my first time in San Francisco

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I am just back from a one week work trip to San Francisco. Despite having been to the US on many, many occasions I had never been to SF before. That was remiss of me.

San Francisco is an incredibly beautiful city (most people know that), but it is also a warm and friendly city full of people who care. Be it about the tech world and startups, or environmental issues, parks, food, coffee (I know – surprising), or politics, San Franciscans just seem so wordly and interesting.

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The food was completely amazing. A few of the places we visited:

Range on Valencia – absolutely delicious, fresh, innovative Californian cuisine. And for the first time I tried fried green tomatoes.

Zuni on Market – Zuni has been around for almost 25 years and is a bit of an institution. One of the co-owners previously spent two decades at Chez Panisse, so whilst I was disappointed not to have time to make it out there at least I got a sense of what it would be like.

Slanted Door – at the Ferry Building. Modern Vietnamese in a beautiful setting overlooking the water. The place was packed – on a Tuesday – but we were able to eat at the bar.  Oh, and the Ferry Building is a culinary destination all on its own, too.

Italy (again) in 11 months

We just booked another trip to Italy for next summer. So far we’re planning seven nights in Umbria, a night or two in Rome, and five nights on the Amalfi Coast (meaning we can day trip to Capri). Plus a few nights in London to shop and see friends. So… I will be capturing tips and ideas for restaurants and hotels on the blog. Anticipation of a holiday is almost the best thing about them.

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our Amalfi hotel — Casa Angelina

These two tips from An Affair With Italy – a great site dedicated to all things Italian.

CAPRI
There’s a restaurant that is a must for any visit to Carpri. It’s called la Fontelina (I via Faraglioni, Capri, Island of Capri, Italy) It’s best for lunch, in fact you can go there and spend the morning laying out in the sun and swimming and then stroll up to the restaurant for one the best pastas you will ever have!
POSITANO

A drink with a view never to be forgotten: I had a drink with 3 or 4 great mates at the il San Pietro Hotel in Positano, just before sunset. What a view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It was a still night and it was hard to see where the water on the horizon met the sky. I had a Caprioska or two.

And this tip via Lucy Folk’s blog:

POSITANO

We had a corker of a time in Positano. We were in town to celebrate our friends wedding and the Aperol Spritz’s flowed freely as did the banter. Da Adolfo and their delicious fare was the place to be and the wedding was one to remember… Limoncello… Pantalone !!? Ha.

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Packing

The build up to a holiday is probably as fun as the holiday itself; it’s the anticipation, the possibilities, the best version of you that you imagine you’ll be in this sunny new place… So, packing is best when you can take the time and make it a ritual. Today was such a time. It’s like a funnel, start with every single thing you love and then start to edit. Down to the point of hand luggage only. My golden travel rule. Here is the process part way through..

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Firmdale Hotels

In precisely ten days’ time we will be waking up in one of the heavenly beds at the Haymarket Hotel, my favourite hotel in London and possibly my favourite hotel in the world. Why? Because Kit Kemp knows how to make a hotel feel like a home. Because the staff are incredibly warm and unobtrusively obliging. Because the room service is killer. Because they have always been so amazing to me over the years, and last year upgraded us to a very special suite to help celebrate our impending wedding. Yes. I cannot wait to be back.

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Kate_pre hens night at Haymarket

shopping list: europe and the us

we’re off on a two-week vacation soon and we cannot wait. a few days in Italy at the stunning borgo della marmotta where we were married, four days in London at the haymarket (my favourite hotel of all time), and then a week in new york at soho house (rooftop pool action aplenty). So, I need a place to record the shopping transactions that will take place… here goes…

GAP — pink leather envelope clutch

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Crate & Barrel — french marble cake plate

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Williams-Sonoma — Mauviel copper beating bowl

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H&M — navy + pink wedges

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Marc by Marc Jacobs — gold foil iPhone 5 case

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the oscars

I love this time of year. Makes me think of this amazing photograph of Faye Dunaway taken by Terry O’Neill the morning after she won the Best Actress Oscar in 1976 for Network. Also makes me VERY excited for my upcoming trip to LA, now wishing I was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel…

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Flinders

Alex and I have fallen completely in love with the coastal town of Flinders which is on the mornington peninsula in Victoria, just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne. Totally do-able as a weekend beach retreat and quickly elevated to the next project on my list (once I have secured gainful, and lucrative, employment).

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photo by me. amazing graphics via my current favourite iPhone app Over

LA sourcing / planning trip

Well, with the house mini-renovation nearing completion it must surely be time for the next project? Am thinking a quick sojourn to LA to achieve two things: finalise business plan and investor strategy for killer business idea with my friend and partner in crime, C. And source remaining items for the house plus potentially some other items not for the house, but for business idea #2. So, where to go? what to do? …

Stay: here, ideally, but given the trip will likely coincide with Oscar Week it might be tough.

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So, here is a good enough fallback.

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Shop: everywhere. LA is a bit of an interior design and style mecca. If I really have to boil it down I’ll be hitting up…

The font of all design knowlege and arbiter of taste, Heather from Habitually Chic is just back from a design trip to LA which she blogged about.

LA