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San Francisco in 24 to 48 Hours

I was asked by a few folks at the shops about some of the places I visited while I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago. It really is such a special city. When I had my showroom, I used to exhibit at the show there twice a year. Spending a week there at a time, I feel like I got to know it well. There are so many “classic” spots that I stop at each trip, and then there are new places I hear about that I have to check out. I wrote 24 to 48 hours in the heading, because you really can see so much in just a day or two. Which I think makes it such a cool city for a quick, inspirational trip. Here is how this trip rolled.


20140208-061706.jpg Good food, no make that great food plays such a big part in the enjoyment of SF. The first evening I had dinner at the Cavalier with our friend Grant K. Gibson. You might remember a past post about his photography we carry at the shops. His full-time job is interior designer. The Cavalier was his recommendation and it did not disappoint. With interiors by Ken Fulk, it is as yummy to look at as the food–and the food was pretty darn tasty. Highly recommend. It is actually just a few blocks away from the Four Seasons, which is on Market Street, which is where I stayed. Such a lovely hotel, with such gracious service, and centrally located so it makes getting around a breeze.

20140208-063101.jpg If you have one choice to dine on a quick trip to San Francisco, by all means grab a reservation for lunch or dinner at Zuni Cafe. My ritual on a SF trip is I have lunch there on the day I later fly home. I have done this always, and I always fly home happy. Zuni is one of my all time favorites. Simplicity on so many levels. Just good, good food simply prepared that will knock your socks off.


My other memorable meal was at Farmshop at the Marin Country Mart with my new friend Tolan Florence. I was familiar with Farmshop in the Brentwood Country Mart in LA. This is their newest venture, and the meal and the space were just stupendous. Again, not fancy, just the best ingredients simply prepared to perfection. You take a walk-on ferry to Larkspur, and then it is just a few minute walk to the Mart. It is filled with sweet shops to peruse as well as a lovely bookstore. You catch the boat at the Ferry Building. You will want to arrive quite early, as you will want/need to spend a bunch of time at the shops here too. The San Francisco Ferry Building is really such a gem. Go hungry, as there are so many sweet spots to pick up things to nosh on.

20140208-064941.jpg Shopping plays a big part in the SF plan. Bell’occhio is a must see. I have been going there for over 20 years. It is just magical. You walk in the door and you are just transported to a slower, more genteel time. I have gotten to know Claudia and her husband Tom over the years. If you stop in, tell her Ted sent you. It is about a 30 second walk from Zuni, so they always go hand and hand on my visits. Then there is a stop at Wilkes Bashford, Gump’s, Hermes, and Burberry–all just a few blocks from one another in the Union Square area. Hayes Valley is another fun area to walk around and shop at small shops. A quick taxi or Uber takes you to Sacramento Street for more shopping at Sue Fisher King, March and Hudson Grace. Then to Fillmore Street to Nest and a walk around to other shops on this busy and entertaining street. I used Uber quite a bit on this last trip. I was having the hardest time hailing cabs, so the Uber app was called into play often. We are really such fans of the service. It is also such a great waking city. I could just walk and walk and walk and people watch. The architecture is stellar. Remember to look up and to look down. So much to see and do in this most wonderful of cities, San Francisco.




Photography by Grant K. Gibson at WK

20120803-074143.jpg The timeless and classic photography by Grant K. Gibson arrived last week and we could not wait to get the pieces hung on the art wall and placed around the shops.

20120803-074439.jpg Our art wall at the Fine Home location of Watson Kennedy has been such a fun addition. When we expanded the space last year, I was so excited to make an entire wall a gallery of art. We have sold so many pieces since, it has become a mini-rotating gallery. The above 2 photos by Grant finding a temporary home until they find the perfect permanent home on a customer’s wall.


20120803-075116.jpg Mister Gibson is an interior designer extraordinaire who lives in San Francisco. He has an amazing eye and is a talented photographer as well. His photography seems to freeze an ethereal moment in time. I was drawn to it the first time I saw some of his work, and am thrilled to now be offering it at Watson Kennedy.

20120803-075639.jpg This piece I propped up in a display at the Market shop. I am a big believer that not all art needs to be hung. I like the casualness of a piece just easily sitting amongst other things. It just draws your eye right to it.

20120803-075918.jpg We will bring in more and more work by this talented fellow, so I will share other images as they arrive. If any or all of the above tickle your fancy, please let me know, and I can get you sizes and pricing.

An art filled, happy Friday, to you all!



Arugula Salad with Corn & Cherries

20120712-055649.jpg One of the fun aspects of writing this daily blog, is folks recommend other people to me who write blogs that they think I should read or meet. I was not a big blog reader before I started writing mine a little over a year ago, but have really enjoyed perusing more and more. I love a mixture of blogs–design, food, art, lifestyle–and will share with you in the coming months some of my favorites. The above salad combination was from a post by the talented interior designer in San Francisco, Grant K. Gibson. He writes a lovely blog about the things that inspire him at He also is an exceptional photographer, whose work will be showing up shortly on the walls at Watson Kennedy any day now. More on that once it arrives. Now onto that fab salad.

20120712-061417.jpg I have made this salad 3 times, each time doing a little something different. The first time I did it with the baked chèvre as Grant had shown. I also made it for a large dinner party and instead crumbled feta into the salad in place of the goat cheese and it rocked, as well. The feta was just an easier option since it was such a large salad for a big group. We have also had it without any cheese added, and it is sublime. That is what I love about recipes, that you can add or delete and still make something wonderful. This is super easy, and could not be tastier and representative of Summer.

Take the corn off of the cob after you have boiled it and it has cooled. Pit or slice cherries, you just don’t want the pit involved. Make a simple vinaigrette of 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1/4 of a cup of balsamic vinegar, 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of both salt and pepper and whisk all together. Combine the corn and cherries with the arugula and dress with the balsamic vinaigrette. You will be very happy you made this salad. Try any of the cheese options or not. Enjoy!