I recently had the pleasure (and luxury) to get away for 3 days with my BFF and Matron of Honour, Tara to a little region just outside of Portland, Oregon. What a little piece of heaven this quaint town was. The Willamette Valley is KNOWN for their Pinot Noir but little did we know that it is also the home to one of the most luxurious, beautiful Inn and Spas I've ever been to.
My BFF arranged the whole trip and I couldn't' be more grateful for the time and effort she took to plan this trip, as we both have crazy busy lives in different cities. But I'm also appreciative for her thoughtfulness. Her and I both knew it had been AGES since just the two of us went away for a girls trip. SEVEN YEARS to be exact! Her daughter is almost 6 and I now have a little 16 month old, so travelling, let alone even getting away, doesn't happen as often as we'd like it to.
So off to Oregon we went and boy am I glad we did something different. We had originally planned a road trip from Vancouver to Seattle but she came up with this idea to go to Newberg in Oregon's wine region which was a hop and skip away from Portland (1 hour car ride to be exact). We indulged in food, sleep and spa, laughed and talked about life, motherhood, my pending nuptials and marriage. Tara and I have been friends for almost 30 years and I couldn't imagine anyone else by my side at my wedding. Spending the much-needed time together was exactly what the doctor ordered.
So I wanted to share all the goods and details on our trip because I would highly recommend it for a couples or girls weekend.
I'll be honest, Tara and I like the finer things in life (go ahead, mock us). We were never the type to backpack through Europe or Asia and we certainly did NOT stay in hostels sharing communal bedrooms with total strangers. We would rather save up the money to stay somewhere nice. And nice indeed, was The Allison Inn & Spa. This place was truly a gem, located right in Oregon's wine region and came equipped with a spa, pool, hot tub, beautiful garden views and decadent food. Not to mention amazing service and hospitality, which if you ask me, always makes the trip even better. The resort was immaculate, clean and the turn down service was top notch and even included some aromatherapy essential oils at our bedside each night.
The food was amazing. Their onsite restaurant Jory has a small menu, but quite the variety of foods with everything ranging from oysters and pasta to duck and risotto.The breakfasts were equally amazing! Free-range eggs from a local farmer down the street, delicious almond milk vanilla lattes, fresh fruit and salmon omelettes. We came out of there full and ready to tackle the day. Did I mention the wine list? Right - lets not forget about that. Of course being in a great wine region, we had lots of great local vineyards to choose from on their list. We of course drank this amazing bubbly. This one to be exact. I highly recommend it.
On day 2 we hit up the spa because why wouldn't we. Peaceful and relaxing - exactly what the doctor ordered. Not to mention spacious. There is nothing I hate more than paying a good chunk of money for a spa treatment only to find out the facilities you are at are tight and uncomfortable. This spa was the opposite. Quiet, zen like with huge steam rooms, saunas and lounges. It was the perfect place to spend our morning.
Of course we had to hit up some wineries. If anyone knows me well, they know I LOVE wine and when in Rome, do as the Roman's do. So off to some wineries we went and the only downfall was that we both had carry on luggage so we couldn't bring any home! Oh well, we soaked up and took advantage of the tastings. Our absolute FAVE winery was Argyle Winery. Their massive tasting room was recently converted from their winemaking room to the tasting room, so it was plenty spacious. The staff was friendly and very knowledgable and they often poured us more samples than we paid for!
One of the second wineries we loved was Ponzi Vineyards which was up on the hill over our Inn and Spa. This is a lovely second generation-family owned winery with lots of great varietals. And once again, they often poured us more samples than we paid for, so well worth our time!
We laid pretty low most of the time simply because we had 4 days of uninterrupted kid-free time! But I did read about this cool market in Dundee, the neighbouring town to Newberg that we had to try. The Red Hills Market is such a great lunch spot with locally grown and curated sundries from Oregon. The cutest stuff I've ever seen plus we had their homemade margarita pizza and it was amazing! Just a note, show up post lunch-rush or beforehand or you will be waiting for a while. A lot of local business people eat here on the regular.
On the Saturday, we ventured out to a cute neighbouring town my folks recommended called McMinnville. Cute indeed and very small. It's one of those little American towns that has like 3 main streets but the one we strolled had a lot of cute, locally owned and operated shops. I actually found my wedding earrings at one. We also popped into a cute shop called Real Deals that had kitchenware, clothing, lotions and skin care products INCLUDING a bakery so it was a one-size fits all.
For our last dinner there, we hit up a small, local and historical restaurant called Tina's. Situated in a little cottage off the main drag, this place was so quaint. It's literally a little house with a wood burning fire inside. The service was amazing and they were all so hospitable. The food was simple yet delicious, so it was a nice way to end our trip.