Monday, November 30, 2009

San Francisco and my first Hermes scarf!

My husband Mr.HB and I spent 10 days in San Francisco a few years ago. We walked for hours each day, shopped, toured and hopped on moving cable cars. The restaurants were plentiful and we dined at as many as we could in those fabulous 10 days. I was surprised that with all that wonderful food that we did not gain any weight. I attribute that to the many hours of walking and exploring.
We stayed in a modest hotel (which had great reviews on Trip Advisor) on Bush Street in the Nob Hill neighborhood which was uphill from downtown! Several times we stopped at Scala's Bistro in the Frances Drake Hotel and dined before climbing the rest of the way up. We also went to a San Francisco institution, "The Mark Hopkins Hotel", for cocktails at the "Top of the Mark". We stumbled upon a rather old eatery called Sam's Grill which was very plain and understated in decor, the food was tasty and the portions were enormous! I had my doubts about the service when I saw the elderly waiters in tuxes! The service was without a doubt quite magnificent, my martini with 3 olives arrived filled to the brim and served from a tray and not one drop spilled! It proved extremely difficult for me to pick it up and sip and alas I did let a drop or two land on my napkin!

We befriended a lovely, albeit eccentric, former SF resident, a keen gardener, who was back in town from Washington State for the SF Flower and Garden Horticultural Show. She was staying near us at the Metropolitan Club, which is the former SF Women's Athletic club, and she invited us to a lecture on arts and crafts by docents from the de Young museum. It was a very interesting afternoon and we rubbed elbows with some very well heeled women who were impeccably dressed and groomed. I was appropriately attired but felt rather lacking. I suppose it was at that moment that I was moved to "improve" my status and how better than to do it via retail therapy!
I had seen the many shops and boutiques near Union Square and suggested that we venture down the hill yet again and do some serious shopping! We wandered around Gumps for awhile and I must say it is a delicious store! There are many many flagship stores and SF is a great mecca for shopping. I love Hermes so when we entered the store I felt excited! We asked to see some scarves and the clerk showed us at least a dozen of a variety of color and pattern. How to choose? (Would this be my one and only Hermes scarf?) I decided on the bright and cheerful "les jardins d'andalousie" I do so adore the packaging process! Details like the ribbon, the tissue, the orange box, the bag and the wee book on scarf tying!

On our last day the weather changed and torrential rain fell. We cocooned for several hours in Cafe de la Presse which was very French. The hostess was tres chic, she was French and had the chicest hair I have ever seen, simple, not perfect, a little tousled bobbed and brunette. She was beautiful. We sipped red wine and savored smoked salmon galette, French Onion soup, and enjoyed the profiteroles in chocolate hazelnut sauce and French press coffee.

I delighted in wearing that scarf on holiday and every time I tie it on I remember how amazing our trip to San Francisco was and how I plan to return someday soon.


  1. I love Cafe de la Presse. And San Francisco society has always been fond of les Hermes...

  2. Greetings LPC..I am happy that we share things in common!

  3. San Francisco is one of my favorite hot spots. One of the things I like most about it, aside from its great attractions (Golden Gate Bridge, etc.) is the gaggle of hotels, shops and restaurants you find in or near Union Square (as alluded to in this post). There are great properties to check out (you can find more information on sites like including the Adante Hotel, Best Western Hotel California, Cova Hotel, etc. San Fran is probably tops on my all-time favorite destination list, just below the ubiquitous NYC.