San Francisco is one of the best dining cities in the country so almost every time I visit, I’m always looking for a new place to try. While there are new trends and restaurants constantly opening in the city, I think there’s something to be said for a true classic- an oldie but goodie. That’s why during my last trip, I made a point to visit One Market, a Michellan starred restaurant located at one of the most recognizable addresses at the top of the San Francisco Embarcadero. (more…)
Big Sur, California is one of the most amazing, awe inspiring places I’ve ever been to and a must visit for anyone traveling to San Francisco, Los Angeles or anywhere in between. I’ve been meaning to visit ever since my best friend from college did the drive down Highway 1 years ago- so when I was in California earlier this year, I decided to plan my entire trip around the same route. At the advice of one of my friends, I decided to check out Ventana Inn & Spa, an iconic property located right above the waters of Big Sur.
In so many ways, I feel that Ventana Inn embodies the rugged, organic grandeur of the town in which it resides. There is a certain authenticity to the property- from the way the buildings coexists with nature, to the genuine love of the area that their employees have, to the local ingredients used not only in their dinner menu but also in their spa menu, to the overall ambiance of wellness and peace. There is nothing engineered or over the top about this place- but rather a resort that is truly in line with their motto- the essence of Big Sur. (more…)
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying everyone probably likes flowers, chocolate and/or fragrance as a Valentine’s Day gift. But do they LOVE it? Well, “mind-blowing” might not be the first thing I’d think … more like “predictable, but sweet. I’ll take it.” Leave it to Strange Invisible Perfumes to prove me wrong. Their creative take on the ol’ tried and true is simply eye-popping. (Oh men of our lives, are you reading this?!?)
A team effort with floral designer Holly Flora and San Francisco-based chocolate artisan Cocoa Absolute, SIP’s “ultimate Valentine’s Day delivery” offers four options of drop-dead gorgeous, creative bouquets paired with limited-edition organic, botanical perfumes and a delectable box of hand-crafted chocolates. (Just outside of L.A.? Call and see if they’ll make the trip.)
While pricey ($205–$542), the results are absolutely swoon-worthy. In addition, the flowers can be customized by request (if what you want is available), and since the chocolates are optional, you can always adjust according to your budget.
P.S. If you’re in the neighborhood, drop by SIP’s Venice, Calif., boutique tomorrow (Feb. 5) for a trunk show. There will be champagne, cupcakes, jewelry and plenty of limited edition fragrances to sample before you take the plunge!
Strange Invisible Perfumes is located at 1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, Calif. To order a V-Day delivery, call them at 310-314-1505 by February 11, 2011.
Travelers to San Francisco looking for accommodation have no doubt come across the Personality Hotels, a quartet of boutique properties located in downtown Union Square. On my last trip out there, I popped into Hotel Diva for a night to check it out and found it to be a great option for those (especially for a girls trip) who want the convenience of being right in the center of it all, at an affordable price. (more…)
A couple months ago my boyfriend, a former resident of San Francisco, took me to some of his favorite places in the city and surrounding areas. Despite having traveled to SF a few times, I always find new favorite discoveries every time I visit. This time, it was even better having a (once) local show me the non-touristy spots. (more…)
On my recent visit to San Francisco, I decided to escape the cold and the city with an overnight trip to Sonoma. California wine country boasts some of the world’s finest dining and drinking experiences- so it’s really a shame to go out for only a day trip. We decided to make Healdsburg, a beautiful, centrally located town our home base, and drive to all the vineyards surrounding it. After having done some research on lodging options in the town, I decided to check into Healdsburg Inn, a very charming, chic, and best of all comfortable hotel that is centrally located right in the town’s main plaza. (more…)
Usually when one thinks of San Francisco- there are certain must-visit attractions that come to mind- The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Palace of Fine Arts Theater- just to name a few. A few weeks ago on my most recent trip to the city, I discovered, while spotting tour groups walking through my hotel lobby, that the Fairmont San Francisco also makes the list, and deservingly so! Situated atop the beautiful Nob Hill, the Fairmont is one of the city’s landmark hotels and a true local icon. It’s deeply steeped in history- both as the original Fairmont Hotel- and as a historic building in the city of San Francisco. (more…)
What: Chaya Brasserie
Who: Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe
Where: 132 Embarcadero in San Francisco
When: For lunch, M-F: 11:30am-2pm. For dinner, M-W: 5:30pm-10pm, Th-S: 5:30pm-10:30pm, Sun: 5:30pm-9pm. For happy hour, begins at 4pm M-F, at 5pm on weekends.
Why: Located on the Embarcadero, Chaya Brasserie will give you a delectable dining French-Japanese experience with unobstructed views of the Bay Bridge. (more…)
A few weekends ago, one of my lovely girlfriends got married in San Francisco and had an amazingly beautiful wedding. (Congratulations, Emily!) She was the first of in our group of gals to get hitched, so we all planned for an unforgettable weekend in California. That included a side trip to Sonoma for wine tasting, which I was, of course, super excited for! We gathered recommendations from friends and did some research of our own to start planning our wine country tour. Although not all the ladies could make it, with our group size, it turned out to be only slightly more expensive to book a private limo than to do a shuttle bus tour. The flexibility to choose wineries and schedules was definitely worth it for us, and armed with a list of wineries we wanted to check out, we began our trip… (more…)