Hotel Healdsburg
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Cockle-warming wine retreat
Not far north of San Francisco, Healdsburg is the heart of Sonoma wine country, and Charlie Palmer’s warm and modern Healdsburg Hotel is at the heart of the town in its turn. Its restaurant, the Dry Creek Kitchen, is a destination in itself, thanks to its tastebud-teasing Californian fusion food, and its wine cellar – as you’d expect in this vine-covered corner of America – holds a staggering range of tasty tipples.If you’re lucky enough to be staying in March, you can attend Charlie Palmer’s annual ‘Pigs and Pinot’ event, a celebration of fine wine and quality pork raising money for child hunger (ending it, that is).

Wine is the big draw in these parts and hotel is ideally situated for exploring 60-odd wineries in the region. Make an appointment to visit Lancaster Estate or the Duchamp Estate Winery – both of which are well worth the short trip. Healdsburg's Hand Fan Museum has 300 years' worth of portable cooling solutions on display.

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