I worked with Lorimar Winery and VisistTemeculaValley.com to put together a fun wine tasting trip to Temecula for myself and 7 other bloggers including a sleepover in a home just off these lovely vineyards. Our costs were generously covered by several companies. All opinions are my own.
So pretty, right?! This was the view of Lorimar Winery off my balcony on our second day of our #LorimarSleepover. You can check out our first day in of wine tasting in Temecula here. I can't imagine heading home after a day of wine tasting so staying in town is key. The rental property behind Lorimar is amazing and has you right among the grapes and horses. And with views like these in the morning, well, they were lucky we left on our own. There was talk of squatting.
And then I heard Lauren outside on the balcony gasping. I looked over and there was a hot air balloon straight out in front of us, pretty much at eye level. It was huge. And then we noticed others that had already taken off just flying over the vineyards. I had heard that Temecula is known for this (they have a huge balloon festival each year) but had never really wanted to do it. But when you see them in action, it is awesome!
And then we looked up! They were everywhere! There was probably about an hour that they took off, from a location that seemed to be pretty close to the house we were staying in and then the launches were done for the day. It makes sense why you have to get there so early in the morning. But the views must be absolutely stunning!
We packed up our things and headed in to Old Town Temecula for a fun morning that VisitTemeculaValley.com had planned for us. They started us of with breakfast at E.A.T. Marketplace which blew our minds. E.A.T. stands for Extraordinary Artisan Table and it was EXTRAORDINARY! Chef Leah Delyte Di Bernardo and her staff greeted us warmly and set about to have us taste some of the delicious things they are known for. She also told us a little bit more about the restaurant and their philosophies. The restaurant's focus is farm to table, local and sustainable, ethical foods keeping overall health in mind while creating original, delicious, out of the box dishes. There is a story behind everything, including why they use each of their vendors, and I'm so grateful Leah took the time to tell us about the restaurant. The place was PACKED which was no surprise.
We dove right in to the coffee. Look, we had been wine tasting the day before. You move just a little slower the next day. And the coffee might have been the best I've ever had. I should have written down what it was but it had chocolatey notes and was smooth, not acidic and just amazing in every way. She put out some homemade almond milk for it which was pure heaven.
They don't have a full bar but do serve delicious brunch cocktails and have Kombucha on tap. I tried a little bit of the ginger Kombucha and it was amazing! The restaurant has an industrial feel, with farm touches with seating indoors and a few tables out on the front patio.
We let Chef Leah put together our meal for us so she started out with some of their smoothies. The one on the left is Funky Money with House made almond mylk, banana, house made raw almond butter, dates, cacao nibs, cacao powder. So good! And the one on the right is the Jungle Love with Coconut water, spinach, mango, banana, orange, coconut oil, bee pollen. Amazing. We knew we were in good hands if they were serving smoothies like these that were super healthy but also something you would totally crave and want to drink daily.
Then the food just began to roll out. While not all of the items are gluten-free, a lot of them are. And what really stood out to me is that none of the dishes she serves, taste like she is using alternative ingredients or items that you may not be used to eating. Each dish was really flavorful and stood out on the merits of the way the dish was created. Then on top of that you find out how good the ingredients are for you and it's a home run. I was really wishing I could talk her in to opening up a spot closer to my house…What you see above were little almond cakes that were gluten-free and served with jam. These were crazy good. They were super moist and tender which I was not expecting upon hearing they were gluten-free.
Leah brought out two kinds of waffles including Chicken and Waffles and the one shown above served with fruit. Best waffles ever. They were multi-grain and amazing. They had so much flavor and the texture was perfection.
This was one of the coolest things to happen while we were there. This was unplanned but Leah excitedly told us that one of her vendors was in to eat with his family and she brought him over to meet us. Paul from Primal Pastures came over and was truly lovely. He talked about why and how his farm got started and it was so cool to get to meet someone responsible for some of the food we had just eaten. When you meet the farmer or small business owner, it really does make you want to support them. We were grateful his family let us steal him away for a few minutes to hear about what he is doing. There were so many more dishes that we tried. All of them exceptional. It really was hard to narrow down which ones to show you. You simply MUST eat here if you are ever in the area. Greatest breakfast ever. I wouldn't suggest driving out here just for breakfast, you know on account of your carbon footprint, yada yada yada, but I'd almost suggest driving out here just for breakfast…
Stuffed to the gills, we met up with Marlene of VisitTemeculaValley.com for a walking tour of Old Town Temecula. I was so excited about this because I wasn't able to really see Old Town on my last trip to Temecula. It's such a cute little town made up of cute old buildings, exciting new vendors and it's setting tucked up by a little mountain doesn't hurt anything either.
Our first stop was to the Old Town Spice Merchant. I LOVE spice shops so this was super fun. They had all kinds of single spices but then made their own mixes as well. They had tons of flavored sugars and I ended up with the seasonal Gingerbread flavor. I can't wait to use it in my coffee or even sprinkled on buttered popcorn! I could have spent hours in here.
Next we hit up the Old Town Sweet Shop. Such a fun spot. One side is a candy store with small gifty items and bins of candy and there is also an ice cream parlor! I tested out their peanut butter fudge…amazing. And we tried a specialty blueberry ice cream they created in the ice cream parlor that was creamy and tart and so good. I loved the way the ice cream parlor was decorated with bright-colored murals. You can check it out on my instagram here.
My fingers were crossed that we would stop at the Temecula Lavender Company. I'm in a full on lavender phase right now and walking in to the store I was instantly happy. We heard about how the owner got started and then had some time to shop. I picked up some lotion for the side of my bed and also some lavender pepper!! Have I mentioned I'm also in to black pepper right now? This will also be going on my popcorn. Or steaks! Man, it's making me hungry just thinking about it.
And our last stop of the day was to the Temecula Olive Oil Company. I've always wanted to do an olive oil tasting so this was a real treat. And since I had gotten a bottle of the garlic olive oil on my last trip and have been using it to roast veggies, I knew just how amazing the oils were.
We gathered in the back room to taste a bunch of varieties. All delicious! I grabbed a bottle of the basil oil to bring home with me. I'm dying to add some herbs and dip bread in to it. The smell is intoxicating.
Then it was time for us to head home. I am so appreciative of how generous each vendor was in opening up their stores to us. VisitTemeculaValley.com is the prefect place to start when you are planning your trip to Temecula. They know all the events that are going on, including some really fun holiday ones and have their finger on the pulse of all that is Temecula. I really enjoy working with them!
I also want to thank Lorimar Winery for hosting our tasting and accommodations. This trip would not have happened without them and it's official, I'm now a Lorimar super fan…
In case you didn't head over to read day one already, please check it out. We were fortunate to have Limelite Limo take us around town to a few other tastings before heading back to Lorimar for a catered meal. Go now!
As always, all opinions are mine and Temecula is quickly becoming a place that I dream about going back to. I'm smitten. See more pictures from our day on instagram at #LorimarSleepover