One of the perks of being a bed and breakfast host is meeting interesting people from all over the world.  This last week, I got a call from Jody Franklin from the El Dorado County’s Visitors Authority asking if we would host Mr. Boynton.  Mr. Boynton is a British-born Zimbabwean journalist, consultant, travel writer and editor.


He is the travel editor for Newsweek, writes for The London Financial Times, Vanity Fair and many other publications.    He began a career in journalism as a political reporter during the Rhodesian Bush War. His reportage in South Africa led to the apartheid government declaring him an ‘undesirable alien’, and they subsequently deported him.  He gained notoriety with his book about Africa colonialism called Last Days in Cloud Cuckooland.  Mr. Boynton was visiting El Dorado County to write about the emerging wine industry.  He was able to visit the Gwinllan Estate winery, Skinner Vineyards, Boeger winery and Saluti Cellars before coming to stay with us at Villa Florentina, and he commented on how impressed he is with the quality of El Dorado County wines.  He is surprised that they are such a well kept secret and commented that you can enjoy world class wines at half the price and with half the attitude of other popular California wine areas that we will not name.

My wife Angela and I were able to enjoy a wonderful dinner with Mr. Boynton at Cafe Mahjaic in Lotus, Ca. and stayed late discussing a wide array of topics and could hardly find a topic that Mr. Boynton was not well versed and interested in.  We discovered we had a mutual appreciation for music and had a lively conversation about the nuances of the London music scene in the late 70’s early 80’s and the influences of ska, punk, rockabilly and new wave on music that was produced during that era.  Angela politely smiled as we raved about particular songs, bands and events that were taking place at the time.  After realizing the restaurant was cleared out, we went back to Villa Florentina and called it a night.  Mr. Boynton seemed to really enjoy the history of the county, the wines and the people.  He hopes to come back with his wife so he can spend more time here in the best kept secret of the Sierra foothills.  Mr. Boynton can be followed on twitter @boyntontravels


Written by Adam Anderson purveyor of Villa Florentina