A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Ojai Lavender Festival. Ojai is 1.5 hours away from Los Angeles and 45 minutes away from Santa Barbara. It has been a long time since I have been to Ojai and I was excited to experience a different part o Ojai. Ojai is usually know for its spas and fancy hotels; a perfect location for a beautiful outdoor wedding. The lavender festival brought out the artistic and quirky side of Ojai.
The fest spot in the agenda is Suzanne's Restaurant. Suzanne's is an adorable restaurant set in a Craftsman home with seating in the beautiful backyard, next to the rose garden. It may have been the lavender festival, but the roses stole the show. Suzanne's features classic Californian dishes with a French twist. We started off with snails in an herb butter sauce. It was a little under seasoned, but with a sprinkling of salt and pepper; it was perfect. The snails were so fresh and supple; not chewy at all!
For our entrees, I had the goat cheese stuffed poblano pepper, an excellent take on a chile relleno. My husband had the steak sandwich, which was cooked perfectly at medium rare. Well fed and content, we went off to enjoy the lavender festival. It was basically a large farmer's market. I was disappointed how few food options were there, so it was a good decision to eat at Suzanne's first.
The one lavender item that we did try was a lavender honey iced latte. It was refreshing and perfect for the day. It was amazing how the addition of the lavender made the latte taste so much more refreshing. I knew I had to try it in a cocktail!
Before heading back to LA, we had to do some more shopping. Ojai has a great combination of new and antique home stores. We took so much time, that we didn't have time for a winery tour in Oxnard. Oh well, I have to go back one day!
- Add 1/3 cup of dried lavender to a mason jar.
- Cover with 80 proof vodka.
- Store in a dry place for a week.
- Shake the jar once a day.
Lavender Rum Lemonade
Makes one drink
1.5 ounces of aged rum
1 ounce lemon juice
0.5 ounce simple syrup
1 teaspoon lavender tincture (see recipe above)
1 cup of ice
Shake all ingredients together, strain the ice and enjoy.
Vanilla Lavender IPA
We created this summer IPA with our own recipe. But, you can recreate the flavor by mixing any 12 ounce IPA with 1 teaspoon each of lavender tincture (see recipe above) and vanilla syrup.