Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Solvang, California

Only a few years ago, I discovered that January is one of the best times to travel.  Flights and accommodations are cheaper and places that are normally packed are far less crowded and in some instances, the weather is even better, sunnier and milder than even those crowded peak months - http://aroundthebayandaway.blogspot.com/2018/01/january-travel-deals-and-steals-without.html

Although this year, I plan on returning to a colder climate as I discovered and fell in love with Leavenworth just 2 years ago for those holiday lights in this little winter wonderland nestled in the Cascade Mountains with a Bavarian village feel - http://aroundthebayandaway.blogspot.com/2017/01/leavenworth-washington.html. 

It did inspire me to revisit a similar model slightly closer to me.  While Leavenworth is modeled after a Bavarian village, just a 6 hour drive from the Bay Area, Solvang, CA is modeled after a Danish one.  

It has been over 15 years since I have been and the last time I felt it was way too crowded to fully enjoy it.  Going during off season this time, I got to immerse myself at a more leisurely pace allowing me to see it through fresh eyes renewing my appreciation for this quaint town in the Santa Ynez Valley. 

With any of my travels, food is a big part of it and Solvang is no exception.  Danish bakeries seem to be found on every block with Danish Mill Bakery being our first stop 

where you can experience a Danish way of life hygge as you wrap your fingers around a cup of  hot chocolate while savoring a kringle 

and to pick up some Sara Bernhardt macaroons that is unlike any other macaroon.  Almond based reminiscent of a pignoli but topped with a chocolate ganache vs. pine nuts, we had to get a box to go for my sister in law that introduced us to it to begin with.  

Danish specialties seemed fitting for lunch and with the beautiful mild sunny weather, we opted to dine al fresca at the Viking Garden Restaurant.  

I opted for the Farmer’s Plate touted as Danish Farmhouse Fare with a large housemade frikadellar meatball and medisterpolise sausage 

while my husband went for the biksemad which happened to be our server’s favorite, tender slices of simmered sirloin, potatoes, and onions sautéed in an English sauce and topped with a fried egg.  

After all that great food washed down with local root beer, 

we took a leisurely stroll through downtown, 

was treated to a Danish dance demonstration, the Solvang Bakery, 

and the famous aebleskivers, 

a reminder why January is a great time to travel. 

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