it’s rumored to be.  The food is exquisite, the rooms are cozy, and the service is phenomenal without being overwrought - you don’t feel as if you’re in some sort of Temple Of Gastronomy.  I actually thought the vegetarian tasting menu looked more interesting and chose that even though I’m definitely an omnivore – and although I was a little jealous of my husband’s famed Oysters and Pearls dish, I was really happy with my choice.

Photo courtesy of

Full and admittedly tipsy after lunch, we meandered back to the hotel where our airy, modern room with sunny terrace beckoned.  We lazed, read, and napped the afternoon away, and finally emerged around 7 when we felt the faintest growling in our stomachs (we could hardly believe it was possible…) to enjoy a light dinner at Bouchon.  

Back at Bardessono, we had a nightcap in the bar (Paul makes a truly excellent Vesper if you’re into those) and were in bed sawing logs by 10.  We woke up to a delicious room service breakfast before we checked out and enjoyed yet another sunny morning drive back to SF, and were both back at work by 11:30 a.m. We couldn't stop commenting to each other the whole way home how refreshed we felt, as if we'd been on a real vacation.

You don’t need The French Laundry for a great Sunday night getaway – we’ll definitely be reprising this date again without such a difficult reservation!