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San Francisco highlights

The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, cable cars and clam chowder, these are the things I remember most from my first visit to San Francisco almost 15 years ago. Last month I had the opportunity to visit this buzzing Californian city again, however this time I was eager to explore the streets through the eyes of a local. With the hospitality of some fab friends and adventurous colleagues, my week in this sunny yet foggy city was anything but boring. My camera rarely left my side so I thought I'd share with you some of my highlights & perhaps inspire you to put this city on your travel list. Golden-gate-bridge I spent the first few days of my trip staying with friends in Sausalito, a pretty, green, harbourside town. From the city, Sausalito is only a short ferry ride or drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, yet feels a million miles away. Within hours of touching down and setting foot here, I found myself wrapping my hands around an all American burger at the Napa Valley Burger Co, what better way to start the trip huh! sausalito_harbour American_burger_sausalito The Sausalito boat houses are absolutely worth checking out. So colourful and unrestrainedly creative...anything goes and I love that! sausalito-boat-houses As the wine county Sonoma, is only a stones throw away, we decided to make the scenic drive and explore the region. We visited three wineries with the last making us feel like we were starring in Wedding Crashes (the wedding season was upon us).
valley_of_moon_winery_sonoma Fab friends Matt & Kellie Lough & me - sipping on Rose at Madrone Winery
sonoma_wine_tasting Top left: Chateau St Jean Winery (Fairytale wedding venue!) Bottom Right: Muscardini Winery
Madrone_sonoma Madrone Wine Estate
Madrone_Estate_Sonoma So back to the heart of San Francisco. I spent the next five nights at the Hotel Zetta which is smack bang in the middle of the shopping district. Within metres are the doors to Westfield, dangerous, VERY dangerous, especially as the shops don't close till 8:30pm every single night. The hotel is modern, playful & arty, an ideal base for a fun fuelled week.
Hotel_Zetta_San_Francisco Hotel Zetta
Time to get back to some food. A fab place for brunch is the Park Tavern. For those who have spent time in London, this place reminded me of The Wolseley. Grand, stylish yet cosy. We ordered banana & coconut fritters, cast-iron baked farm eggs with spinach & jamon, scrambled eggs with homemade chorizo as well avocado on seeded whole wheat toast drizzled with lemon & chilli flakes. park_tavern_san_francisco Park-Tavern-San-Francisco Later I found out that the Park Tavern is actually the sister restaurant to The Cavalier restaurant inside Hotel Zetta. Both delivering bistro style food celebrating seasonal and quality produce. No visit to San Fran is complete without visiting these key locations. The "Painted Ladies" (think Full House), Union Square and the Ferry Building.
san-francisco-painted-ladies Painted Ladies
san_francisco_tram_union_square Union Square - the shopping hub of the city
san-francisco-ferry-building ferry-building-market Inside the Ferry Building is home to gourmet food stalls of local artisan producers. Blue Bottle Coffee, Cowgirl Creamery Cheese and Humphry Slocombe ice cream are some of the local favourites. I can personally testify that the ice-cream at Humphry Slocombe is worth committing to the lengthy queue. A restaurant highlight which too is located within the Ferry Building is The Slanted Door. A modern Vietnamese eatery, a place catered for power lunches and friendly get togethers. The place was buzzing. The food came fresh and fast. Highlights were the fresh Vietnamese rolls, grass fed filet mignon on Sausalito watercress and their special hokkien noodles which weren't on the menu. Located by the water it's the ideal place to linger over a long lunch. slanted-door-san-francisco slanted-door-vietnamese It was a whirlwind of a week but it definitely reignited my interest with not only the Californian state but the USA. I need to start planning (& saving!) my next adventure over there. All highlights are listed below in case you'd like to reach out or bookmark them for your next trip. Hotel Zetta 55 5th Street San Francisco, CA 94103 Phone +1 415 543 8555 Napa Valley Burger Company 670 Bridgeway Sausalito, CA 94965 Phone +1 415 332 1454 Ferry Building Marketplace One Ferry Building San Francisco, CA 94111 Phone +1 415 983 8030 The Slanted Door One Ferry Building #3 San Francisco, CA 94111 Phone +1 415 861 8032 Park Tavern 1652 Stockton St San Francisco, CA 94133 Phone +1 415 989 7300 Madrone - Valley Of The Moon Winery 777 Madrone Road Glen Ellen, CA 95442 Phone +1 707 939 4500 Muscardini Winery 9380 Sonoma Hwy Kenwood, CA 95452 Phone +1 707 933 9305 Chateau St Jean Winery 8555 Sonoma Hwy Kenwood, CA 95452 Phone +1 707 833 4134 Have you got any upcoming holidays booked? If not where would you like your next travelling adventure to be?
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