Dec 16, 2008
Relaxing in Carmel Valley
We just returned from our annual Carmel Valley Holiday trip and had to write about a few new places we found.
We always stay at Los Laureles Lodge in the Valley. It is so easy going and close to everything. We especially like the restaurant and bar. Mario makes a mean margarita! Plus, it's a place where all the locals hang out and you can always hear about the best places from them!
We did the usual wine tasting in the Valley at a few of our favorites, Heller Estates, Georis Winery, Bernardus, and Talbott Vineyards. We stumble upon a new tasting room - Joyce Vineyards- located in Carmel Valley Village where they share space with an Art Gallery. I honestly can't say that I liked one of their wines better than the other, they were all wonderful! We did come home with an 05 Syrah, an Estate Cab, and a Chardonnay that we thought exceptional.
Aside from a few of our favorite restaurants (the Running Iron, Los Laureles, Casanova (in Carmel), and the Cork Screw Cafe) we found Jeffery's Grill. Great Breakfast! They boast the "Best Eggs Benedict", and I have to say, mine was superb! After a day of wine tasting in the rain, we were in the mood for a "little Hawaiian sunshine". We sought out a new restaurant in the Valley called "Volcano Grill & Mai Tai Bar". Sitting at the bar, we had a great time with the Bartender, drank Mai Tai's and noshed on Panko-crusted Coconut Prawns with raspberry-chipotle sauce and a Tofu-Asian Vegetable Curry Bowl.
Ahh an end to a perfect day! Or so I thought...
Upon our return to Los Laureles Lodge, we thought it would be fun to sit by the fire pit with Stella and have a beer. Arriving at the cozy patio and fire pit we found Carmel Valley's finest - the Carmel Valley Fire Department celebrating at their Christmas party. All the girls were inside dancing having a great time while we sat outside with the boys. How fun is that! Kevin and I both had a great time talking with them!
Our last day brought a walk around Carmel-By-The-Sea, a Carmel Bay Company & Jan de Luz fix, and farewell dinner at Los Laureles Lodge.
We will return again and again to Los Laureles. We love the casual, easy going atmosphere the Valley offers. Oh yes, and the wine, the wine! Thinking of February...