SMS and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this year! While it doesn’t feel like a lot of time has passed, it’s amazing to think back on how many events and experiences the last 10 years contain. One of those experiences was a dinner/overnight at Singlethread. It is a total splurge of an experience and we decided that a return visit was a gift to ourselves to mark our special day!
We decided on a two-night stay so we could enjoy the amenities of the inn a little more. There are so many snacks and treats, it’s hard to fit them into a single overnight. We were also excited about two breakfasts. Last time, we were upgraded to the suite (!) but this time, I think Singlethread is more renowned and more fully booked.
We decided against dinner in the restaurant. Although it’s spectacular, SMS and I have realized that big fancy dinners are less our thing than they used to be. While we’ve had some incredible meals/experiences over the years, we’re usually overly full, sleep poorly, and overall feel a little out of sorts the next day. So even though the food is amazing, the huge foodie omekase experience is less tempting than it used to be. Instead, we decided on the upstairs hot pot meal to have a more ryokan-like experience. The meal started with a few special bites, followed by a delicious sashimi course.
The main event was the donabe hot pot! We picked the Chicken Meatball Tan Tan hot pot. It sounded unique and difficult to find elsewhere. We almost picked the Hokkaido Style Seafood Miso, but felt that the broth might be too rich. But that’s a really minor quibble- we were just trying to figure out the best choice for us among four really tempting options! A mother-daughter pair across the study from us had the Hokkaido pot and although we were happy with our order, trying another pot is as good a reason as any to plan on a return trip someday!
While I don’t think Singlethread is going to call me asking me to be their new food photographer, I wanted to show how the donabe arrives. Everything is hot and ready to eat. The greens wilted super quickly once they were stirred in and we started eating right away. It was so tasty! The broth was so savory with deep flavor. All the ingredients were perfect and it just worked really well as a dish. We really enjoyed ourselves. The waiter was actually one of the guest experience directors filling in since they’re a little short-staffed. It was fun to talk to him a little bit about the local area and high-end hospitality industry.
The next day, we had scheduled a tasting at Skipstone. We had tried one of their wines at a restaurant and SMS liked it so much, he wanted to tour the place since were were nearby. It was just the two of us and the guide, who brought us to the vines and told us a little bit about the place. He was pretty cool, but also a little burnt out on the job, I think. Like, totally professional but sometimes weirdly candid about things he thought were “bullshit.” We had a really nice time on a gorgeous day. If you had a special connection to the wine, like having had it at a special occasion, I would totally recommend going. If not, you can probably have a similarly good experience at other wineries if you preferred.
The grounds were really nice. They had chicken and sheep. I took a picture of a new graft, as well as our delicious cheese plate!
Finally, I want to end with one of the things I had been looking forward to the most- breakfast! The first day, SMS and I both ordered the Japanese breakfast. I think. I was looking forward. to this more than the hot pot! There was fish, tamago, pickled veggies, miso, rice, fruit. It was an absolute feast and so delicious. I really miss Japanese breakfasts in hotels. So good. Although I do laugh when I tried to get Dad to try fish at the Miyajima ryokan and he kind of blanched and said that in the morning, “Not my thing.”
The spread was absolutely amazing. Definitely a highlight of our stay.
The next day, we were tempted by another Japanese breakfast, but we decided to branch out. I got the Japanese pancake, SMS got the omelet, and we split some excellent bacon. I’m glad we sampled the menu, even though I was thisclose to not! Either choice would have been a good one, though.
And then, it was time to go. On the way out, we saw the tiny door for tiny budgets. It might be a tight squeeze, especially after the second breakfast. But maybe…