Tuesday, June 17, 2008

High tea in the city

I love going to the city. I used to do so a lot more often than I do now - but it doesn't mean I love being there any less (I just get lazier about fighting traffic on most given days). This past Saturday I spent most of the day in San Francisco. And yes - I even encountered traffic on my way in on a Saturday morning! The occasion was shopping and tea with Mom, my cousin Kathy and my Auntie Mary. It was a PERFECT day with PERFECT weather. 65° yet all was warmed by the bright sunlight. I even felt good about getting to the city since all of us, who live in different cities, carpooled or took public transportation to get there and ended up in 1 car!

The morning began with shopping. Ahh shopping. I don't care what anyone says - shopping in an internationally renowned city such as San Francisco is like nothing else. The selection of products and the concentration of different types of shops cannot be met even in a(nother) large shopping area like San Jose. No less than 10 minutes after leaving the car I'd already made my first purchase and at 50% off too! And with newly acquired Williams-Sonoma birthday gift cards burning a whole in my purse - at stop at the flagship store was eminent. Oooh it's like a candy shop in there for me! But don't worry, I didn't too much damage...

The primary reason for our get-together was for afternoon tea. I LOVE afternoon tea. Though, I doubt this will surprise you very much considering the "girlie-ness" of this blog. I've done afternoon tea in a number of reputable establishments - The Savoy in London, The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, The Waldorf Astoria in New York City in addition to various Lisa's Tea Treasures around the Bay Area but I'd NEVER been to the Ritz. "High Tea at the Ritz". It just sounds classy and delectable!

Tea in the Lobby Lounge at the Ritz Carlton, San Francisco

It dawned on me that Mom hasn't ever been to afternoon tea. So I decided it was time to kill a couple birds with one stone and gave her the gift of "Tea at the Ritz" for her birthday gift this year. I asked my cousin if she wanted to take her mom too and soon enough we had this fun little day planned. Just two sisters and their adult daughters.

It was fantastic. And while we were all sort of bracing ourselves for the "expense" it really was very reasonable. $36 each for the platter you see above (we were all full) and an entire pot of tea per person after choosing off a list of eighteen! The best part: I mentioned when I made my reservation that the occasion was Mom's birthday and they brought out a complimentary plate of strawberries and vanilla cream! Oh and let's not forget that I finally got to sample some WELL MADE macarons. Banana and chocolate to be exact.

Complimentary strawberries and vanilla cream --- and well made macarons!!

Our trip to the freeway eventually took us past the Painted Ladies in Alamo Square. It's near impossible for me to NOT stop and take a picture when I drive by and today was no different. Clear as a bell with bright sunlight painting the fronts of those beautiful homes.
I love when it's clear enough to see St. Mary's Cathedral and the Transamerica Pyramid

If I only I hadn't ended up humming the "Full House" theme song for the rest of the day...

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