52 Ways to use a Concierge

52 Ways to use a Concierge

By Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS


One of the questions I get asked by the media is what does a concierge do?  The quick answer is that a concierge will do anything as long as it’s legal, moral and ethical.

Everyone single one of us tries to squeeze 36 hours into a 24 hour day, and when you do that you inevitably don’t do it very well. You get stressed …

Which leads to tired …

Which leads to not eating healthy because you’re craving “comfort” food …

Which leads to sickness.

Not good!

A concierge is here to do the things that you have to, leaving you the time to do the things that you want to like spending more time with family and friends, putting more time in at the office, or relaxing with a good book!

That being said, below is a list of 52 ways you can use a concierge. Since the real list of what a concierge can do for you is endless, the list below is merely here to get you started.

  1. Obtaining tickets to concerts, special events and sporting events
  2. Transportation Services – train, plane or automobiles … concierge can get it!
  3. Travel and Vacation Planning
  4. Business Referral Service – need a landscaper or a plumber?
  5. Restaurant Recommendations and/or Reservations
  6. Pet services
  7. Internet Research – need research done and you don’t have the time to do it?
  8. Personalized shopping and delivery
  9. Running to the post office
  10. Dry cleaning pick-up and/or delivery
  11. Grocery shopping
  12. Running to the hardware store
  13. Senior care
  14. Modified house sitting – need someone to wait for the service technician while you’re at work?
  15. Picking up or returning a gift
  16. Meal Delivery
  17. Home Inventory – video the contents of your home and keep it in your safe deposit box
  18. Bill paying
  19. Auto Maintenance
  20. Home Organization
  21. Notary Services – many concierge area a traveling notary and can actually come to you.
  22. House Cleaning Services
  23. Courier/Delivery Services
  24. Delivering lunch to nurses and doctors at the hospital
  25. Delivering a Meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner
  26. Prescription Pick-up and delivery
  27. Repair and Service Calls
  28. Returning a library book or a video
  29. Sick Care – sick in bed? Call a concierge and they’ll do your errands, arrange for dinner to be delivered and can be on hand to help your family out
  30. New Mommy Services
  31. Meeting and Event Planning; private parties
  32. Personal Chef Services
  33. Single Parent Helper
  34. Employee Relocation Services
  35. Gift baskets and Flower Delivery
  36. Landscaping Services
  37. Special Day Reminder Service
  38. Charter a Private Jet, Yachts or Helicopter
  39. Hire a concierge to assist you at your event, wedding or conference – also called “event concierge” and “wedding concierge”
  40. Need Security?  They’ll hire a security company to assist you.
  41. Day Spa Services
  42. Fashion and/or Stylist Consultant
  43. Nanny Services
  44. Estate Planning
  45. Arrange for your Tee Time at the golf club
  46. Book your appointments for you
  47. Hire a Butler
  48. New to the area?  A concierge will give you a tour of the town
  49. Catering Services
  50. Get Away Weekends
  51. Office help
  52. Moving assistance – let your concierge unpack those boxes and put it all away!!  All you’ll need to unpack is your toothbrush.








Glen Ellen Getaway!

Glen Ellen has always been a mysterious area. Somewhere between Kenwood and Sonoma lies this treasure trove of vineyards and private estates.
I have the pleasure of managing an enchanted estate in this special place. Off the beaten path and unknown to visitors and locals alike, this is an escape. You won’t find this advertised on TripAdvisor or any other travel magazine. You have to be in the know.
This last weekend we had a couple celebrating their 40th birthday. Special friends and family got to take in the entire “Glen Ellen” Experience.

Here are some  highlights:

I’m sure you will love the Scenery… 

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So you you like food?

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Don’t forget the wine…

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Curious how you can enjoy this estate? Give me a call, I’d love to fill you in on all the details. You can reach me at:


Do checkout my website for a full list of services I offer at Concierge of The Valley

Hit me with your BottleRock!

Unless you have been asleep in a cave you have heard of the impending music festival coming to Napa next week. As many as 50,000 youthful fans will descend on the valley with abandon. Many wineries have embraced and even sponsored the coming throngs. 60 bands, 42 wineries and 36 restaurants will be serving it up. A-List comedians and other entertainers will also be in attendance. I’m wondering what all the Mother’s Day visitors will think? Cindy Pawlcyn will have food at the Napa Valley Fairgrounds where the bulk of the action will be held. I would love to see Jim Gaffigan, currently my favorite comic.

The Black Keys headline BottleRock
The Black Keys headline BottleRock, Napa

If you are a music lover you can get your fill for $329, a 3-day pass to heaven. Too rich for your Napa Style, try the 1-day pass for only $139. The festival starts on Wednesday, May 8th and goes till Sunday. Downtown Napa should be bustling with extra tourists in town. It might be the perfect time to get up valley and do some wine tasting for locals. I’m curious what the locals near the fairgrounds think? I’ve heard that most of Alta Heights got free tickets to compensate for traffic and noise. Napa hotels are booked solid and many homes are being rented via Air BnB. If you want to get out of town, you might think about renting your place out for the weekend. I can certainly help facilitate those needs.

The event is destined to be epic and bring a more youthful element to the Napa Valley. It has the makings of an annual event like Outside Lands in San Francisco. I’m really looking forward to it!

What are your thoughts? Love to hear your comments.

Checkout the BottleRock website for all the details…

Easy Ideas for Your Football Party (GO NINERS!)

Neighbors will come over. Friends will call you out. You’ve got the best pad for it… why not just have them all over for the 49ers game tomorrow?? (BTW, it’s at Noon PST on Sunday.) As your go-to party planner, I’ve got some ideas for you.

First: talking points. How about a few stats on Kaep? Or the Harbaughs? No need to be a genius, just get in a good note about changing quarterbacks late in the season… that poor other quarterback (what was his name again?).


Beyond that, hmm, is noon on Sunday too early for a quick-and-dirty tequila set-up? Well, maybe start with serving a handcrafted beer (Boont Amber Ale, or of course SF’s own Anchor Steam Beer recommended), and wait to set out the tequila until after guests have feasted… and yes, a lunchtime party calls for lunch! Throw out the cheese and sausage plate, but to spruce it up, ideas include:

Gourmet magazine’s Chunky Guacamole. This recipe was published in 1998 and it’s been a go-to every playoff season since. Fresh and easy and a crowd pleaser.


This recipe for Aussie Meat Pies has been tried and true in puff pastry and in pie crust.
This recipe for Aussie Meat Pies has been tried and true in puff pastry and in pie crust.

Aussie Meat Pies. These are like maki-sloppy joes. This version is delicious and nice and small for bites — but double or even triple the recipe, use preformed refrigerated pie crusts and mini pie tins, and each one is a small meal, perfect for a footie lunch.

And while most of the guys at your place will balk at any variety of serving vegetables, you could easily steam

a few artichokes (see a guide on prep if you need to), throw lemon, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and fresh flat-leaf parsley into the pot, and serve them up as a finger food (provide tons of napkins).

That should do it — hopefully the big game is a good one. Remember to call, text or email if you need The Concierge to do any part of the prep for the big game: from grocery shopping, to pet sitting to a designated driver to get your guests home.



Black Swan Lake Wedding

Wine Country Weddings: Location Ideas

Black Swan Lake Wedding
Black Swan Lake in Calistoga is an exclusive, gorgeous private venue.

Destination weddings planned in Napa and Sonoma offer guests a dynamic mini-break from the ordinary.

Wedding location options vary from spruced up barns and shabby chic country houses to luxurious estate manors with hillside vineyard views to warm and inviting lush gardens. Some of the most modern architecture graces the Napa and Sonoma valleys and is accessible for weddings, as in the case of the Summerhill home, in Sonoma and the Gordon Huether gallery in Napa.

And don’t forget the four-star, full-service hotels. Auberge du Soleil, Meadowood and Silverado resorts all have extensive experience in pulling off fantastic, memorable wedding celebrations, not to mention a first-class stay for your guests. Beaulieu Gardens in Rutherford is also one of Napa Valley’s primiere wedding venues. These tried-and-true wedding venues almost seem old school; today, many brides are taking the time to creatively approach one of the more unique locations, putting their wedding signature or theme in the forefront.

Black Swan Lake is a private wedding location with elaborate grounds and a fully-equipped venue. Weddings I have assisted with here are stunning; but don’t take my word for it. Take a look at the accolades from the many blog posts and photos of the Black Swan Lake venue posted all over the Internet.

As well, Calistoga Ranch in northern Napa Valley is set apart, and perfect for catering to creative tastes and smaller weddings.

Wedding Celebration Table
Dream it up for your Wedding and the Concierge will be your personal assistant in Napa or Sonoma.

Whatever your wedding needs: assistance with finding a locale, a photographer, local vendors of any kind, help for the wedding party on the Big Day, let the Concierge be your go-to phone call or text!

Call the Concierge: 707.738.5205

Even My Frugal Friends Use a Concierge

Call the Concierge: 707.738.5205
Friends have been calling me for help and advice since forever: 707.738.5205.

Recently, on a fully booked flight in which I was sandwiched between a girl and her mini-poodle at the window, and a six-foot-tall exec on the aisle (well, at least it was the Exit Row), I was asked by the executive about being an independent concierge. The exec said he was familiar with hotel concierges but was still curious, and asked, “So you get tickets to shows and book tours? But how do people know to call you? Doesn’t it get expensive?”

The answer is simple: my first clients were my friends, who called me because I always know what’s going on, what’s open, what’s not; who’s the best at what they do, and who’s right for the job. I’ve always known how to “make it happen,” so my work in hospitality naturally morphed into affordable personal concierge services. In a short time, I had a huge local client base I was hooking up with wide range of trade contacts.

About 70% of my clients are local, and call me for a wide range of services: designated drivers for parties or events, help with finding nannies and sitters, running errands for full-time working moms, booking pet sitters and house sitters, making travel arrangements for vacations, event planning and management, arranging housekeeping and landscaping services, and yes… finding tickets to some of Napa and Sonoma’s best events. I don’t charge exorbitant fees just because I know what’s going on; I simply make it worthwhile to call me to put it all together for you. With client satisfaction comes repeat bookings and my concierge services are diverse and flourishing.

The exec, based out of Houston, is now calling me to help book his Wine Country vacation home, a few Napa and one Sonoma wine tour, personal chef services so they don’t have to cook every meal, and even in-home spa services. He tells me the entire booking is about the same as a hotel, but is providing much more privacy and peace-and-quiet (the reason for the vacation!), and leaving the details to me also provides him with assurance that it’ll be all set on arrival.

I look forward to making a booking for you, whether a one-time event or repeat/subscription services. Just leave the details to me!

The Concierge

Entertaining and Wine Pairings

Choosing Wine for Holiday Events

Entertaining and Wine Pairings

Holiday Entertaining Is Easy with
the Right Inspiration

People often ask me how I find the right wine to order or serve for the various celebrations I arrange for clients all over Wine Country. Well… that’s what being a concierge is all about. I’m savvy to the latest popular flavor profiles, and I’m knowledgeable about vintages and terroirs thanks to my endless (and hardly grueling) research around Napa and Sonoma. And for wine recommendations and pairings, I rely on my expert Sommelier friends and insider wine media buzz (see links below, although some of this buzz is overheard at my favorite dining and drinking establishments). Then clients and I taste together, and matches are made, and cases of wine are purchased and delivered.

For Wine Country’s locals and vacationers, one of my favorite tasks is setting up a private wine tasting. We do this frequently for party hosts, guests staying at vacation homes and for corporate retreats. As the sommelier sets up, I make my mental notes, and after the event, I get the best feedback from my sommelier. It’s constant research!

I also stay on top of vintages, labels, favorites and pairings by surfing the blogs. There are some that tweet on Twitter, but they almost always link back to their wine blogs, so I just have my favorites bookmarked and check seasonally for updates. Plus, dining and entertaining articles provide me with a compass for setting up a client’s event or dinner party: I go back to some of these wine and food lists again and again, maybe updating the menu with a few recipes or wines I’ve found to enhance the experience.

I’ll let you in on my favorites:

  • For inspiring home decorating and party ideas: Elle Décor
  • For wine lists and lists and lists: K&L Wines Blog (see the SEARCH function — so great!)
  • More wine, The Terroirist: The Daily Wine Blog is also searchable, and getting tweets from the Terriorist also light me on to other wine enthusiasts’ commentary on what’s hot now.
  • For Event Shopping, Wine Accessories and Shipping Wine: Wine Enthusiast
  • For more ad hoc West (LEFT) Coast wine and travel advice: Off the Vine

    Holiday Table
    Inspiration for Holiday Entertaining can come from anywhere. This is a celebration table for a Diwali festival event.

Do share your favorite inspirational places, websites, people, bloggers… One can NEVER get enough wine advice. Happy Holidays, and Happy Entertaining!

Cheers from The Concierge

Holiday Entertaining and Event Planning: Ask the Concierge

Wine Pairings Make for a Fun Holiday Party Conversation Starter
Concierge of the Valley can arrange any style of catering service to keep you mingling rather than serving.

We find that Holiday Entertaining is at first daunting to some new clients, who contact us for help with a specific task, be it catering, or chauffeur or valet services, or decorating. Yet when you call the Concierge of the Valley, you’ll hear the open invitation — Are you sure I can’t cover more for you? Really, we’re here to free you up to enjoy your own party.

Shopping. Gifts for family, co-workers, friends, relatives or house guests. Groceries for the party, or just the family, to take the pressure off.

Party Decorating. With a classic hand, we are capable of preparing your vineyard, home or venue for guests from 5 to 1200 or more. Flowers, serviceware, decorations, uniforms — it’s all coordinated for you, in your style, within your budget. We find that corporate clients especially appreciate our capabilities for customizing the “look and feel” of their celebrations.

Wine Selection, Delivery and Service. If you’re in Napa or Sonoma, there’s a measure of sophistication that’s expected with the choice of wine served at parties, events and celebrations. We’ve got your palate covered: we can make suggestions, arrange a consultation with a sommelier, and conduct follow-through to get the order to you on-time and at the right temperature. You’re ready to go!

Catering. From cocktail hour, to hors d’oeuvres, to wine pairings, to five-course buffets or served plates, the Concierge of the Valley is ready with all manner of suggestions, or just happy to help coordinate all the pieces you’ve so carefully selected. We can also arrange for the perfect personal chef to come by once a week to prepare the weeks’ meals — to keep your diet on track, or to make sure you’re not living on paté, Cambozola and water crackers.

Clean-Up. Cheers it up until 4 a.m. with your best family and friends, because we’ll be by the next day at your convenience to put your place back into pre-party form. Perhaps one of our most popular holiday entertaining services!

Car and Valet Services. No need to arrange a limo to get you and your friends around. Our designated driver services can be on-call for an evening or a weekend. This is especially useful for those visiting vacation homes, and may not be familiar with all the roads and byways around Napa and Sonoma. One tip: CALL AHEAD!! Booking will be tight around Thanksgiving and the month of December.

Pet Sitting. Don’t jam the cat into the coat bedroom! We’re happy to arrange a pet sitter for a few hours, a hotel stay, or an overnighter durning the busy holiday season. Many book us to take care of their pets while allergy-prone relatives come to stay, alleviating any discomfort having the pet around might cause.

Happy planning! We can’t wait to hear from you.