Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The San Francisco Palace Hotel

The Bay Bridge is less iconic than the Golden Gate to San Francisco, but I can't help getting excited no matter which route I take into the city if I have been away for awhile.

The call box ruined my shot from the car window, but c'est la vie!

Today we are destination Market Street and the famous Palace Hotel.

Resurrected after the earthquake and fire at the turn of the last century, the hotel has also been somewhat lately restored and is as breathtaking as ever. But my visits are always about the Pied Piper Bar and the Garden Court Restaurant.

It's hard to get a bad meal in San Francisco, but for me the Palace Hotel is not about the food, which is crazy expensive.

It's about the visual treat instead. Its history, unforgettable beauty, and inspiration.

Enter the promenade on Market Street and the hall will lead you straight through to the other side. But first you will encounter the Pied Piper Bar. So named because of the painted mural by Maxfield Parrish.

Famous for his dreamy subjects and colors, especially that "Parrish blue" sky, Maxfield Parrish was the most successful commercial artist of his time. The hotel is located downtown in the business district, and the bar caters to the business crowd. If you want to try something from the grill, the truffle fries are
the rave. Bring LOTS of cash.

But the main entrance holds the most enchantment where fresh flowers always adorn the marble topped table to greet guests.

At center is the lush and opulent Garden Court which a hundred years ago accommodated horse drawn carriages dropping off guests.

Now you merely enjoy a fabulous meal beneath the glass dome ceiling.

Purple can be the only suitable color for a Palace.

Table service is elegant and simple.

Afternoon tea, a tad more indulgent. . . .

The Palace Hotel has catered to Kings and Queens, and famous visiting celebrities from Mark Twain to modern Presidents. And now,  you and me. I hope you enjoyed the visit!

Ciao! for now!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Farewell to August ~ Linens & Lemonade

Part of the fun of entertaining is getting ready for it. If you like to cook, it's the cooking. If you like to shop, it's the shopping. If you like to decorate, it's the putting it all together that you like. If you enjoy all three, then you entertain a whole lot and everybody loves you!

Sometimes I find something that just makes me feel like having a party. Trader Joe's French Market Sparkling Lemonade did it for me. Don't you love all their genious bags and labels? My friend Mary brought her New York Trader Joe's bag over just to show me how much she loved it.

And usually all I need is one small inspiration to bring an idea together. The rest just gravitates around it. I knew I wanted lots of white, so I gathered up a white platter, some gorgeous white linens, and a lovely potted white orchid. We'll need a few more drinks, a bit of fruit and cheese, a crusty loaf, and Bonne Fete! (Happy Celebration!)

Generous and smooth vintage damask napkins with a cherry pattern and a family monogram pair with luscious linen battenburg lace place mats.

A yummy white majolica platter echoes the cherry pattern of the napkins.

The label lends a little French flavor to the occasion.

I'm addicted to the visual pleasure of stacked linens!

A Bon Voyage to August!
 And wishing you smooth sailing into September!
Ciao! for now!


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Monday, August 29, 2011

Heirloom Limoges

Mr. Cottage says that this pewter pitcher used to appear on the fourth of July to make mint juleps with the Bridgemans. Today it's perfect for the hydrangeas.

The Limoges is heirloom as well, and old enough not to have a mark. It's remarkable when a few lovely pieces survive to be handed down to yet another generation.

Stories get lost through the years. But the importance of family objects never dies. They become part of what ties us together. Our celebrations and traditions.

Perhaps that sense of family tradition is part of what makes antiques so appealing. Even if the family isn't ours. We want to be a part of that "something special." The other part is simply wanting to be surrounded by that "something wonderful". . . .

I hope you have a week just filled with wonderful!
Ciao! for now!


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Tabletop Tuesday
Tablescape Thursday
Feathered Nest Friday