I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a workshop and farm dinner at Park Winters. Better yet, I got to spend the night, and it was one of the most relaxing things I've done this year.
I first met Rafael when I visited the new Found Rental warehouse. He told me he and his partner owned an inn called Park Winters in Winters, a town I had never been to. It turns out that Winters is right outside of Woodland, CA - where one of our farms is located. We talked a little bit about it, and I made a mental note that I must visit the next time we went to Woodland.
A few months later, Calissta (Park Winters marketing gal) reached out to see if I might be interested in attending their first ever floral workshop. I had plans to be in Sonoma that weekend anyways, so I was excited to be able to go! I invited Sarah, owner of Chateau Sonoma, and we made a date of it.
What a special experience we had. Rafael welcomed us to the property and led us to the small barn that had been renovated to host workshops. I did not know that the floral workshop we were attending was the first to be held there! It was so wonderful to see his vision come to life. He explained that he had dreamt of this space since they first purchased the inn, so to get to experience the workshop with him was really beautiful.
It was an afternoon of gathering with other ladies to simply create and enjoy each other's company. Hannah from Full Belly Farm was a wonderful teacher and I walked away with new knowledge about dried florals and wreath making. Sarah and I had so much fun - and we learned that I like to go a bit wild and whimsical when it comes to creating. Thank you to Alyssa Onaka of capturing the day with your wonderful photography!
Later on in the evening, Sarah and I enjoyed a farm dinner prepared by the Park Winters staff. I had heard good things about the events, but I did not expect the magnitude of the dinner. The wine pairings were explained in detail by the sommelier, and the meal itself was delicious. From the plating, to the amazing flavors, it far exceeded any expectations I had.
I was lucky enough to get to spend the night and wake up the next morning to enjoy the grounds. I will say, that was probably the best part of my experience at the inn. There is truly something magical about the property. There is a peacefulness that is unmatched. I listened to the birds and fountain as I sat on a bench and sipped my coffee. A moment of pure and utter bliss.
Rafael designed every inch of the property, and I was truly in awe of his vision. The lavender & rose garden completely blew me away, it was like something from a book, only better because the scent was intoxicating. Rafael's vision is throughout the entire property, from the chicken palace made of old fruit crates to the design of the rooms, it is incredible!
I must also mention the attention to detail of every aspect of visiting Park Winters. John, Rafael's partner, does not miss a beat, he makes sure that everything is thought of before you might need it. Including the staff, who were all so very kind and welcoming; the hospitality rivals any five star luxury hotel.
As I write this, I keep thinking of more and more details that I want to put into words, but I think it is best if you experience it for yourself. If you live in the area, or plan on visiting Northern California, you must make a point to visit Park Winters. They host farm dinners nearly every weekend, and more workshops are on the horizon. It is truly a magical place that I feel lucky to have been able to visit!