A big pre-birthday surprise!!

I was scheduled to go for a walk with my good friend this past Sunday, but that all changed when I received this very interesting text from her last Wednesday.  “Heads up about this Sunday, I’m making new plans for us instead of walking.  Please keep your day open.  We will start around 9:30 am.”

Hmmm, and I should wear what?  And, should I shave my legs for this?  Fast forward to this past Sunday when a limo arrived in front of my home promptly at 9:30 am with four of my very good friends included!

About an hour into the trip I realized we were driving up to the Napa Valley and thought we were heading out for lunch and a day of wine tasting.  I was so excited because the day could not have been any nicer.  It was sunny and 75 and not a cloud in the sky, which was so welcome considering all of the rain we have been getting this winter.  The day was turning out to be perfect!

It became even more amazing when we pulled into the driveway of The French Laundry in beautiful Yountville.  I soon realized we had a 12 noon reservation for lunch.  I was beyond surprised and incredibly ecstatic!

I’m not sure if you have heard but scoring a reservation at this restaurant is nothing short of amazing.  It is booked for months in advance and just trying to get through to a reservation agent is agonizing.  The phone is constantly busy, and when you do get through, you are kindly told they are booked and to keep trying back.  Yes, there is a wait list and that is a great option, because people do cancel.  Another option is booking online with Open Table, but you will find that option normally booked as well.  My friend got extremely lucky with Open Table this time and was able to book our reservation for a party of five.  She got very lucky with a last minute cancellation.  Yay for us!

Here is my rock star friend who made our amazing reservation during a business meeting… on the sly.  She said she wanted to jump up and down, but had to keep her composure! 😉

The group that made the day super special and unforgettable.

Lucky for us the restaurant had just reopened in the last month after a seven week renovation, which included a huge kitchen model.  I understand that had been going on a bit longer than seven weeks.  We were welcomed with all fresh surroundings and it was stunning.  The restaurant is warm and welcoming without feeling stuffy.

The staff is friendly and charming and they are incredibly conversational and fun.

A tasting of vegetables menu was offered for the vegetarians and the chef’s tasting menu offered a selection of meats for non vegetarians.  I decided to go with the chef’s menu and it was delicious.

Cheers to friendship and an unforgettable day!

I will share a few of my favorite food pics as I know picture after food picture can be very boring, even if the food is beautiful.

Our meal lasted about three and a half hours with small breaks in between.  In between several of the courses we stepped outside on the balcony to take in the views and to enjoy the warm sunny day.  It is a meal to be savored and enjoyed at a very leisurely pace.

And that we did.

Our first course.

A lobster course.

You can only imagine how wonderful this course was.

One of the bread courses.  This came directly from their very own Bouchon Bakery, which is located a block away from the restaurant.  It is a bakery I never miss when I’m in Yountville.  I will stand in line for a long time for croissants and muffins from Bouchon.

The greenhouse that is seen in the background is where all of the seedlings are started.  From the greenhouse they are eventually planted in the garden.

The French Laundry’s three acre garden is open to the public and is located directly across the street from the restaurant.  A beautiful place to stroll around and a great place to get some gardening inspiration.

Dessert was nothing short of fabulous.

A small birthday cake for my friends and I to share, with a darling candle and a side of flowers.  I don’t think there was a crumb of anything left.

 What a wonderful pre 50th birthday surprise!  Yes, the big day is fast approaching and I have a lot of fun things planned for this year.  I’m not much of a “big birthday party kind of gal”, but would rather spend time with close friends and family enjoying some of my favorite places.

Stay tuned for some upcoming travel posts and a spring fashion post.

Thanks again for stopping by!

April xo

About Ms B in the Bay Area

A San Francisco Bay Area lifestyle blogger Food-Travel-Fashion

14 comments on “A big pre-birthday surprise!!

    • Hi Cindy, I know….I wish you had been here to celebrate with us too!! We always miss you at our events! xo I hope to see you this summer!! Miss you!

  1. Those are some good friends! Your pictures made my mouth water. French Laundry is on my “while we’re living in the Bay Area” bucket list.

    • Hi Kim, Thanks for stopping by! Yes, they are some good friends for sure! I hope you get a chance to make it there while you are living in the area. Keep checking online on a regular basis and hopefully something will come up!

  2. April, Looks like a perfect day out with friends and how nice The French Laundry made it special too. I love the cake and the flowers. The bakery is a must do when I am in town and hope to have dinner there one day! So glad your birthday month is kicking off. Enjoy every minute and have fun! xo Kim

    • Hi Kim, It was a special day for sure! Maybe you can surprise Max with a surprise birthday lunch or dinner. I think it might be easier to get a table for two. Keep trying. I know, I can’t miss a trip to Bouchon either. It is a must stop for me whenever I’m in Yountville. April xo

    • Hi Contessa, Thank you! Yes, they are wonderful indeed! It was a special day and a wonderful way to kick off my birthday! I’m still beaming! April xo

    • Hi Cindy, Thank you for stopping by! Yes, they are so wonderful and I feel truly blessed to have them in my life! It was quite a day to remember. April xo

  3. Hi April-it looks like you had a magnificent day! So sorry I couldn’t be there to celebrate with you. Beautiful photos. I’m looking forward to future birthday festivities to celebrate your 50th.

    • Hey Joey, We missed you a lot!! Yes, it was a wonderful day and such a surprise! I’m definitely looking forward to more celebrations with you! xo

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