This is a very long and detailed review, just a warning to readers!
I stayed at Wedmore Place with my boyfriend on the weekend of January 4-6, 2013. I waited a few weeks to post this, as you will see my photos are not in great condition. That will be explained, but please excuse the delay in this review, I wanted to get the pictures fixed if it were possible.
First of all, this was a spur of the moment trip. We called at 11am Friday morning and made reservations for 3pm. Each January I treat my darling to a birthday cabin trip, and this year going out of state was not an option, but we still wanted at least a room with a fireplace and cabin-like feel. Wedmore Place seemed perfect. We booked for Ardennes room, which looked identical to the pictures on the website. I've seen reviewers mention that it's difficult for guests to find the location of the actual hotel at night, but as we arrived during the day it was very easy to get to from the main road.
When we pulled in, we did notice pine needles covered the lines in the parking lot, so it was hard to see where to park. But when we stepped out of the car, nothing but silence. So peaceful. We walked in, and Christine the hospitality manager was very kind to us and treated us like newlyweds. All smiles and softly spoken, her and another woman wearing bright red handed us our room key and a pamphlet with lists of special accomadations and their rules for the fireplace. Mind you, Wedmore Place actually uses REAL KEYS. Not keycards, which I dislike so much. Having a real key in a hotel makes the guest feel more like they're at home as well as secure. So thank you for that, Duffeler family.
We took the stairs to the second floor to Ardennes Room, so pretty. Smelled lightly of campfire and I loved it. We noticed on the desk a silver tray with 2 bottles of Diamond Springs water accompanied with glasses, as well as a little gift bag of crispy fruit pastries, chocolate dipped cookies, and lindor truffles, tied with a gold ribbon. The most adorable complementary snack I've ever seen in a room. These were provided once in every room we stayed in and you could call room service for more.
The first thing we decided on after seeing the room was we were going to book a second night, and we did.
We also had been given tickets from the front desk for a small tour at the winery, those pictures are also included. After we set our luggage down, we headed right back outside for the tour since the last of the day was at 4pm. The tour was lovely, you must experience it for yourself. A lot of nifty information and history of the land. We headed back after the tour concluded and did not purchase any wine, maybe some other time.
I immediately wanted a bath, my boyfriend wanted a fire. So we asked for one to be built. (Their rules are fire must be built before 9pm, and you must be in the room to enjoy it. It is also seasonal.) Also, none of their windows open, even in the bathroom, because of a policy for having the fireplaces; this was a little disappointing but not a big issue.
Slight mishap with the smoke from the fireplace and the wind, which of course is not in the hotel or staff's control. Completely understandable, and not a problem. My boyfriend and I did our best to assure the hotel staff and owners that this was truly an accident that could happen to anyone. They however, insisted on making it up to us. Patrick Duffeler's wife Kristen was immediate to assist us with anything. She offered our clothes to be laundered if any of it smelled of smoke, as well as any room in the house that was currently available.
Kristen showed us at least 6 different rooms for us to choose from, and since it was offered (for Saturday night, it still needed to be cleaned up) we chose the Venetian. The palace of all rooms at Wedmore Place. But for that current night, we slept in Languedoc. She also personally brought us each a complementary glass of wine, our choice. The Governor's White was my selection. My boyfriend and I loved the orange bathroom, but didn't care for the rather loud squeaky floor in the Languedoc room. The bed was like sleeping on a cloud! I'm not usually one for super soft beds, but this now has me convinced...
We had dinner at Cafe Provencal; the first night we only ordered entrees. Sadly I do not have photographs of this meal, I wish I did as the plates we gorgeous. I had the Salmon filet with Meyer lemon and basil butter with Lobster and Spinach risotto with leeks and parmesan. The risotto, oh my goodness I could eat bowls of for every meal. The lobster was fresh as well as the spinach, and not overcooked thank god! Risotto was so creamy and soft, not gummy whatsoever. My boyfriend had the pan seared duck breast with pickled cherries and orange, a port wine sauce and fingerling potatoes. We both also had asparagus. I personally don't care for duck, but this had me asking him for a second bite after I tried it. So fantastic. We found out from our server that Chef Tim is indeed self-taught, and I was taken aback. What a natural talent this man has. He really blew me away with his creativity and his superb flavors.
That night we ordered room service; 8oz cabot cheddar cheese, 8oz salami made with pinot grigio and some garlic herb crackers. I really recommend either getting a meat OR cheese, we had a lot leftover and didnt even think until after we ordered they don't provide mini fridges in the bedrooms. We felt bad for the bit of wasted food. The room service menu is limited to meats cheeses, crackers and sweets, which I like really. I've seen reviewers disagree but honestly, is there a need for anything but small snacks at midnight anyway?
Unfortunately my boyfriend was called into work Saturday morning, so I dreaded moving our bags alone to the Venetian suite.
Luckily Heather, the morning and afternoon young woman at the desk came personally to help me with the luggage after calling me to inform me our new room was ready. (I woke up extremely late on Saturday and sadly missed the breakfast.) The Venetian was the most fabulous suite I've ever stayed in, for sure. The iron doors imported from India at the entryway make you feel beyond excited to enter. Elegant, spacious, fit for a king, ahem, queen. I couldn't imagine something this fine in my dreams. As you can see, the pictures did not turn out as promised. Our film was badly damaged and mishandled by the developer, so very disappointing. But we did what we could to get them fixed up so at least reviewers can see what we took.
Saturday I walked the grounds, bathed in the jacuzzi tub and lounged in the soft white robe provided. My only complaint--and I discovered this in all three rooms we had now stayed in--the bath and shower water is indeed on the cooler side. I only turned on the hot water and didn't even have steam in my jacuzzi bath. I longed to turn the bathroom into a long, relaxing sauna, but I found myself chilly and out of the bath rather quick.
I called to the front desk Saturday evening to be received by Ryan. I told him I wished to surprise my boyfriend with dinner brought to the room that night, and he was very kind and helped me set up a call with a woman in the Cafe. I ordered food for 8pm, with wine and appetizers at 7:45. Ryan had come to light the fire for us at 7:30 right before the apps, and everything in the evening seemed to flow so well. A lovely Rose to accompany our Shrimp and Polenta with house cured bacon and basil oil, and two beautifully seared and seasoned buttery scallops over potato cakes with micro greens. The fresh bread was amazing as well. What a way to start the meal, and so romantic. The same woman that I spoke with on the phone served us the meal as well! And she was so charming.
Entrees followed, a grilled pork tenderloin with roasted garlic jus, cannelini bean ragout topped with braised kale for my darling, and I had a sauteed chicken breast with mashed potatoes and roasted broccolini. I must say the chicken dish was superb, and it came with a homemade mushroom bacon cream almost like a gravy for the potatoes, really splendid.
Dessert consisted of an espresso creme brulee for myself and a hazelnut cheesecake for my sweetheart. Coffee accompanied this of course. this being our second meal from Cafe Provencal, and it also having to travel all the way up to our suite...I was just beyond shocked at how fantastic everything was. Beyond perfect. The rest of the night I shall keep to myself, but tell you the bed is very comfortable.
We woke up early Sunday and went downstairs to breakfast. REAL French croissants waited for us, with little jars of honey and jams from Europe! Also a tray of sliced seasonal fruit; pineapple, honeydew and cantaloupe. And a bowl of mixed black, blue and strawberries. They also offered 3 different types of quiche, I had the spinach tomato and my boyfriend had the bacon and cheese. They were both wonderful! Also it was his very first quiche experience. The also offered multiple cereals, granolas and different fruit juices. I mean this was one heck of a breakfast! And far from the usual "free hotel breakfast" joke that is offered most places. You can tell the breakfast chef in Cafe Provencal really takes care of his diners. We left very full and didn't eat lunch until almost 4 that day.
Sadly, we had to check out. We wished we could stay there forever. This is the best in the area if you want to feel welcomed and at home but still within luxury and good care. I have never in my life felt so at peace with myself and the world than when I spent my weekend at Wedmore Place. Special thanks to Patrick and Kristen Duffeler as well as the entire Duffeler family; keep up the great work. Leslie, our housekeeper who does a marvelous job of keeping things spotless, literally I couldn't find a speck of dust in any of the rooms! (And if you get a chance to talk to her, she is sooo smiley and willing to help, thanks Leslie.) Heather and Ryan for being super kind and helpful, and going out of their way to assist me in anything I wanted. And Christine, the hospitality manager, who made us feel welcome from the moment we made short-notice reservations and stepped through the door. Be sure to write your thanks in the guest books that are provided on the desk in each room!! I'm sure the staff loves to read them.
Special, special thanks to Chef Tim in Cafe Provencal. I aspire to cook as well as he does one day, haha. I was truly amazed by this man's culinary genius, and I can't wait to taste his food again.
Thank you all for such a wonderful stay!