SEASON'S GREETINGS! With holiday jingling comes holiday mingling, so this REPORTERS ROUNDUP is for those dinner party venues in California that make us want to indulge without counting calories and drink until our cheeks are rosier than St. Nick's. Forget hosting a holiday-at-home party and opt for feast free of cleaning, cooking and dirty dishes.
1. VENUE: THE CHURCH KEY LOCATION:West Hollywood, California
THE REPORT: This restaurant just opened a mere 6 weeks ago.
HOLIDAY HOTSPOT FACTOR: The name itself is very holiday appropriate. This brand new hotspot also serves up incredible cocktails and have Pan-Am carts that stroll by serviced by uniformed stewardesses, that serve alcoholic Kool Pops. So ditch your holiday house party chock full of cooking and dirty dishes for this holiday hotspot where you will be waited on hand and foot.
2. VENUE: WEST SHORE CAFE & INN LOCATION: Homewood, California
THE REPORT: This restaurant and inn venue is cabin cozy with classic mountain architecture, a warm luxurious interior, Persian rugs, knotty alder moldings, rustic bronze chandeliers, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountain peaks.
HOLIDAY HOTSPOT FACTOR: In addition to free S'mores by the fire, you can hop up the mountain and go skiing and snowboarding. With snow on the mountain and winter in the air, this venue is the perfect place to hang mistletoe and get cheery. Get rosy faced with cocktails like the Gingerbread Hot Buttered Rum and eat a holiday feast from their winter menu that highlights California's seasonal farm bounty. One too many Hot Toddy's? You can stay the night in one of their lakeside rooms and wake up to the snowfall.
3. VENUE: FRENCH BLUE LOCATION: Napa Valley, California
THE REPORT: French Blue is a newer Napa Valley Restaurant set in a white brick building, with white clapboard walls, potted herbs,rattan benches, blue striped pillows and a BRAND NEW porch that is the perfect venue setting for a holiday soiree.
HOLIDAY HOTSPOT FACTOR: On the menu is rustic, wood-fired cooking, seasonally inspired from Rudd Farms’ local gardens, paired with a selection of Northern California wines and handcrafted cocktails. The airy Front Porch accommodates up to 30 guests for a sit down meal or gathering. The servers wear the coolest aprons, they serve anson mills cheddar cheese grits and make home made jams that you can send home with guests. We think this light and airy setting would need little to no decor for an event. Maybe a few extra potted herbs, candles and garden arrangements here and there.
Photos: Eric Wolfinger
4. VENUE: SODA & SWINE LOCATION: San Diego, Ca
THE REPORT: This neighborhood restaurant opened in 2013 and is right next door to it's sister property, Polite Provisions that serves alcohol filled ice cream sundaes and more.
HOLIDAY HOTSPOT FACTOR: The long wood feasting tables flanked by chairs the color of Rudolphs nose, all focused around the hearth of the fire make this venue holiday hot. In addition to the Santa-worthy vibe the menu consists of two classic staples: meatballs and apple pie. The pies are be lovingly prepared from scratch and complemented with housemade soft serve ice cream. The perfect holiday comfort food that may even live up to grandmas famous recipes.
5. VENUE: HARLEY FARMS LOCATION: Pescadero, California
THE REPORT: Harley Farmsis a restored 1910 dairy farm, with 200 alpine goats on nine acres of pasture that has venue spaces for private events.
HOLIDAY HOTSPOT FACTOR: You can treat your guests to a holiday farm feast in a restored Victorian hayloft. Real food on a real farm, in an intimate, rustic and relaxed environment. Up to 22 guests can sit at a folkart barn table and chairs, eat a five course farm-cooked meal and take a tour of the farm. Harley Farms will provide your menu, mineral water, and candlelight. The Farm is festive in December with a Christmas tree and boughs hung with carved wooden goats and fairy lights. Book at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo via Claudine's Flickr Photostream
6. CAMPOVIDA LOCATION: Hopland, California
THE REPORT: Campovida is a family owned and operated certified organic farm and working vineyard with gardens, fields, vineyards, and oak trees.
HOLIDAY HOTSPOT FACTOR: What is more is holiday hot, than celebrating at a family owned farm? This venue is an ideal place to bring friends and loved ones together. There are 10 rooms with numerous kitchens for family and friends to settle into. The views and the setting are reminiscent of Italy – with farm houses, working vineyards, small village, Tuscan garden, private pool, and endless local and fresh culinary opportunities. You can host a holiday dinner party under the stars or treat guests to a demonstration cooking event, cycling and wine touring.
Photos: by Nirav Patel Photography
7. SEARSUCKER LOCATION: Del Mar, California
THE REPORT: This Del Mar restaurant location just re-opened, so it's new, fresh and ready for holiday party chock full of stocking stuffers and secret santa gifts. The 6,000 sq foot property, has an abundance of room for socializing inside, in the private dining room and outdoors on the patio.
HOLIDAY HOTSPOT FACTOR: Not only is Searsucker a fine dining restaurant, but it’s no secret the newest Del Mar location sets the perfect stage to host a party. The glass enclosed private dining room accommodates up to 44 guests. The sliding wall allows for smaller events of up to 10 on one side and 30 on the other. The incredible handcrafted cocktails can be personalized for your event. We have our eyes on the Apple Cinnamon Bourbon Infusion and Skinny Jenny with citrus vodka, lime, lavender syrup, ginger beer!
Where will you host your Holiday Magic this season?!