Beazley's View Blog
Napa Style Redefined: Short, Stout and Hot
August 17th, 2011 by Jim Beazley
What’s better than waking up next to Cameron Diaz in the morning?
That first cup of hot coffee in a perfect mug!
Unless you’ve seen “Bad Teacher” you may not know that Cameron isn’t aging as gracefully as our Beazley House Coffee Mugs. Our mugs have always been short, stout and (when filled) hot. Ms. Diaz will not look better in 20 years and MAY not be working. Our mugs will still be in service…if the LAST 23 years are any guide.
They come to us from Deneen Pottery of St. Paul, Minnesota. We were introduced to Peter Deneen and his squat creations at our first international innkeepers conference in 1988 in Philadelphia.
Peter had the brilliant idea to include a mug in each innkeeper’s welcome bag. We had our morning coffee mate for life!
It was love at first sight! Such beautiful curves and deep blue glazing with a heft that said “hold me tight! Go on, you can use two hands, I’ll keep ‘em warm.”
After our guests have been sipping our Beazley House coffee blend in these babies each morning they often can’t part with them. So we swaddle them in bubble wrap and send them to their new home.
Like dotting parents we warn everyone about taking care not to drop the hefty new mugs on bare feet, the mug will be just fine, but YOU’LL BREAK YOUR FOOT!
You see, they have a strong sense of self preservation, they last forever!
Weve Done It Again: Voted Best Of the Valley for 2011
August 10th, 2011 by Jim Beazley
For the 10th consecutive year in a row, the Napa Valley locals and listeners of KVYN/KVON radio have graciously voted The Beazley House “Best B&B in Napa”!
We have been honored with this award 17 times in the 19 years of the survey. Thank you to all who voted us #1!
Beazley House receives 2011 Award of Excellence from TripAdvisor
Also much to our delight, we’ve received the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for outstanding service. With over 230 “Excellent” reviews, a heartfelt “Thank you!” goes to all of you took the time to share what a great experience you had with us.
Napas First B&B Turns 30!
July 25th, 2011 by Jim Beazley
What would you do if you lived 6 times longer than your closest rival?
PARTY, of course!!!
The Beazley House is not only Napa’s first B&B, but it’s been owned and operated by it’s ORIGINAL owners: Carol and Jim Beazley.
Most innkeepers don’t last more than 5 years, much less 30! So when Carol and I celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Beazley House this year, we decided to throw a party to remember!
What better place than our lovely gardens. And the weather gods cooperated with a lovely soft afternoon and evening.
Over 250 of our long time innkeepers, returning guests and Napa friends joined us in toasting the inn with Mumm sparkling wine and Raymond Barrel to Barrel Select Cab.
The inn was never more beautiful after getting a brand new paint job from Rasmussen Painting and new awnings erected by Danielli Awnings. And of course Nilda Douma had the gardens their most spectacular in years!
While the painters worked putting on their final strokes, party preparations were underway. Glasses were ordered, wine bought and tasting of caterer Jim Ayers’ delicious cuisine offered a preview of what our guests were soon to enjoy.
On the day of the party the temperature was about 20 degrees cooler than the scorcher the day before, much to our relief.
Beau Fleur, who we’ve worked with for years, generously donated flowers for our tables and entry way.
And Veronica, our most senior innkeeper (19 years!) used flowers from Nilda’s garden throughout the inn.
The over all impression was magical!
Here, left to right, former innkeeper Lorna Tobiasson speaks with the Beazley’s granddaughter Pheenix and her mom, the Beazley’s daughter, Brooke Peterson.
The Mumm champagne was placed on the side board in the dining room, adding to the festive scene.
The main focus was the gardens where Carol and Jim talked with guests and shared memories of 30 years of innkeeping.
Harpist Charlotte Wolters asked to play for our party.
Guitarist Paul Binkley came highly regarded and we saw–and heard–WHY!
He was great! As the evening approached scheduled guests were welcomed and mixed with old friends. We were reminded why we have thrived longer than any of our Napa peers: LOVE!
The love we receive from our happy guests. The love we have shared with our friends, family and the EXTENDED family of innkeepers who have blessed us over the years. We were especially grateful for all of the work our daughter, Sonja Beazley Burch, put into making the celebration such a dazzling success. Without her planning (and prodding!) the event would have never happened
All to wish us a happy 30th anniversary!
In Napa at Night is Coming aLIVE!
April 6th, 2011 by Jim Beazley
Until recently Napa and Pompeii had one thing in common: both were dead at night. Pompeii had a good excuse: Vesuvius had extinguished the town in 79 AD.
Napa just hadn’t yet awakened. Well, we’re alive and kicking up our heels now!
The Stars are Aligned, signaling Napa’s Rebirth!
The Stars of cuisine have opened up signature restaurants, the stars of the Music world are striding our stages and the darlings of the wine industry are opening up new tasting rooms faster than baptists leaving a vice bust.
Iron Chefs, TV Celebrities and Vintners now call Napa Home.
Masaharu Morimoto opened “Morimoto” right on the same Napa River which used to flood each year in an instant “restaurant row” that includes Food Network star Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie & Wine and “Fish Story” by Lark Creek restaurant group.
At Napa’s new “West End” two blocks from the Beazley House, two new restaurants and a hot night spot of a wine tasting bar by the famous Truchard family’s John Anthony Truchard opened.
Just across from the new Norman Rose Tavern and Oenotri, John Anthony stays open until 2 a.m. “My best hours are from 10 to 2, ” Truchard explained. After tasting his fabulous wines here at one of the Beazley House wine tastings, we know why!
Norman Rose Tavern openned in mid winter last year and hasn’t stopped buzzying since. Oenotri has just been named by the SF Chronicle’s Restaurant critic Michael Bauer as one of the top 100 Bay Area restaurants.
The Uptown, an iconic 1937 movie palace has been brought back to its art deco glory and features a who’s who list of the hotest artists! Starting with Big Bad Voodo Daddy last May, the Uptown has been selling out with the likes of Boz Scaggs, Tower of Power, Joan Rivers, BB King and Kris Kristopherson.
The Napa Valley Opera House is a gem of a 500-seat theater which has seen the likes of Robin Williams, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Ottmar Liebert, Elvis Costello and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, to name a few.
Tucked behind the historic Napa Mill like a classy Chicago speakeasy, Silo’s features a wine bar with appetizers available until 10pm on Thursdays and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and unforgettable live music most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights
And again, all are walking distance from the Beazley House and we feature specials to our entertaining partners.
Beazley House Apple Spice Bread Pudding
March 10th, 2011 by Carol Beazley
Although it takes a little planning ahead, this very simple bread pudding is so decadent! It makes for a great holiday breakfast or to make your house guests think you slaved away all morning for them. (When you were really enjoying your first cup of Beazley Blend and the Sunday Chronicle… <wink!>)
Note: See optional crème caramel base below before proceeding!
Step 1: Prep the apples and the bread.
- 2 Gala Apples, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1/2 loaf of French bread cut into small cubes
Spray a 9-1/2″ x 13″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Distribute the bread evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Scatter apples over bread.
(To keep the apples from turning brown soak them in orange juice for a few minutes)
Step 2: Prepare the Custard.
In blender mix (including the butter):
- 1 cup Orange juice (+ ½ cup for soaking apples)
- 1 cup 1% milk
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 8 eggs
- ½ cube of butter (4 Tbsp.)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350ºF for 45-55 minutes. Serve with your favorite maple syrup or vanilla yogurt.
To make your bread pudding over-the-top, add this Crème Caramel to the baking dish before making the pudding. Chilling the caramel in the pan before adding the pudding will keep it separated. Then, when serving, flip the slices over on the plate, and the crème caramel layer will drip down over the slice and make its own syrup. Uh! Heaven!
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup of vanilla yogurt
In a sauce pan, melt butter till foamy. Stir in brown sugar and yogurt. Bring mixture to a boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour into bottom of baking pan prepped with non-stick cooking spray. Chill pan till set (about 10-15mins.) Proceed with above instructions.
In Napa its Always About the LOVE
February 28th, 2011 by Jim Beazley
Saint Valentine would have loved this past February.
He’d have felt like he had never left: people still killing each other in a struggle to be free! And he thought the Romans were mean, but he never met Mubarak’s & Gaddafi’s thugs.
But that’s a world away from Napa; here it’s always about love.
Tomorrow is March first, and we are unofficially in SPRING time here: lush green hills, bright sunshine splashing on brilliant yellow mustard.
March is perhaps our favorite month in Napa. Not only are the fruit trees in bloom, but it seems like the whole valley is coming to life.
We stop pretending that this is really Winter; even the Weathermen can’t get Mother Nature to snow on us. Oh sure, she gives us a cold snap to keep us from breaking out the shorts and halter tops, but she can’t wipe the smiles from our up-turned faces.
We bring our guests in from their cold, snowy homes, wrap them in our buttery soft sheets and introduce them to our old friends: Wine, Women and Song. Okay, so they generally bring their own women, but we DO re-introduce them. Of course we have the gentlemen warm their hands by the fire first. And the women get to take a nice long soak in our two person spa tubs.
We feed them body and soul.
Breakfast is so big at the Beazley House it discourages lunch and makes dinner more an obligation to spare our Napa Valley Chef’s feelings. And we’re not talking ham ‘n eggs here. Carol Beazley’s breakfasts would please Julia Child!
There’s Mediterranean Polenta with pesto and cheesy scrambled eggs, or Sun-dried Tomato Potatoes with perfectly poached eggs. These delicacies are always accompanied by fresh fruit and a cheese plate and a multitude of muffin recipes.
Many of our guests stay multiple mornings, but they never have the same entree unless they beg. We’re wimps for whining.
Maybe that’s why our guests keep coming back year after year: after 30 years we provide the will power to still be here for them so they can.
Winery Jem Hunting in the Napa Valley
January 18th, 2011 by Jim Beazley
Traditionally January is the month for fresh starts and planning those all important get-a-ways. We’re doing our part to help you discover new places to make memories.
After 30 years of wine tasting experiences you’d think we would have just about exhausted the list of places to go and people to see. But no, not in the Napa Valley! After all, there’s over 150 wineries to visit and over 435 wine brands.
It was wicked fun! And like most things it gets better when you involve your friends. In fact our friends at Beau Wine Tours arranged the whole day.
Knowing, as we do, there’s nothing like experience to shape a memory, Beau invited us to try their fantastic Napa Valley Daily Limo Tour and lunch. Our driver and guide was Bill Boerum who was fantastic!
Our first stop of the day, was at the quaint Faille Wines – a hidden gem off the Silverado Trail specializing in Bordeaux-style wines. We were greeted by Mark Hawkins. whom we immediately recognized, but couldn’t quite place. Turns out we have several mutual friends. And Mark had been to the inn during our famous Facebook Meetup on July 29. He proceeded to pour us one delicious Pinot Noir after another. We immediately thought of half a dozen of our guests who will LOVE Failla and Mark.
Bill next whisked us off to Ehlers Estate just north of St. Helena. Founded in 1886, this lovely old stone winery is steeped in history. Here we were greeted by Maria Newman, who we first knew from over 25 years ago at the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Co. Now, Maria is a mom and the tasting room manager at this wonderful winery.
Ehlers Estate is a very unique winery. Their French owners pour all of their proceeds from their wine sales into the Leducq Foundation to support international cardiovascular research. This means they concentrate on making the best possible wines they can (and DO!) and aren’t slaves to some fat corporation. And the wines Maria poured us proved the wisdom of this point.
Bill brought in our lunch which was from The Girl and the Fig restaurant in Sonoma. And Maria let us enjoy it right in the tasting room (an exception for us and due to the weather). The wines paired beautifully with our feast of generous sandwiches and two different salads, plus dessert. Magic!!
Our next stop was Sullivan Vineyards and our old friend Asa Baird. How popular is this winery? They were SOLD OUT of their wines! Proving it’s good to have friends, Asa poured us wines from their library and THEN gave us the bottles. After a relaxed tasting and extra warm greetings from Za-Za, the golden lab, Asa introduced us to Sean Sullivan, the oldest son and general manager.
Off to our fourth and final destination, off the Silverado Trail, in the heart of the Stags Leap District, Ilsley Vineyards climbs east into the Vaca Mountains. Originally planted by the Downey family prior to 1900, the Estate vineyard now consists of 17 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 3 acres of Malbec, 2 acres of Sangiovese and 1 acre of Petite Verdot.
Al Carravajal, married to Janice Ilsley, poured just enough wine to keep our attention until he could coax Ilsley family patriarch Ed into joining our curious group. Ed and his wife Sandy raised three children on the old property who are all involved in this FAMILY run winery. At Ilsley, the label of “family winery” isn’t a marketing strategy; it’s a way of life. The work is divided between three third-generation siblings and their spouses. Each has a full time job and works for the family business as a labor of love. The proof was in our glasses.
Set in the shadow of the palisades of Stag’s Leap, Ilsley Vineyards has views that are nearly spectacular as their lovingly made wines.
Pleasantly buzzed, we were gently taken back to the Beazley House by Bill from Beau Wine Tours which reminded us yet again of why we chose Beau to re-introduce us to our fantastic Napa Valley!