Love and Olive Oil - Eat to Live. Cook to Love.

Harry & David Blogger Event in Southern Oregon

Harry & David Blogger Event 2013

Like the goose that laid the golden egg, the company that grows the golden pears is the stuff of legend.

I’ve been on a first name basis with Harry & David (actually, isn’t everybody?) since I was young, when my grandparents would send us a box of green and gold beauties every year around the holidays. And, really. Everyone knows the golden pear is the best pear. I know, I’ve been there, and my sister can probably tell you better than anyone I was willing to fight for that gold pear, gosh darnit.

I think you can fairly say I win this time, having the opportunity to visit the land of the golden pears: Medford, Oregon.

Harry & David Royal Crest Pear Orchard

The place is as pretty as the pears themselves. Nestled in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, Medford is surrounded by acres and acres of orchards, most all of them pears.

Harry & David Royal Crest Pear Orchard

The pears had already been harvested for the season, but that didn’t make the orchards any less stunning.

Harry & David Blogger Event 2013

Airdrop: it’s a bloggers’ best friend on a trip like this!

Cuties! Julie and Sandy

The adorable Sandy and Julie, beautiful inside and out.

Cats are Invited Too

Sandy hosted all the bloggers at her house for a charming and intimate welcome dinner the first night; a perfect setting to kick off the trip. Even her pets are picture perfect.

Winchester Inn, Ashland Oregon

We stayed at the picturesque Winchester Inn. Lovely accommodations and a gracious staff, with enough charm and personality to make us all fall in love with it.

Lunch at Winchester Inn Alchemy Restaurant, Ashland, Oregon

But I will never. EVER. forget the food. Their restaurant, Alchemy, served some of my favorite bites of the trip (and, considering just HOW MUCH I actually ate over the course of 5 days, this is saying a lot!) Pictured above is our lunch shortly after arriving. Potato chips, people. Crispy and paper thin and topped with crab and prosciutto. And steak tartare and scallop spring rolls and beet and goat cheese salad.

Normally I am not in any position to eat after just getting off a plane but in this case I ate. Every. Last. Bite. And then went back for another crab potato chip.

I can’t forget to mention breakfast, which was different every day. I was actually excited to wake up every morning because it meant I got to enjoy their breakfast. Poached eggs on goat cheese soufflé with raspberry gastrique, bruleed strawberry yogurt, stuffed almond praline French toast, pear and hazelnut crepes…

Take me baaaaaaack…..

Anyway…

Handpainted Chocolates at Harry & David

After our orchard tour we were shuttled over to the chocolate factory, where Charlie (yes, Charlie) showed us how to make our own hand painted chocolates. I may have gone a bit Jackson Pollock on those suckers.

Handpainted Autumn Leaf Chocolates

Truffle Line at Harry & David

We each painted about a dozen chocolates in, oh, an hour. This baby? Can make that many truffles in a matter of seconds.

You can install my TruffleMaster 2000 right over there by the sofa, please and thank you!

Documenting the Magic at Harry & David

Ah, bloggers. Always taking pictures. And I’m always taking pictures of you taking pictures.

Lunch at Deja Vu, Jacksonville, Oregon

And then, lunch (because we hadn’t eaten in, oh, two hours) was at Deja Vu Bistro in Jacksonville, Oregon. Leek onion soup and steak and blue cheese salad and refreshing mint chocolate chip gelato. Swoon.

Autumn in Jacksonville, Oregon

I love you, Oregon in autumn.

Harry & David Truffles are Photo-Worthy

Next day.

After another life-altering breakfast, we headed to H&D R&D to talk truffles. And taste truffles. And hear about all the design and planning that goes into creating Harry & David’s amazing selection of gift baskets. They are literally, right now, planning basket designs for NEXT holiday season.

And then we ate some more truffles.

Morning Truffle Tasting at Harry & David

Any day that starts with a truffle tasting is going to be a good day.

Bus Full of Bloggers

The bloggers on the bus go…

Safety First.

After donning some truly fashion-forward safety jackets (beware of fork-lifts, y’all), we ventured into cold storage to see where the fruit is stored.

Touring the Fruit Storage Facilities at Harry & David

And just as quickly ventured back out because brrrr! Cold storage is COLD.

Posing at Penny & Lulu's

And what’ya know, it’s time to eat again! A stunning table was set up just for us inside Penny & Lulu’s florist studio, with menu catered by Fresco.

Beet Tortellini by Fresco

These wild mushroom-stuffed beet tortellini blew my mind. I wanted an entire platter all to myself.

Harry & David Gift Baskets

Back at the H&D facility, we toured the gift basket production facility. Each line assembles a different gift basket. The workers pack an entire basket in mere seconds with such skill and precision I was in awe. We even got to try our hand at this packing business, assembling our very own gift basket. It probably took us 45 minutes to make sure each pear was in its proper place.

Harry & David - the Golden Pear

No, I don’t think we’re going to be hired by Harry & David anytime soon.

Harry & David Pear Sorting Lines

There’s a reason Harry & David’s pears are always perfect. They are all hand-inspected and only the best make it to their gift baskets. The ones that are deemed un-giftable are sent back to be turned into juice or baby food.

I See You, Julie!

So much of this experience was about the people; from the conversations with friends, both old and new, over a plate of incredible food, to the workers and staff at Harry & David that simply brim with passion for the brand, I came away with a full heart (and an even fuller stomach).

As if we hadn’t eaten enough already… Julie and I elected to stay an extra two nights and play in Portland. I’ll be posting about that part of our adventure shortly!

Disclosure: This experience was sponsored by Harry & David®. As always, all opinions written are purely our own. We’re incredibly grateful for opportunities like these that allow us to continue sharing delicious experiences with you, so thank you for supporting us and the brands we love.

Share this Post:

You may also like...

14 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On November 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Ahhhh let’s go back…next week! 

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On November 8, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    So jealous!

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On November 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    So fun! Loved taking the trip with you through this post!

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On November 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Oh, Lindsay. I miss you! I’m so glad that Oregon was picture perfect for you, and that you loved Harry & David! We are spoiled with them here in our backyard! :) Great recap and beautiful photography! :)

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On November 9, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Really jealous right now :P Your pictures look amazing, really beautiful! Looks like a great experience, and I want some truffles now . . .  

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On November 9, 2013 at 8:31 am

    What a beautiful trip!  And I LoVE Harry & David’s.  I am craving a juicy golden pear right now!

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On November 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Love this, can you write mine now!! You have a gift for story telling and capturing moments on camera. Miss you!!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On November 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I need to go there asap!  It looks and sounds like you had the most amazing time.  I can relate to fighting over the golden pear, haha

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On November 10, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I just received their catalog this week and had never heard of them! I loved their catalog and then received your amazing blog post!  Beautiful pictures and you took me so much deeper into Harry & David than I could have ever gone myself. Thank you!

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On November 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Looks like a great trip. I’ll have one of those truffle machines installed in my house too please!

    Reply

  11. 11
    Sandi
    Posted On November 11, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Which variety of pear is it you like the best. There are several that are golden when ripe. You should try some of the red ones too.

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On November 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Your photos are fantastic–what fun!

    I had a friend I used to give H&D pears to every year. Luckily, he always shared.

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On November 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    So good to see you, Lindsay! 

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On November 14, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Medford really is gorgeous. I love visiting family up there. 

    Whimsical Allure 

    Reply

Leave a Comment