Northern California: A Place Where Time Slows Down

02/09/2011 06:30 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The are few places in the world more relaxing than the Farmhouse Inn & Spa in Sonoma County. I'm a lover of nature, foodie and a firm believer in the California Redwoods restorative qualities, so talk of the Farmhouse's Michelin starred restaurant and nearby Redwood forest was all I needed to hear when my good friend Ellen suggested a weekend getaway.

The Farmhouse's rustic barn-style design pays homage to one of the worlds oldest and most beloved indigenous architectural styles while delivering comfort, warmth & utility, and I'd be lying to you if I didn't admit to being completely seduced by the best of creature comforts and the wholesomely delicious farm-to-table gourmet food.

Our "Gifts from the Vine" organic spa treatments felt more like 'Gift from the Gods' as I was pummeled, wrapped and kneaded into compliance and complete bliss!

A world-class gourmet dinner followed at the delightful Cyrus, a 2-star Michelin restaurant in Healdsburg.

Breakfast consisted of fresh baked scones and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon before our late morning jaunt in Armstrong Woods, an old growth Redwood Grove. It was a beautiful warm day in the mid-80s, and it always amazes me how the Redwoods have their own microclimates, the air inside the grove was cool, clean, refreshing, and healing.

After our leisurely hike, my soothed and cleansed spirit and I took a few minutes to meditate and touch these amazing ancient living creatures. I instantly felt their healing energy and was reconnected to all the ancient souls, especially with my father who passed away 5 years ago.

We then drove to Iron Horse Winery, which is one of the more pastoral wineries (as opposed to commercial) specializing in dry white and rose wines. I bought their Wedding Cuvee as a gift for a friend, which is a crisp and fruity yet dry wine.

Back to the Farmhouse to get kneaded and massaged again, this time with a focus on my scalp and feet, which was courtesy of the phenomenally talented Pam!

And then, of course, the piece de resistance, the dinner at the Farmhouse! The food was unpretentious, flavorful and beautifully presented. The Farmhouse even has a sommelier and a huge collection of wines in its cellars for all you wine aficionados! I love the wine country experience: nature, great food, friendly people, lots of beautiful open space and the starry sky!

I highly recommend the 18-room Farmhouse's intimate service, fresh organic food, superb spa services, hiking trails and access to the picturesque vineyards, it really does feel like your very own country estate. All of this is made possible thanks to the taste and creativity of the owners, brother and sister team, Joe & Catherine Bartolomei, who I had the pleasure of meeting over breakfast before heading home.

The funny thing about visiting a place where time slows down is that sometimes you never want to leave!

Northern California: A Place Where Time Slows Down