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Thursday, March 21 , 2019, 3:44 pm | Mostly Cloudy 57º


Donna Polizzi

Here & There

Donna Polizzi: Follow Your Map to Pattea’s Trail in Edna Valley

The past is ever-present at charming country retreat lovingly restored by Pattea Torrence, Old Edna’s self-proclaimed mayor


Life is great. Especially when you wake up in the morning and know that there’s no place else you’d rather be.

As founder of Keys2theCoast, the challenge is to consistently look for the best places to wine, dine, explore and more on the Central Coast.

One such discovery is behind Sextant Wines Tasting Room & Gourmet Deli on the Old Edna town site, at 1653 Old Price Canyon Road in Edna Valley, southeast of San Luis Obispo. There, is a compound of vintage farmhouses that have been fully restored by Pattea Torrence, the self-proclaimed mayor of Old Edna.

“I wanted to create a charming country retreat, where people can come to my lovely little town and experience all of the things and places that I love so much,” she shared.

“It has been a labor of love.”

One look at the farmhouses and you’ll want to make a reservation. Waking up in Old Edna — in a gorgeous bed with a beautiful bonnet, in a charming three-bedroom country farmhouse named Suite Edna — is such a treat.

It is a truly refreshing retreat. I threw off the covers, stepped onto the original solid maple floors to head for the coffee pot.

Looking at the alluring vineyard beyond the kitchen window was incentive enough to lure me to the porch to sip my coffee and look over a map I’d found on the beautiful farmhouse table.

Called “Pattea’s Trail,” the map provided routes to several places to explore. In fact, directly under Suite Edna is an extraordinary man cave-type cellar called Duke’s Sipping Cellar — a perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine with friends.

The beauty of this place is stunning. It is surrounded by lush mountains and bright yellow mustard flowers. The only sounds that you may hear are two chickens clucking, three goats bleating, three pigeons cooing, and four adults-a-sipping near a farmhouse that everyone should see.

Out back is a blacksmith shop that was built in 1897. Inside is a magical room — with three old farmhouse tables and 22 chairs — that looks like it was decorated for a princess.

Another charming structure is called Alma’s Room. It’s the sweetest little library where you can get lost in a good book. The DeSolina farmhouse is also known as “Edna Valley Bridal Suite,” and it is beautiful.

It was such a dream-like treat to stroll around the grounds, and it reminded me of a 1980 romantic movie, Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Like the movie, the weekend felt like a time travel experience.

Let’s talk food. As the map suggested, we picked up lunches at Comfort Market, 116 W. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande, where owner Kari Ziegler makes everything fresh. The map enticed us to take our food for a picnic at Talley Vineyards, 3031 Lopez Drive, and we were glad we did.

These weren’t your typical box lunches. The food was healthy and delicious. Can you imagine a box lunch with a BLT salad with bacon, blue cheese, red onions and tomatoes, served on local greens with house-made blue cheese dressing? Or how about a free-range chicken salad, with citrus vinaigrette topped with roasted carrots and pepitas?

Pattea’s Trail starts at the Old Edna’s town site and takes you to fabulous places, from wineries to restaurants, to hiking trails and thrilling zip-lines, to scenic roads with a chance to see zebra and bison grazing in the distance.

You can explore on your own or follow the Pattea’s Trail map to experience where the locals love to go in Edna Valley and neighboring Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo.

The Old Edna’s town site is truly a hidden gem in the heart of wine country. What are you waiting for? Hit the trail.

— Donna Polizzi is a regional travel expert and founder of Keys to the Coast, a free Central Coast travel resource providing honest recommendations on the best places that locals want to go. She can be contacted at [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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