Ojai Valley Inn Farmhouse Chef Dinner

The reasons for travel are many, I adore combining a hotel or villa stay with a fine dining experience. The Ojai Valley Inn recently completed a Farmhouse event space on their rambling property which is utilized to host elegant pop up dinners with famed chefs. Last week I attended my first and I hope just the beginning of many more events at The Farmhouse. The stunning event space, designed by famed architect Howard Backen of Backen Gillam Kroeger in Napa Valley encompasses an expansive 20,000 square foot culinary and event center, connecting world-class food culture with indoor/outdoor functions. The space is amazing, an indoor /outdoor experience – see previous post for full description of events.

Ojai Valley Inn The Farmhouse

In an exclusive dinner wine tasting experience Neal Fraser, chef and owner of critically acclaimed Los Angeles restaurants Redbird, Vibiana, and Fritzi Coop mingled with guests and served a tantalizing dinner. A culinary journey inspired by his renowned style of cuisine with a family-style dinner paired with wines from Heitz Cellars. Chef Fraser touts an impressive resume that includes a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and an honor roll of kitchen credits such as Wolfgang Puck’s Eureka and Spago, Checkers Hotel under Thomas Keller, Joachim Splichal’s Pinot Bistro, Hans Rockenwagner’s Rox, and the highly revered Boxer.

Bar Director , Redbird, Tobin Shea.  

The cocktail hour began beneath the immense Oak trees, so indicative of the Ojai Valley Inn property, with passed appetizers and a Redbird-inspired cocktail bar by Bar Director Tobin Shea.  Mingling with the guests were the Inn’s Director of Operations Ben Kephart and Master Sommelier, Carlton McCoy, the President and CEO of Napa Valley’s famed Heitz Cellars, and former wine director of Aspen’s The Little Nell. McCoy, 34, was one of the youngest candidates ever to achieve Master Sommelier status in 2013 and is one of only two African American master sommeliers. Although we moved inside the spectacular Farmhouse for the seated dinner, the massive glass doors on each end of the soaring space revealed the evening sunset and the warm evening breeze. Chef Neal Fraser and Chef de Cuisine Jason Bowlin announced the menu for the family-style dinner as wait staff served generous platters of each course.  The scrumptious wine pairings by Heitz’ Carlton McCoy, included the very collectible Cabernet Sauvignon Martha’s Vineyard.

We were thrilled to have Chef Fraser sit with us post dinner, staff delivered a small craft bottle of Russell’ Reserve Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and we toasted his success. If you are interested in having Chef come to your home, I have his personal contact info. One meal he would particularly love to curate is a hunt dinner – if you have a Ranch and hunt boar, he’s interested in preparing a full-blown feast!

Foodies, golfers, sun seekers will all enjoy an experience at The Ojai Valley Inn and The Farmhouse, earlier post lists all the upcoming events which include cooking classes and famed chef dinners.

Chef Neal Fraser chef & owner of critically acclaimed Los Angeles restaurants Redbird, Vibiana and Fritz Coop at Ojai Valley Inn Farmhouse Dinner
The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn
The Farmhouse Dinner Menu with Neal Fraser at Ojai Valley Inn

Dazzling Dorchester London

One of London’s most revered five-star hotels, opened in 1931, a Grande Dame in a list of London properties, the legendary Dorchester is still a glamorous destination. I’ve always loved the splendid entrance, gazing toward the vast corridor of the dazzling Promenade Restaurant. The lobby spells luxury from the moment you arrive! Towering leafy palms, tufted sumptuous banquettes, flowers designed by noted designer florist, Philip Hammond. The Dorchester ambience is timeless. And the Promenade is one of the best people watching locations in all of London, sip your tea, nosh on petite sandwiches or a sumptuous breakfast; gaze about, it’s an elegant playground of grand international sightseeing!

Promenade Restaurant at The Dorchester London

Did you know Prince Philip hosted his bachelor party at The Dorchester? History has been made here on many occasions. First impressions are important!

The Dorchester rooms and suites are old school elegant, everything is quite splendid and flawless! Steeped in history, many of the suites have views of Hyde Park, decorated in an opulent chintzy style as the period dictates. Many have been redecorated in restful prints and color tones, so there is the perfect room for every guest, whether you prefer old school flamboyance or a more modern look. Oh, the bathrooms, are quite divine, over-size soaking tubs, acres of marble and polished chrome, two sinks for sharing. I also had a small window that opened for fresh air. I felt like Royalty during my stay, granted, my gorgeous Dorchester suite was destined for a Queen! No matter the size of your room or suite, there are always comfy chairs or sofas, modern amenities include big screen televisions, wifi, everything you would expect for refined living!

Multiple distinctive restaurants for your pleasure. Of the highest culinary palates, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester offers three Michelin Star French cuisine in an elegant dining room. If you haven’t been cosseted in its centerpiece, the ‘Table Lumière’, you’ve squandered a glammy evening! Cocooned by a luminescent curtain of 4,500 shimmering fiber optics, guests can enjoy the ambience and buzz of the restaurant while being screened from view of other diners. Of course, there is a special Lumière’ menu, extraordinary experience on all fronts! The Grill is a traditional style restaurant featuring yummy local dishes ranging from grill favorites on the carving trolley to the restaurant’s signature blue lobster chowder. All topped off by an extensive sweet soufflé menu – a superb ending to a classic meal! The interiors were recently refurbished, the clubby space is a sparkling jewel of zinc, copper and glass. Do mosey downstairs to China Tang a space with beautiful décor evoking 1930’s Shanghai. Be transported back to the sumptuous, golden age of Art Deco splendor where a cocktail bar and traditional dim sum menu add to the ambience. China Tang bar is the perfect place to sit back and relax. The full Chinese and Cantonese restaurant menu is also available in the bar. Even if you don’t have time for dim sum, don’t leave the hotel without sipping a cocktail in the gorgeous bar. At China Tang, the menus don’t compromise on classical Chinese and Cantonese recipes. there are some delicious dishes, including the Peking duck. Presentation is an art, the roasted duck is presented whole and a glistening mahogany brown, long neck and head in place, tucked away gracefully under the breast. Be prepared for proficient server flair and a mini-theatrical experience as they slice and roll into delicate pancakes. Peking duck is served over three exquisite courses, each more imaginative and delicious than the last.

China Tang at The Dorchester London
China Tang at The Dorchester London

Spa – Everyone needs a different kind of spa treatment. Some want to pop in for a moment of luxury, to enjoy a treatment and get on with their day. Others long for a private, soothing space in which to find some therapeutic calm amid the roar. Here you are free to find your own way to take time for yourself, whatever that may be. Highly recommend Carol Joy London Caviar & Algae Detox. To cleanse the body and relax the mind, lymphatic drainage techniques, aromatherapy and meridian therapy are combined with precious Caviar Algae and Pink Himalayan Salts in this full body treatment. The body is detoxified, blood circulation improved, and skin texture refined using the mineral rich and revitalizing effects of Caviar Algae and Salts, leaving the body rejuvenated inside and out and the mind calm. Add on: the advanced treatment option includes the addition of Cellular Vacuum Massage to aid the detoxification of the body further. Facials, nail care, exotic body scrubs and massage and every day of the week, definitely make an appointment for a blow out or hair trim – this spa is totally full service. Gentleman’s barber, including a shave, steam room, professional trainers for a work out – this is one of the hotels you could call home!

Five-star accommodations, dining and oh, such exceptional service tops the multiple reasons to live like Royalty at The Dorchester in London!

Is this not the most elegant Royal bed you’ve ever seen? I stayed in this suite and didn’t want to depart! The Dorchester, London

Upgrade your life, our clients are exceptionally spoiled by my Dorchester peeps. Diamond Club Amenities as our guests.