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Andrew Harper Grand Awards 2014

As we mentioned last week, 2013 was a year for the record books at the Farmhouse Inn. Not only did our fans vote for us on Travel and Leisure’s World’s Best List but we came in at #38 in the world.   Our restaurant team was invited to fly to New York and prepare a Sonoma wine country dinner at the James Beard House. And to cap off the year  Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report featured us with extremely high ratings after his anonymous review and we are now an Andrew Harper member.


Like we said, a hard year to top but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try. 2014 has already kicked off with a great start and things just keep getting better. With everything from the Andrew Harper Grand Awards to a partnership in Tuscany, Italy, we’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year with bring. Here’s a roundup of 2014 so far and things to come.

At the beginning of each year Andrew Harper  announces their Grand Award winners. The Grand Awards are selected by Andrew Harper and to be considered “properties must be relatively small in size, possess strong individual personalities, offer relaxing atmospheres and demonstrate a consistent devotion to personal service.” The Farmhouse Inn was one of seven winners of a Grand Award in North America and one of three from California. This honor was a great surprise to us here at the Farmhouse Inn and extra special since we had joined Andrew Harper only a few months before. We’re delighted to be partnered with Andrew Harper and we hope the good news keeps on coming!

Before the end of 2013 the Farmhouse Inn was approached by Travel and Leisure’s #2 pick from their 2013 World’s Best Hotels list, Castello di Casole in Tuscany. Castello di Casole is a 4,200 acre historic property with a 41 room boutique hotel in the heart of Tuscany. Castello di Casole was looking for another world-class property to partner with on creating a culinary fanatic’s dream vacation. The answer was "yes,of course" (would you have said no?!). Out of the original request a six day culinary extravaganza has emerged and we couldn’t be more excited. This June Farmhouse Inn owners, Catherine and Joe, will bring a bit of Farmhouse Inn (including Executive Chef Steve Litke and Master Sommelier, Geoff Kruth) to Castello di Casole for everything from winery dinners to pizza making and more. June is one of the most popular months to visit Italy, so if you’re just starting to think about your summer vacation plans be sure to check out this package. Space is extremely limited. All reservations may be booked through the Timbers Group. We hope to see you there! Salute!

If you can’t make it to Italy than we sure hope you can make it to the Russian River to visit us here at the Farmhouse Inn! Both Conde Nast and the Wine Enthusiast listed the Russian River Valley as one of the top wine and food destinations of 2014. What could you possibly want out of a vacation that we don't have? The Sonoma Coast, the Russian River Valley, hiking, biking, wine tasting (300+ wineries), fabulous restaurants, farms, art galleries, shopping and much more. We were running out of breath on that one or we would have kept going. If you're considering a trip to California's wine country then trust us and Conde Nast and the Wine Enthusiast- you don't want to miss the Russian River Valley.


To wrap up our roundup we’ll circle back to Travel and Leisure. In 2014 they released their World’s Best 500 Hotels list for the year. This list gives each hotel a rating based on a 100 point system. The scores come from Travel and Leisure voters and once again the Farmhouse fans came through for us! With a score of 94.09 the Farmhouse Inn was #38 in the top 50 in the World and it was the first time we’d made the list. We can’t wait to see where we end up next year and we truly appreciate each and every person who voted for us. If you’re up for it one more time, here is the link to this year’s Travel and Leisure’s World’s Best Survey: (Hint: You'll find us listed under Sonoma- just in case you wanted to throw a vote our way.)

Oh. and just one more thing we are super excited about...we have just joined Preferred Hotel Group as part of their Preferred Boutique Collection. You will find us there soon as part of this collection of the very best small luxury hotels in the world.


Farmhouse Inn


2013 was an exceptional year for many reasons but for the Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant some of the press and accolades that came our way this last year were truly amazing.  Our guests made some of it happen for us but we were featured in quite a few distinctive press pieces too.  Here's a hint of just a few of them and more detail to the end (we have a special request).



You know how excited we are about romance and it was great to be recognized as a top mini-moon destination by Martha Stewart in July. Then right on the heels of that came the announcement that our guests had voted us #38 in the World on Travel and Leisure’s World’s Best Hotels list. This was our debut on the list so you can imagine how excited we were. We shared the celebration with our guests...the champagne was flowing the whole month of August.



In Spring our restaurant team
(and owners, Joe
and Catherine)
flew to New York
to prepare a big
dinner at the
James Beard House,
something that
all culinary professionals have
on their bucket

It was quite an honor to be invited.

Here's Joe, Chef Steve,
Catherine, Pattie, and Neil
hanging out in New York.



The excitement continued with a feature in Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report, something we’ve been hoping for since we purchased the Inn in 2001. We are not quite sure when he visited but he gave us a score of 94 on his anonymous review (and the highest score from his visit to Northern California). It was a big surprise for us (a very nice one).

Those are just a few of the highlights from 2013; it was a phenomenal year for us and looks quite impressive when you see the whole list on our press page on the Farmhouse Inn website. Here's a bit more detail on the most exciting events in 2013 for Farmhouse Inn. 

To be voted to Travel and Leisure’s World’s Best list at all is quite an honor, but to debut at #38 in the World is truly stunning. We couldn’t have done it without our Farmhouse guest's support. The voting window for the list is every January through March and those fans that voted for us made our debut on the list splashier than we ever could have dreamed of.  Not only were we on the Best Hotel in the World list, but we were also voted as the #3 BEST Inn in the United States. For some perspective other hotels on the World’s Best list included Castello di Casole in Tuscany (we’ll circle back to them next week) and The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Nice company; we were truly honored to be included on this list of  world-class properties and we hope our fans do it for us again in 2014! If you haven’t voted yet we hope you do before the voting closes in two weeks because we hope to celebrate with our fans again this summer!


In April of 2013 our Restaurant Team (Chef Steve Litke, Sous Chef Neil Corsten, Pastry Chef Pattie Taan, and Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth) all flew to New York to prepare a meal at the renowned James Beard House. To be invited to the James Beard House is something that chefs dream about and we couldn’t have been more excited to have received the invitation. The menu was beautiful, the Sonoma County wines Geoff selected were a perfect compliment to each course, and the attendees were ideal dining companions. After several days of too much good food, sight seeing and soaking up New York we headed back to California and started planning how we could do that trip all over again. No plan for a New York repeat yet, but just to stimulate your foodie brain click here for last year’s Farmhouse Inn at the James Beard House menu. And on your next visit to the Farmhouse be sure to checkout the wineries that were featured at this dinner.


For those of you not familiar with Andrew Harper a good introduction to them is a look at the  Hideaway Report, a publication released every month focusing on 1 to 3 travel destinations around the world. The Hideaway Report is highly respected as a source for travelers, much like wine lovers refer to Wine Spectator. What we love about Andrew Harper is their amazing attention to detail, their honest reviews in the Hideaway Report and their truly excellent customer service. The Farmhouse Inn was included in the May 2013 Hideaway Report in a larger piece, “A Blissful Road Through California’s Wine Lands”. A quick peek at what they had to say: “Butter-yellow clapboard siding, shuttered windows and a front veranda make it look country simple at first glance, but it is also wonderfully sophisticated, seamlessly merging the rural and the contemporary.” Makes us want to spend the night! We feel so lucky to be a part of Andrew Harper and look forward to an amazing 2014 with them. Be sure to read next week’s blog that will share the Andrew Harper Grand Awards (could Farmhouse Inn be there?).


Enough about stellar 2013;  we have a lot of work to do to make sure that 2014 surpasses it. Next week we’ll talk about things to come in 2014 including a partnership with an amazing property in Italy (yes, you are invited), the Andrew Harper Grand Awards and the 2014 Travel and Leisure’s World’s Best list. One more plug and we’re done, we promise: Vote for Farmhouse on TL’s World’s Best Survey! Click here to go to the survey. (Hint: we are listed under Sonoma County)


budbreak in Sonoma County


We don't usually see the beginning of the grape harvest until August (our busiest time in the wine country), but spring in Sonoma Wine Country is pretty busy and just about our favorite time of year.  All around the Russian River Valley we see vineyard crews pruning vines getting ready for the growing season. The worst of winter is over and Spring is just getting ready to bust out all over.


I just heard about the first hints of budbreak from a couple of the wineries. Hold your breath now...the vineyards can't stand any hard freezes during this time. You wouldn't think something like this would get us all excited but just look...the beginnings of that amazing wine in your glass.


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