Last Sunday, my family and I took a day trip out to Sonoma County. It’s about a one and a half hour drive from San Jose and it was a gorgeous day out so we said, why not?!
The best thing about living in the Bay Area for me is that we are just a drive away to so many great destinations. If we want to snow in the morning and hit up a beach in the afternoon, we can!
It is a bit warmer out in wine country from where we are but the warm temps was such a good break from the cold and rainy weather we have been having. Don’t get me wrong, I like rain and I know we need it but after a while I start craving the warm air and sunshine.
Brunch at The Girl & The Fig
We left our house around 10am and started our day in Sonoma with brunch at The Girl & The Fig. It gets very busy so make sure to make reservations at least a week prior. I made our reservation on Open Table and had no problem getting a table for 4 at 12pm on a Sunday.
On Sunday’s they have a brunch menu and everything sounded so good. We decided on 4 dishes to share:
Almond pancakes – $14
Pork belly omelette – $14
Grilled cheese – $14
Side of fries – $6
The almond pancakes were really good. Very fluffy and the cream and syrup on top wasn’t too sweet. It was just the right amount of sweet and savory.
Their omelette of the day was a pork belly omelette which was my favorite dish. It came with a side salad of arugula and other greens. The omelette was cooked perfectly and the pork belly was flavorful but not too salty.
My least favorite was the grilled cheese. For $14 we should have gotten the Croque Madame for the same price. I found the bread too hard and it wasn’t a good value for what it was, in my opinion. It did come with fries though that were amazing so we ordered another side order of french fries for all of us to share.
As for the service, I thought it was was good. The hostesses were friendly but seemed a little overwhelmed by the amount of people checking in at one time. Our server was quick and attentive and the food came out quickly.
The only negative thing I will mention is that the tables are very close to each other so its hard to get in and out of your seat if you’re sitting on the booth side and you can basically hear each others conversations. Other than that, the ambiance and the decor was super cute. Think country inn meet Paris cafe.
The restaurant is located in Sonoma Plaza so parking was a little tough but we got lucky with street parking close to the restaurant. There are also parking lots available if you don’t get so lucky. Just be prepared when coming here and plan to arrive for your reservation a little early in case you have to circle the block a few times.
Overall, I really liked the The Girl & The Fig. I’m not sure if it’s worth going back to because there are so many great restaurants in that area that I’d want to try something new. But if you’ve never been, it’s definitely worth a visit.
After brunch we headed outside to walk around Sonoma Plaza. It’s 8-acres and filled with shops, wineries, restaurants and historical sites. The area in general was bustling and Spring was definitely in the air because so many people were out and about, walking around, having picnics at the park and people watching. Right in the center of the plaza is the Sonoma Plaza for Children. It’s a great place to let your kids burn off some energy. A great option is to gather some picnic items, lay out a blanket and relax for a few hours.
(Hint: I saw a few groups with bottles of wine to enjoy with their picnics.)
The park has two play structures; one for smaller kids and one for bigger kids. There is also a duck pond off close by that the kids will be sure to enjoy. You might even catch a few turtles here and there.
Larson Family Winery
If you want to go to a pretentious, high-brow winery where the staff is judgmental and snooty, DO NOT COME HERE.
Larson Family Winery is by far the most laid back, friendly and easy going winery I have ever been to. The winery itself is beautiful, the wine is great, and the bring your own picnic thing is pretty incredible but what really differentiates Larson Family Winery from the rest is the staff. The people that work here are so friendly, so knowledgeable and incredibly accommodating.
It’s a family-friendly and dog-friendly winery so they take pride in creating an atmosphere where you can let your kids have fun in a safe environment while you enjoy wine tasting. I mean…GENIUS! There are games for the kids to play with not to mention a huge field right next to their vines where the kids can run around and be free.
You’ll also find their three labrador’s roaming the grounds, which they aptly named one of their wines after; Three Lab Cab. They are the most chilled out dogs I’ve ever met and loved being played with by all the kids.
The wine tastings outside were $15 for 5 generous pours of 2 whites and 3 reds ($10 if you want to sit inside but with kids, this is not feasible). That day, they gave a complimentary rose to begin our tasting and our server gave us an extra pour of Pinot by accident so we actually got 7 tastings that day. YAY!
Our server was so sweet that she even gave the kids complimentary juice boxes.
You can purchase some snacks there such as cheese, meats and fruits but they encourage you to bring your own picnic. We saw other people bring in tons of food that they laid out on the picnic tables outside and ordered bottles of wine to go with it. That is the life!
Just make sure to make a reservation first as they do get very busy. And make sure to ask for a picnic table outside, in the shade.
We love this winery so much that on our way out, we signed up to become members. Membership is free by the way and you can find more information on their membership benefits here.
I cannot wait to receive our first box of 6 assorted wines in May!
Sonoma is a great way to spend the day and whats great about it is, you can have fun with kids in tow!!! I love that! My kids had a great time and so did we. No meltdowns, no boredom tantrums and no whining. They were kept busy the whole day with lots of outdoor activities while Rowell and I relaxed and enjoyed the amazing weather (and the wine).
If you are ever in Northern California, do yourself a favor and stop by Sonoma County. It’ll be a day well spent. I promise!