With vineyards stretched as far as the eye can see, Napa Valley is a popular spot for food and wine aficionados and visitors alike. A short walk from downtown Napa, La Belle Epoque Bed & Breakfast is the ideal romantic inn for a vacation in Northern California wine country. But it’s not all about the wine behind the stained glass doors leading guests into this Queen Anne Victorian. Innkeeper and General Manager Tracy Mahr will take you deep into her world of tea, in addition to house baked pastries and gourmet breakfasts.
La Belle Epoque Bed & Breakfast has ten rooms. Rooms one through six are located in the 1893 painted lady Victorian that happens to be listed on the National Register of Historic Homes. Rooms seven through ten are located across the street in the all suite Buckley House.
I stayed across the street in the lovely and spacious Caroline Suite. I loved the gas fireplace that only required a flick of the switch to operate and the whirlpool bathtub with complimentary bath salts. This suite, with its king bed, is referred to as the honeymoon suite for its private patio entrance to the garden and private porch. All rooms include Tracy’s gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and a split of sparkling wine upon arrival.
As I mentioned, the stately Victorian has an ideal location to downtown Napa and is an easy walk to the Oxbow Public Market and more restaurants and winery tasting rooms than you’ll ever be able to visit. But lets circle back to afternoon tea. Harney & Sons tea is offered complimentary from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. with tasty desserts made by Tea Sommelier and Chef Tracy Mahr, a woman who wears many hats. A more formal afternoon tea is offered to the general public at the same time for an additional fee.
A multi-course breakfast is served at 9:00 a.m. for all guests in the main dining room. Tracy relies on her family recipes for many breakfast specialties. During my visit we feasted on baked pear crumble with vanilla cream, dutch baby pancakes garnished with fresh fruit and applewood smoked bacon, in addition to fresh juice and gourmet organic coffee. Tracy does ask that you let her know if you will not be joining her for breakfast, as she prepares all meals to order and is able to accommodate special diets with advance notice when possible.
In addition to light tea and snacks, sherry and bottled water is available in the main house and water is waiting in the mini fridge in the suites. Complimentary internet is offered throughout and complimentary park is available next to the guest house and there is plenty of street parking. Guests must be 14 years or older to stay at La Belle Epoque and keep in mind that this is a bed & breakfast geared for adults. The inn is a member of Historic Inns of Napa and really rolls out the red carpet for their annual Napa B&B Holiday Tour & Taste held annually in early December.
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Hotel review by San Francisco-based travel, food and wine writer Nancy D. Brown. Photos © Nancy D. Brown. La Belle Epoque Bed & Breakfast Inn, in conjunction with Visit Napa Valley, hosted my stay for review purposes.