I turned 33 at the weekend. We left the baby with his nana, and went to Healdsburg to stay overnight at the most excellent Madrona Manor, an amazing building from the 1880s overlooking the magnificent valleys of Sonoma County. The heart of the wine country. Easily the best hotel room I’ve ever stayed in (and the door had a key, not one of those bloody card-swipe things; it was great!). The furniture was old, ornate and well-kept. It was pretty foggy and cold, but I was able to do a few drawings; I’ll have to come back up in sunnier months to draw the grounds. We wandered about the vegetable gardens, and were encouraged to pick an orange or two from the pretty orchards by the friendly owner (and I don’t remember the last hotel I stayed at where I chatted with the owner; no soul-destroying corporation this). And speaking of fresh oranges, the freshly squeezed orange juice was te perfect way to start the day. There is very little better than freshly squeezed orange juice, but particularly if you can see the trees where they were grown from the breakfast table.
A sketch of the bed. Very, very comfortable. The rooms are sans-TV, a big plus for me. And below, a drawing of the main mansion. I’m glad we were lucky enough to stay there.