San Francisco Favorites
Following a festive, family filled holiday, Scott and I stole away to San Francisco for a leisurely five days. The city was still decked out in holiday finery, and it was the perfect place to celebrate the new year together. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take San Francisco any time of year. On this trip we visited some old favorites and made a point of discovering some new ones.
We usually visit San Francisco for a weekend, or just an overnight, so having 5 days felt more leisurely and relaxed. We booked this stay through our Vacation Club Membership, and when they called to say Club Donatello, at the Donatello Hotel, was available we jumped at the chance. Our suite was on the top floor, just below the penthouse club, terrace and viewing deck.
We arrived in the evening and walked into this lovely city view from our suite.
We appreciated the luxurious amenities at the Club Donatello. The comfy bed, with 600 thread count sheets, fluffy robes, mini refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave, were welcome additions. The mirrored dressing room, with ample storage space, made the suite even more spacious. The hotel, located on Post, is just a block off Union Square and in an excellent location. The hotel is elegantly decorated with original Italian art, Venetian glass, European antiques and Italian marble. I stayed here many years ago, and it remains a classic, luxurious hotel today.
Scott and I returned to some favorite old haunts, like strolling Maiden Lane near Union Square.
We took photos near the Christmas Tree in Union Square, re-creating one of our first dates back in the late 1990’s.
We love to walk the neighborhoods wherever we travel. It’s the best way to capture the essence of the place.
Isn’t this a beautiful view of the bay from this stately ‘grand dame’ of a place?
San Francisco boasts iconic architecture, and we never tire of imagining what life would be like in one of these beauties that have gracefully stood the test of time. Pacific Heights is a wonderful place to stroll and view the architecture and expansive glimpses of the bay. Lose yourself somewhere on the crest of Divisadero, Jackson, Pacific and Broadway neighborhoods.
All that walking revs up the appetite. I have always wanted to try Spruce Restaurant, on Sacramento Street, in Presidio Heights. It’s had rave reviews over the years, and we ended up going for a brunch. The food was delicious, and the service friendly, in this elegant place. I would highly recommend it for a less expensive daytime meal or romantic dinner out.
A long time favorite for me is Cafe`de la Presse. A classic french bistro with all the latest press–magazines and newspapers–from around the world. I’ve always enjoyed the way the French create salads and the fresh salade de poulet grillé, with goat cheese medallion, is crave-worthy.
A new favorite for us this trip is Gitane. The Spanish vibe reminded us of our summer travels to Portugal and Spain. Tapas, small plates, are a fun way to eat and allow diners to experience a number of different flavors in their meal. The staff was super friendly and we spent parts of two evenings at Gitane. The bar is lively and hip, and the dining area upstairs has a romantic vibe.
Another new find for dining is the Asian inspired E&O Kitchen and Bar just off Union Square. It’s a fresh, modern take on Asian Fare. The sleek dining room, with lofty ceilings, is gorgeous. We stopped in for a late lunch and ended up lingering for a while over spring rolls and a glass of sauvignon blanc.
I had my first official blow out at The Dry Bar, just up the street. I strategically scheduled it so that my style would last through New Year’s Eve in the city. This is the ‘before’ shot of my hair. I’ll be doing an upcoming post on the sleek results.
Window shopping on Sacramento Street…
and selecting my signature scents at Le Labo on Fillmore.
My favorite individual notes are neroli, vetiver, jasmin, bergamot, tubereuse and fleuer d’oranger.
The city is so pretty at night. Scott, checking out the window dressing (she’s not real, dear!;)
San Francisco is a fantastic place to celebrate New Year’s Eve! With these beautiful views, we popped the cork in our suite as we dressed, then headed to another one of our favorite places, The Mortimer, at Hotel Adagio. We were treated like royalty, thanks to Sarah and Tony. At midnight, the San Francisco sky lights up with the brilliant fireworks show at the Embarcadero.
in San Francisco dreams do come true!
Isn’t she sweet?
For more on San Francisco:
Our thanks to Club Donatello for the upgraded suite. All opinions are my own.
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