How to Be a Diva for a Day, Napa Valley-Style

The term “diva” derives from the Latin word for goddess, and who among us hasn’t wanted a day to honor that? You can do it just about anywhere, but few places offer such divine surroundings as the Napa Valley to get your goddess on. Whether it’s a bachelorette celebration or just a good excuse for a girls-only getaway, the valley has plenty of ways to pamper the princess in you. Consider these options:

Start your day off right with a body massage or facial at the Spa at Villagio Inn in Yountville (pictured above). The Tuscan-inspired spa has cascading waterfalls, tinkling fountains, and serene reflecting pools, as if the luxurious treatments aren’t enough.

From there, you can fortify yourself with coffee and pastries at Bouchon Bakery, where you’ll feel as if you’ve wandered into a Parisian patisserie. Then wander across the street to Knickers and Pearls (upstairs in the V Marketplace). You’ll find a delicious assortment of foundation garments, sleepwear, swimsuits, stockings, and bridal shower gifts (bra sizes up to 44J!). Owner Shawnie Hoogendoorn will give you the most professional fitting you’ve ever had, and carries lingerie brands from all over the world, including Stella McCartney, Heidi Klum, Agente, Samantha Chang, Simone Perele, Fitfully Yours, and Elfe.

Drive up to St. Helena and wander Main Street. It has several wonderful women’s clothing boutiques, including Reed’s, Pearl Wonderful Clothing, Cricket, and Mirabelle. For shoes, check out Foot Candy (which carries uber high-end brands like Christian Laboutin, Manolo Blahnik, and Kate Spade), Flats (Italian hand-crafted ballet flats), and Amelia Claire. Then head over to Heaven & Earth for a blowout – this jewel-box salon usually has three stylists on staff each day. They offer a full assortment of other beauty services like waxing, threading, nails, facials, and massages, as well as a fantastic selection of beauty products, accessories, and gifts. Be sure to book ahead if you’re a group.

Is it lunchtime already? Head over to Archetype, a casually elegant restaurant designed and owned by renowned architect Howard Backen that will make you feel as ifyou’ve landed in the Hamptons (minus the ocean). Try the Poached Yellowfin Tuna Salad, the Sweet Corn and Mushroom Crepes, or the Soft Shell Crab Po Boy. But don’t get dessert just yet – the day is still young!

Head south on Highway 29 again and stop in at Swanson Vineyards’ Salon for a private wine tasting – accompanied by some caviar on a house-made potato chip! Advance reservations are a must for this whimsically feminine winery with its coral-colored walls.

Okay, you’ve earned dessert. Drive to the Bel Aire Plaza in Napa and find your way to Sift Dessert Bar. Good luck picking just one from the vast assortment of goodies on display – cupcakes, macarons, cookies, and ice-cream treats. You can also custom-select a box of yummies to take back home with you.

Sufficiently fortified with sugar, you can head over to the Riverfront shopping district to Cake Plate, an intimate boutique that features small designer houses like Trina Turk, 360 Cashmere, Milly NY, and PAIGE Denim. Owners/sisters Lindsay and Paige are passionate about helping other women find themselves through perfectly curated fashion, and love to consult with their customers about best looks.

Finally, end your divinely diva day with a mani-pedi at the Silverado Resort and Spa. Comfy leather chairs, a foot and calf massage, and you’ll be ready to go back, however reluctantly, to the real world.

Kirsten Mickelwait is a St. Helena-based writer who has lived and raised her family in the Napa Valley for nearly 20 years.

Be first to comment