Slip back in time and sip wine like it’s 1879 at The Gables in California’s stunning Santa Rosa region. Turn back the clock and let the lavender-kissed landscape soothe and rejuvenate you at The Gables Wine Country Inn, a refined Victorian home in the heart of Sonoma Valley.

When did you last wake up to the soul-stirring, belly warming sound of a breakfast gong? Probably never, right?


At The Gables Wine Country Inn you needn’t worry about setting an alarm clock. At precisely 9am each morning you’ll be woken by the gentle hum and slow rise of an ancient Buddhist gong, coming from the Inn’s entrance hall downstairs.

The gong is your call to throw on clothes and join fellow ‘inn-mates’ (sorry!) for a delicious home-cooked breakfast in the dining room. We were treated to freshly baked warm blueberry scones with fruit and clotted cream, followed by toasted focaccia bread heaped with a decadent pile of Larry’s perfectly crispy bacon, roasted balsamic vine tomatoes topped with a poached egg and fresh saffron. An endless supply of orange juice and freshly brewed coffee were the ideal start to our day.


If you’re lucky, you’ll also get to trade wine trail tips with some of your fellow guests before heading out to explore the stunning wine region of Sonoma Valley.

Since we arrived at The Gables in the late afternoon, we were just in time to watch the summer sun turn the sky brunt orange before slowly descending behind the rolling Sonoma pastures.


The owners, Larry and Pam Willis, greeted us with open arms and chilled glasses of their favorite Chardonnay before leading us through their charming Victorian guesthouse.

For me, The Gables felt like the home I’d always known existed in history, but never dreamt I’d one day get to visit, let alone spend the night in.


Built in 1877, the guesthouse has been lovingly cared for and still embodies the charm and decadence of an elegant 19th century home.  It’s much more than a Bed & Breakfast – it’s a little piece of American history, something quite rare and magical in this modern world we now live in.

It was clear to me that Larry and Pam had poured their heart and souls into all four walls, and the place reminded me of so many old movies where an affluent family might have lived, occupying acres of land, with a housekeeper’s quarters at the back.

I was overjoyed to see an original outdoor toilet at the rear of the guesthouse, kept in its rightful glory.

Though the old ‘outhouse’ was no longer in use (fortunately, each bedroom now has a private bathroom) it was lovely to see it paying homage to the former life the mansion once lead in the late 19th Century.


Our bedroom boasted a grand four-poster bed and a luxurious 1920’s style bath with feet and bespoke lavender toiletries. It felt like I’d taken a journey back in time, to an era not so easily accessible anymore.

After our tour, Larry and Pam lead us out to their enormous deck to watch the sunset while we chatted about their family run vacation home, the friendships they’ve made with the people who’ve stayed, and of course, their favorite local wines.


Pam did a fantastic job of making dinner reservations for us at a local tapas restaurant. We were celebrating a win at a local nearby racetrack, so Willi’s Wine Bar was the perfect way to spoil ourselves with small dishes such as skillet roasted shrimp, Monterey calamari and chorizo salad, scallop dumplings with pea shoots and pancetta, goat’s cheese fritters, pork belly pop stickers and Moroccan style lamp chops. For a little extra, you can opt for their paired wines, which we merrily accepted, and had no trouble polishing off the lot!

By the time we arrived back at The Gables we knew we could relax and let ourselves fall into a delicious wine-fueled slumber, safe in the knowledge the Buddhist breakfast gong would chime us softly to our senses the following morning. Zzzzz.


Side note for wine lovers:

If you’re unfamiliar with Sonoma Valley, it rubs shoulders with famed Napa Valley and is where grandeur wineries can be admired from rolling hillsides laden with vineyards are as far as the eye can see.

The Gables Wine Country Inn is centrally located between both wine regions in Santa Rosa, and boasts mild winters and gloriously warm summers, making it an ideal destination for wine tours all year round.

For more information, visit: or call (1) 707-585-7777

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ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Emma Patterson is a British journalist based in Los Angeles covering entertainment interviews and lifestyle stories in-print and on-camera.

Written by qmpkatherin