One of the contestants on this season of The Bachelorette is the adorable Ben F. from Sonoma. Last night's episode highlighted the hometown dates, and I was dying for a glimpse of one of my favorite cities in the whole wide worl. Too bad all we got was some brief stock footage of the Sebastiani Theater and barracks from the mission days. If I were to be your tour guide for a day in Sonoma, here is what I would highly recommend:
Tiddle E. Winks is a precious retro shop filled with niche candy you cannot find anywhere else, amazing vintage jewelry, and enough Hello Kitty items to make this gal happy. The store itself is so lovely that I wish I could have a cute little living area just in its style.
And in case you don't get your candy fill, I also recommend The Chocolate Cow. They offer the best ice cream for the best price. Sonoma is obsessed with cows, and the table in the shop is unbelievable.
Happy to be in Sonoma despite a little rain. Circa Christmas 2009.
What goes better than chocolate than cheese? Sample the cheese at The Cheese Factory or else your trip will not be complete. The lavender cheese is my current fave! They also have the most delicious sandwiches - perfect for a picnic on The Plaza. Don't forget to feed the duckies in The Plaza with your leftover bread.
As far as shopping goes, check out the fair trade store Baksheeseh, The Church Mouse for secondhand finds, and my favorite store for clothes Fleurtique.
The Basque Bakery is the only place to get bread, bu I recommend saving this for a late night trip. Whenever I go to Sonoma overnight, I head down to the bakery around 10:00 p.m. to grab a pull-a-part hot out of the oven. Simply, the best!
I'd offer you restaurant recommendations, but nothing beats my Nan's kitchen.
This city is such a well-preserved treasure of California, so I highly recommend a visit!
My heaven is between the historic Toscano Hotel and The Cheese Factory