Hi, there, and welcome back! If you haven’t read part one of my Traverse City travel diary, head here before continuing on.
All caught up? Let’s go!
|dress||–||New York and Company|
|ankle boots||–||New York and Company|
|trench||–||Banana Republic (current version)|
|lip||–||Burt’s Bees (Hawaiian Sunset)|
In my previous post I failed to mention that our BMW actually got a flat about 30 minutes outside of Traverse City. Two things saved us: first, the fact that we had run-flat tires meant we could just keep on driving until we reached the Traverse City BMW dealership, and second, the dealership loaned us (for free!) a nice ride to jaunt around in while they re-shooed our car.
After we left Left Foot Charley we made a quick stop at BMW to pick up our girl, made another quick stop for an outfit change–this is a fashion blog, after all–and then drove north up into the Old Mission Peninsula.
Remember Mary, our delightful server at Left Foot? Per her recommendation, we stopped at Chateau Chantal winery. Now, there are lots of beautiful wineries along the Old Mission peninsula. I felt like I was in a mini version of napa or Tuscany as we drove along. I wanted to stop everywhere, but we had our sites set on Chateau Chantal.
I had asked Mary for her opinion on cherry wine, and she promptly replied that she thought most of it tasted like cough syrup. Given my penchant for cherries, I urged her for a recommendation anyway, and she told us the effervescent cherry wine at Chateau Chantal was the only type she could stand. Plus, she tossed over her shoulder, it has the best views of any of the wineries on the peninsula.
She was certainly right about the views. As we drove up to the winery I was struck with the beauty of the rolling hills of grapes, the placid water of lake Michigan on both sides of us, and the beautiful decor of the winery itself. As it turns out Chantal is also a hotel that comes highly recommended by my Michigan friends, and if I were to return to Traverse City I would love to stay there. It was clearly a very posh place, with a parking lot full of expensive cars and a line of well-dressed clientele at the door. We had to wait about 20 minutes to get our pours, but it was worth it.
We got a trio of tasters and made our way out to the windy patio, which was largely deserted, probably due to cold. It’s a good thing my northern blood doesn’t shy away from a chilly breeze (a glass of wine in hand helps) because the views from the patio were gorgeous.
I couldn’t stop taking pictures. Except to take sips of wine, that is. We tasted the Proprieter’s Reserve Chardonnay, the Proprieter’s Reserve Riesling, and the Sparkling Cherry. The Chardonnay was decidedly my favorite–nice and oaky, just how I like it.
So how was the cherry wine? I’m sure you’re all dying to know. I’m sad to say that I didn’t care for it. It wasn’t cough-medicine bad, but it certainly wasn’t something I would order again. It had a thick, syrupy-ness to it that I didn’t find appealing. It probably didn’t help that we had it with such bright white wines. Tasting a wine and then tasting the cherry wine gave me the impression that I was drinking a jammy, over-sweetened wine. I found that if I put the whites down, cleared my palate, and told myself I was about to drink some brandy I found it to be much more tolerable. But tolerable was about as good an adjective as I can use for it. I guess I finally found something cherry that I don’t like.
Mission Point Lighthouse
The Mission Point Lighthouse is a baby lighthouse, as it should be. The real workhorse lighthouse near traverse city is the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, located at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, which guards Traverse City and its bay from Lake Michigan and its occasionally raging storms. We didn’t have the time to drive all the way up the Leelanau, so we contented ourselves with The Mission Point Lighthouse, a charming little structure that caps off Old Mission.
Should you visit the Lighthouse if you ever venture up to Old Mission? I would. It’s a nice bit of respite from all the wine, and the views are gorgeous. We arrived there about an hour before sunset, and the golden light on the water was quite pretty, and worked well for a few outfit photos. For the full outfit post, head here.
Tired from a day of gallivanting around the city, driving around Old Mission, and taking so many photos, we hopped in the car and made our way back to the hotel, pausing at least once to snap some pictures of the sun setting over the peninsula. It was time for dinner!
North Peak Brewing Company
Traverse City requested that we drink and dine at North Peak Brewing Company that evening, a request we were happy to oblige.
I wore my chambray shirtdress and plaid infinity scarf to dinner. The only outfit change I made was to darken up my lip color. I was wearing Burt’s Bees lip crayon in Hawaiian Smolder, but I switched it up to Burt’s Bees lipstick in Ruby Ripple.
We ordered a flight to share between the two of us. I honestly can’t recall everything we tried, but I do remember that the North Peak Wheat was my favorite. I commandeered that little stein for myself while we waited for our food to arrive.
North Peak is a classic brewpub. You walk in past enormous brew kettles and small groups of beer aficionados touring the brewing facilities straight into a large bar restaurant with enormous flat screens glittering high above large tables of families and friends gripping frothy pints of beer and tucking in to calorie-dense comfort food served up on large platers. It felt classically midwestern and homey.
We started with the mussels, which might have been my favorite thing we ate that night. They were perfectly cooked and served in a bowl of rich broth with little toasts for dipping.
I saw the cheddar ale soup on the menu and couldn’t help myself. It was wonderful–rich, creamy, and with a tangy bite of beer. One tip, if you ever order this, is to get the pretzel croutons on the side so you can add just the right amount yourself.
A long day of running around town required some comfort food, so I ordered the Monte Cristo sandwich and Curtis got the reuben.
After we finished our flight I spied house-made apple cherry cider on the menu and had to give it a shot. It went well with thick cut fries smothered in ketchup.
I was stuffed. I couldn’t eat another bite. But then our waiter informed me that their desserts included house-made cherry cobbler.
Cherry pie is the best kind of pie. Cherry cobbler is the best kind of cobbler. Together, they’re something like the king and queen of the dessert world. I couldn’t say no, and I’m so glad I didn’t. It was served fresh-from-the-oven hot with a scoop of vanilla on top that slowly melted as we (mostly I) ate. If we ever make it back to North Peak, it’s a must-order.
We slept like logs that night after all our adventures and our enormous dinner. Or maybe it was that our bed at Cambria was exceptionally comfortable. Either way, we woke up the next morning feeling well rested and ready for the drive home.
But first, breakfast! We dined in at the hotel. I built my own omelet: mushrooms, bacon, and cheddar, and enjoyed every bite.
Curtis chose eggs Benedict on focaccia. Just looking at that hollandaise has me craving brunch.
We spent the drive home enjoying the rolling hills and the forested scenery and snacking on chocolate covered cherries. I wore one of my comfiest sweater dresses for the drive, previously featured here.
Traverse City, I daresay we’ll be back. Thank you for a wonderful sojourn, and, readers, thank you for coming along with me.
If you’ve been to Traverse City I’d love hear your favorite spots in the comments!