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Photography by Yuri Krasov

Fresh green grass after the rain, pine trees with lacy moss hanging from their branches, a stretch of the road with hardly any vehicle passing by, a veil of fog over Smuggles Cove’s splashing waves, and a few lawn chairs made of silvery drift wood placed on a hill to face the ocean… That was the view from our room at the Brewery Gulch Inn near Chapman Point in Mendocino – a magical place to which my thoughts travel back again and again, unable to break the spell.

Upon arrival at this country inn, rather new, and tastefully decorated with handcrafted wooden furniture in honey colors; leather sofas; bird-patterned throw pillows, and contemporary art pieces awashed in light streaming from the tall windows, my husband and I felt immediately at home, greeted by a smiling concierge Sarah Rowe with long mermaid hair, and a scattering of shiny AAA Diamond award plaques on the wall behind her back.

A word “Brewery” was placed in big vertical letters between the double clear-glass French doors leading to the outdoor terrace overlooking the misty ocean. When I asked Guy Pacurar, the Brewery Gulch Inn hospitable proprietor, if there’s indeed a brewery located anywhere on the property, he smiled and said that that was just the name of some former land owner. A detailed map of the area mentioned Breurry Gulch (which probably evolved colloquially into “Brewery” over time) but the historical spelling of the gulch’s name was the least of our concerns. We were mostly preoccupied by the immense beauty of the place; by our conflicting desires to sit by the fireplace, to linger on our balcony, to rush for the cameras and photograph a flock of wild turkeys parading by the Inn’s small parking lot – and a nagging realization that our stay here was too short – even before it really started!

Our room, “Osprey,” with a warm rustic feel, nautical/Native-American décor, and luxurious Sferra linens over a featherbed, was equipped with leather armchairs by the gas fireplace, a desk, a flat screen TV, a spacious wardrobe, and a full bathroom with high class Asprey amenities, Himalayan bath salts and thick Abyss towels.

Since Ms. Rowe reminded us about the nightly served dinner at 5:30 p.m. (included in the room rate, same as breakfast) prepared by the Inn’s private chef, and paired with the famed local wines and artisanal beers, we decided not to venture too far from the Inn, especially that our drive from the San Francisco Bay Area took quite a few hours with frequent photo stops along the breathtakingly beautiful Mendocino coast.

What was called “light dinner” on the Inn’s website turned out to be a rather substantial meal with freshly-prepared salad; crab cakes made with locally-caught seasonal Dungeness crab, accompanied by two dipping sauces; a grilled vegetable medley; a main course chicken and vegetable casserole, and a couple of house-made cakes for dessert!

The buffet-style meal was served at the Great Room, where Inn guests were seated in comfortable big chairs by the large tables around the four-sided fireplace of swanky contemporary design.

The next morning, a lavish breakfast was served in the same Great Room, prepared by the same excellent chef from premium organic products, and served by the friendly staff, including Mr. Pacurar himself. After we indulged in an array of fresh-squeezed juices, eggs Benedict, cooked-to-order omelet, the Inn’s special Millionaire’s bacon, and more home-made cakes, all served on artful china, he handed us a thoughtfully prepared list of places to visit around the Inn, with detailed directions, and notes like “tasting fee waived for Brewery Gulch Inn guests” across from the names of spectacular wineries with highest-rated pinot noirs and chardonnays and great ocean views.

We spent the day exploring the many parks and beaches of stunning beauty – marveling at the crashing waves next to a truckful of curious dogs, tasting wines at the Pacific Star winery with a row of red Adirondack chairs placed movie-theater style over the majestic Pacific; visited a poignantly lonesome lighthouse at Point Cabrillo, gilded by the setting sun, and return back to the fireplace warmth, and delicious aromas coming from the kitchen of our home away from home. Before we checked in, we were asked by the Guest Services to please warn the staff if we had dinner plans elsewhere. With the preparation of all meals right at the Inn using locally sourced fresh ingredients it was critical for the staff to calculate the right amount of produce needed for each meal, plan accordingly and avoid food waste.

Knowing from experience that the “light dinner” will not only be varied and delicious, but will satisfy the heartiest appetite, we surely didn’t have any plans to go out. That night, a succulent steak and roasted potatoes were accompanied by a fresh salad with sweet corn, mushroom ragout, a cheese plate, and those tempting sweets – too good to skip.

We fell asleep to the sound of the ocean, and slept soundly through the night like never before!

On our way back home, we stopped at the artist’s studio of Rebecca Johnson – a Brewery Gulch Inn featured artist. Her striking paintings of lonely barns (made of real barn wood collected at demolition sites) against green fields and blue skies, placed on the walls of the Inn impressed us so much that we decided to visit her studio, and meet with the artist of a great poetic vision.

Apparently, we weren’t alone in our desire to see more of Ms. Johnson’s work. On our list of places to visit shared by Mr. Pacurar, her studio was mentioned at the very top, and clearly marked by the amount of miles to drive from the Inn.

To help guests prepare for their stay, the Brewery Gulch Inn website has a What To Do section with suggested itineraries and an annual calendar of events as well as a link to Mendocino’s official website with plentiful information on local sites, area restaurants, and festivals. The Pre-Arrival Concierge section lists a variety of services and activities, including massages, wine tours, chocolate tastings, restaurant reservations, and horseback rides that can be arranged prior to arrival.

To book your stay at the Brewery Gulch Inn, go to: http://www.brewerygulchinn.com/.

Photography by Emma Krasov

This fantastically golden full moon setting behind a rocky Fijian isle, I saw at six in the morning from a terrace of my bure overlooking the ocean at Tokoriki Island Resort. Partially jetlagged, partially too excited to sleep, I watched the sky getting rosier and the moon larger and shiner as it descended into the Pacific to give way to a new day. Every day in Fiji is magical, and the recently introduced non-stop flight from San Francisco to Nadi is now busily transporting honeymooners, Fijians working in the Bay Area, and vacationers to their dream destination, a.k.a. home.

2. Likuliku Lagoon Resort room

“Bula – welcome home” message spelled out across my bed in leaves and flowers was the first thing I saw when I first entered my bure at Likuliku Lagoon Resort on Malolo Island. That was the best home anyone could ever dream about.

3. Tokoriki Island Resort

At Yasawa Island Resort & Spa I was met like a dear family member with a salusalu necklace, fresh coconut juice, and a lovely song performed by the resort staff. Later I’ve learned that every greeting and farewell were accompanied by an appropriate song on Fijian Islands, but every time it sounded like a wonderful gift just for me. When I was leaving Yasawa, I knew every staffer by name, and I knew that I will miss their warm smiles and their genuine care…

4. Ribbon cutting at SFO

…The inaugural flight SFO-NAN mid-June started with a festive celebration at the gate before departure, thrown by the Fiji Airways and Tourism Fiji. A giant blue-and-white “wave” made of colored balloons framed the gate entrance; an inflatable palm tree marked the “Fiji selfie area,” and the word Bula! (“life” in Fijian – a greeting for “hello” and “good-bye”) was prominently displayed throughout the entire space. This energetic word also sounded in the rhythmical folk songs, performed by the indigenous choir, and was repeated by the masculine real-life “Fijian warrior” in traditional attire, adorned with tribal tattoos and shell necklace.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was accompanied by a champagne toast, cupcakes, and kava – a ceremonial Fijian drink, derived from a native plant – with a mild calming effect. Probably due to this effect, or to the fact that I was luxuriating in the business class, I slept through almost the entire 10-hour flight, waking up only to accept a rum cocktail, a Kokoda coconut-marinated fish, mango-coconut cheesecake, or other delicacies from the airline chef Lance Seeto, offered by a smiling stewardess with a hibiscus flower in her hair.

5. Kava at Nadi market

I arrived at Nadi airport at dawn, rested, and ready for my Fiji adventure. A driver from Rosie Holidays – a reputable award-winning Fijian tour agency – was waiting for me at the exit.  After briefly unpacking and refreshing in a swimming pool at the Fiji Gateway Hotel across from the airport, I took a little excursion to the bustling city market, overflowing with tropical fruit, seafood, and flowers. An entire section of the market was reserved for the kava plant sold in bunches with roots wrapped in newspaper.

Lunch at the Bulaccino Café in the city center included fresh island fish with rice and vegetables, good coffee, and European-style pastries, baked on the premises.

6. Landing in Yasawa

Soon I was back at the airport, waiting for my flight to Yasawa at the Island Hoppers office. A smiling clerk asked me to step on the scales, and then weighted my suitcase. When I boarded a small plane, there were no other passengers inside, only a pilot. In a few minutes we were airborne. Feeling like a private jet owner, I leaned toward my window. The ocean was dark-blue, changing to light turquoise around the white sandy beaches on the edges of green islands.

7. Yasawa honeymoon suite

Half an hour later we were taxing along a grassy landing strip of the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa – the all-inclusive property on one of the remotest pristine islands. It has only 18 luxury bungalows hidden among tropical greenery, each opening to a sandy beach. The farthermost bungalow, Lomalagi (“honeymoon”) has an open floor plan with a living room, bedroom, closet/bathroom area and an outdoor shower cabin. A private infinity pool is on the edge of a sundeck overlooking the ocean. My first order of business was to spend a few meditative minutes swaying in a hammock, and thanking my lucky stars for being here, in the fragrant and colorful dream world of Fiji!

8. Yasawa sunset palms

Then I headed to Baravi Spa right on the beach, for an aromatherapy massage. When I walked back to my bure along the beach, an early winter sunset just started in the Southern Hemisphere, and unfamiliar constellations soon pierced the night sky. Knowing that I was traveling by myself in this honeymooners’ paradise, the gallant resort owner-director, James McCann, invited me for cocktails at the poolside Manasa’s Bar named after a long-time employee, and to a beachside seafood dinner.  

9. Local seafood

The next morning, after a substantial breakfast, served at an elegant alfresco restaurant with views of the pool and the ocean, I joined other guests on a visit to Bukama Village where we attended a Sunday church service. The church choir, as good as any professional highly trained ensemble, was singing a capella, one hymn after another, with abandon – I could’ve listened to this heavenly sounds for hours.

10. Bukama Village church choir

When the service was over, and we were about to board our bus back to the resort, we were surrounded by a lively group of the village children whose mothers were singing in the choir. Well-spoken and well-mannered, they asked each of us about our names and ages, and if we were all coming from China.

The rest of the glorious day I spent swimming and snorkeling at the resort, while other guests were sea kayaking, trying stand up paddle boarding, or playing tennis and beach volleyball.

At night, a sunset cocktail party, provided by the management for all the guests, was accompanied by the staff choir performance – another uplifting a capella concert that’s a big part of Fijian experience.

 

14. Tokoriki pool

In the morning it was time to say good-bye to the hospitable resort, and after a heartfelt farewell song, I headed for the same grassy airport to fly back to Nadi, and from there board a Pacific Island Air helicopter to the island of Tokoriki.

After a short ride over the sparkling lapis lazuli ocean studded with malachite islands, we landed at the end of a wooden pier leading to the adults-only Tokoriki Island Resort.

Once again, I was greeted like a dear friend, with a necklace, a cocktail, and a choir song, performed by the smiling uniformed employees under the giant pointed roof of the new reception/bar/restaurant area with artful décor, overlooking a large infinity pool.

11. Tokiriki bure

A winding path lined with blossoming hibiscus bushes led to my spacious bure with a day bed and a plunge pool on a sundeck. After a sunset swim and quick unpacking in the luxurious romantic hideaway with a glass-door living room, a canopy bed, and an outdoor shower walled with lava rocks, I met with Patrice Belle, Director of Sales and Marketing, and a dedicated “heart-and-soul” of the resort, for a nightly torch-lighting ceremony and white-tablecloth al fresco dinner under the Southern Cross.

12. Tokoriki beach side view

From her, I’ve learned about the 36 freestanding bures and villas – all beachfront – that constitute the resort; a host of water and land activities, available to the guests; a tropical garden spa, which I was about to visit the next morning, and South Pacific/Asian fusion cuisine presented to the guests in daily changing menus. Our oceanfront dinner included traditional Fijian Kokoda reef fish ceviche, New Zealand beef tenderloin with spiced pumpkin puree and red wine demi-glace, and a crowd-pleaser dessert of Tokoriki sundae ice-cream with nut praline, brandy snap, and Bailey’s cream.

13. Tokoriki spa

The spa, situated among the lava rocks, lush greenery, and tiny streams, greeted me with immediate calming sensation. Jane, my highly-skilled masseuse, showed me around, and after a wonderfully-invigorating massage invited me to lounge in a relaxation room with a cup of guava tea.

Soon it was time for me to continue my journey among the enchanting Mamanuca Islands. Treated once again to a farewell song, performed by the resort’s amazing musical band and the staff choir, I was taken to the beach where I boarded my next transportation device – Mamanuca Express Speedboat.

15. Likuliku pier

This boat in less than an hour delivered me to my next stop – Likuliku Lagoon Resort. Even before we landed at the tip of a long wooden pier I rapidly fell in love with this unique establishment when I glanced a row of over-water bures on stilts, and then under the crystal clear wave caught a sight of a dark-blue starfish spread on a coral reef.

I didn’t have a chance to stay in one of the over-water bures (available only at Likuliku in Fiji) but I never tired of admiring them from my own luxurious beachfront bure on the opposite curve of a crescent-shaped beach, especially at sunset…

16. Likuliku pool

Likuliku (“calm waters”) – the couples’ resort – combines the natural beauty of the legendary Blue Lagoon with upscale accommodations, impeccable service, and sophisticated culinary program. The resort manager, Tulia Seru, knows every guest by his/her name, and watches many of them come back to their favorite vacation spot year after year. Couples with young children spend their time on the same island, in a sister resort Malolo Island Fiji – also a part of Ahura Resorts Group.

This kind and considerate woman took special care of me, making sure I wouldn’t feel lonesome among the honeymooners and return couples. I suspected that she extended the same level of care to everyone around! Each time she and I sat down to a meal in the multi-level indoor-outdoor restaurant Fijiana with lacquered wood and folk art décor, Tulia was greeted by other diners, answered their questions, enquired about someone’s well-being, or took on various requests regarding menu options and activities for the next day.

17. Likuliku sunset

After I settled down, we had tropical cocktails at a bar on the pier, and then dinner at the restaurant that consisted of an amuse bouche of summertime tofu and chicken in sesame seeds; a starter of steamed prawn dumplings in aromatic broth of garden herbs, and a main course of salt and pepper reef snapper with cucumber salad and three-flavor sauce with a side of honey-roasted pumpkin.

The next morning, after a breakfast that included a mud crab omelet with chili and papaya relish in addition to fresh-squeezed fruit juices and house-baked pastries, thoroughly impressed, I asked to be introduced to the chef.

Executive Chef Shane Watson, originally from Sidney, Australia, is a multiple award-winning chef, whose successful career in big city restaurants became less satisfactory when his family started growing, and so one day he and his wife decided to take their two children back “home” to Malolo Island, where Watson worked during the opening of the resort and designed a food concept for it.

“We set a benchmark of where we want to be,” said Watson. “I’m from a restaurant background. Resorts aren’t necessarily my thing. I didn’t know hotel, so I brought my restaurant concept with me.”

And it worked! The Chef carefully composes daily menus so there would be something for everyone on them from the simple grilled fish and vegetables fare to lobster cocktails, and from Asian smoked pork noodles to duck confit with hazelnuts. The Chef took me on an excursion to his kitchen garden, from where fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables make it straight to his chopping board. Behind the spinach beds I saw several beehives that produce enough honey for all the kitchen needs.

18. Mana sand bar

While in Likuliku, I also had a vigorous massage treatment at the Tatadra (“House of Dreams”) Spa, and an unforgettable Modriki Island Tour originated at the resort.

At the crack of dawn, before the wind picked up, Tulia and I boarded a speedboat that took us to the beautiful Mamanucas – Castaway Island, Mana Island, Matamanoa, and Monuriki, where the film “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks has been shot. We had a short walk on the white sand of Monuriki, and then snorkeled in the blue depth of the South Pacific before going around Monu and Yanuya islands, past Tokoriki and Tavuad, and stopping at Mana Sand Bank – a wondrous shiny stretch of land in the middle of the ocean, before heading back to Likuliku.

19. Likuliku inguana

Another surprise was awaiting me. As Steve Anstey, General Manager of Ahura Resorts, explained to me, the resort group adopted Iguana Rescue Program to protect the critically endangered Fijian Crested Iguana.

“Operating in a pristine, sensitive environment such as ours, with ocean and coral reefs on one side, and land flora and fauna on the other, we recognize the importance of sustainable tourism,” said Anstey. “Our aim is not only to minimize our impact on the extraordinary nature that surrounds us, but through a range of activities, programs, and initiatives, to improve and enhance the environment for challenged species and future generations.”

The iguana preservation initiative is being implemented in partnership with US Geological Survey, Taronga Zoo, San Diego Zoo, and Mamanuca Environmental Society.

Adam Clause from the University of Georgia, who works on the research project within the program, took me to the iguana enclosure not far from the front desk of the resort, where I could have a good look at the a jewel-like creature with striped jade-green and white skin, smart beady eyes, and bright yellow nostrils.

20. Sunset from South Sea Cruises boat

The next day, followed by the fascinating sounds of Isa Lei – the national farewell song, “Isa, Isa, vulagi lasa dina/Nomu lako au na rarawa kina/Cava beka ko a mai cakava/Nomu lako au na sega ni lasa,” performed by the Likuliku staff choir, I was boarding a South Sea Cruises boat to Port Denarau in Nadi. At the Denarau Marina I had my last Fijian supper of sweet slipper lobster at the Rhum-Ba restaurant inside the Denarau Yacht Club.

Then I headed for the Nadi airport to take another easy flight with Fiji Airways home, to San Francisco, but just like the Isa Lei song says, whenever I think of Fiji, “Every moment my heart for you is yearning.”

Look for additional information at: www.fijiairways.com, www.tourismfiji.com.fj, www.fiji.travel, www.rosie.com.fj, www.raffehotels.com, www.yasawa.com, www.tokoriki.com, www.ahuraresorts.com, www.mamanucaexpress.com, www.pacificislandair.com, www.ssc.com.fj, www.rhum-ba.com.

Photography by Yuri Krasov

There were times when we haven’t even heard about it. We just lived our lives and once in a while turned back to weed out the bad memories and dwell on the good ones relaying them to our friends and family for the umpteenth time. Nowadays we’re much more sophisticated! We plan great experiences in advance and gift them to our loved ones and to ourselves instead of material goods that eventually lose their appeal anyway. Some of the greatest and most memorable experiences are found in Northern California – the best looking part of America – and yes, I’m biased!

Afternoon Tea at the Claremont, a Fairmont Hotel in Berkeley/Oakland

2. Lobby Lounge

The 100-year-old historic hotel that looks like a white castle in the hills, the Claremont is known for its long and glorious culinary tradition. Executive Chef Chad Blunston, responsible for all meals to be had on the premises of this 276-room grandiose luxury hotel, admittedly favors the weekend Afternoon Tea at the Claremont Lobby Lounge & Bar, and for a good reason.

3. Chef

“We’re creating memories,” says the Chef who once witnessed a six-year-old girl turning to her mother with the words, “Mom, I like everything here so much, I’ll remember it all my life!” There’s a lot to remember about a spacious sunlit room with a great view of the San Francisco Bay visible through the manicured palm fronds, and the amazing treats offered at the Afternoon Tea.

4. Etoile at Claremont Tea

So let’s start with a glass of exquisite Etoile rose champagne from the bar (Schramsburg, Blanc de Blanc, California, and Domain Carneros, Brut, Napa are on offer with the tea menu). It sparkles in the afternoon sun, and sets the mood for a very special date, be it a couple’s getaway, a family outing, or an elegantly dressed woman’s solo retreat.

There are so many teas on offer – black, green, white, and mélange – that the list is presented on an iPad, with photos of the leaves and an option to read extensive blurbs about their origins and characteristics. Then, upon your choosing of a particular kind, a cart with multiple glass jars filled with tea leaves will make an appearance, and your favorite tea will be brewed in a white porcelain teapot in front of you.

Then an amuse bouche will arrive – a goat cheese and walnut gougere in our case, followed by a three-tiered serving tray, filled with traditional finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries prepared with a contemporary twist.

5. Claremont tea food

On Tier 1 there are Blueberry Almond Whole Wheat Scuffins and Citrus Thyme Scones accompanied by the innovative Quince preserve and Crème Frâiche. Tier 2 offers the most unusual Peas and Carrots (Minted Pea Butter, Heirloom Carrots, Crunchy Peas); Santa Barbara Smoked Salmon (Pumpkin Seed Butter, Horseradish Curds, Crispy Croissant); Dungeness Crab Salad with watercress, wrapped in cucumber ribbon; Chino Ranch Egg Salad (Laurel Mayonnaise, Brioche fingers), and Vadouvan Chicken Salad on Hazelnut Turmeric Crostini. Tier 3 presents Eucalyptus Posset, Crunchy Coconut Profiteroles, Olive Oil Madeleines, and TCHO Chocolate Financiers.

If you can name a fancier array of tea treats, let me hear about it!

Overnight Stay at La Belle Epoque Bed and Breakfast in Napa

6. La Belle Epoque BandB

Among so many cute historical bed-and-breakfast inns in Napa Valley, La Belle Epoque stands out. It’s surrounded with flowering fragrant rose bushes planted along the sidewalks on both sides of the street corner; it’s freshly painted in whimsical colors, and through the wide first floor windows you can see lace curtains, period furnishings, and Tiffany lamps even before entering the charming Victorian house.

7. Inside La Belle Epoque

Inside, it’s a beautifully appointed estate still bearing the memories of the original owners, the Shwarz family, who lovingly built and maintained this Painted Lady house in 1893 – now on the National Register of Historic Homes.

8. Glass

There are six rooms in the main house, each adorned with the period stained glass windows, and antique furniture and art pieces, plus four suites in the recently added The Buckley House across the street – all with tasteful turn-of-the-century decor.

 

9. Tracy Mahr

As is always the case, the best memories are created by people. The inn’s GM, as well as a hospitable greeter and a chef, Tracy Mahr, makes this place very special for everyone by taking care of all the guests’ requests, providing knowledgeable concierge services, and including a three-course gourmet breakfast and a light afternoon tea with her own wonderful baked creations.

10. Breakfast

Day Trip to Eureka and Humboldt County

11. Author in Rockefeller Forest

California’s Redwood Highway actually starts immediately after San Francisco and Golden Gate Bridge with the Muir Woods National Monument. It’s an enchanting place, if you have the ability to ignore enormous crowds of tourists seeking solitude in the majestic redwood grove. But drive farther north, past Marin, Sonoma, and Mendocino (surely each one gorgeous in its own right) and you’ll find an unspoiled wilderness of giant redwoods in the many national and state parks of Humboldt County, like Redwood National Park, a World Heritage Site.

15. Roosevelt Elk

The world’s tallest trees can be seen here, as well as rare Roosevelt Elk, named after President Theodor Roosevelt, and found only in this area.

12. Carson's Mansion

Eureka (founded 1850), the central city of Humboldt County and a historical seaport, in its heyday on par with San Francisco, boasts a beautifully restored Old Town of gorgeous Victorians, and a recently renovated waterfront boardwalk along Humboldt Bay. Here, in the oldest part of the town start Haunted History Ghost Tours (company owner Eric Vollmers) led by local historians and actors, like Dr. Alexandra Service. The tour includes extensive sightseeing, fun tantalizing ghost stories, and some seriously important facts about the area’s not so spotless history.

In Eureka’s open air museum of architecture, the Victorian Seaport, there’s the famous Carson’s Mansion, “the most photographed house in the world” faced by the poetic Pink Lady across the street.

More wonderfully restored Victorians, called Butterfat Palaces are found in the nearby Ferndale, formerly known as Cream City due to its abundant pastures and fast-developed dairy industry.

13. Lighthouse in Trinidad

To the north of Eureka, there’s a tiny town of Trinidad, named after the Caribbean island, with dramatic cliffs, a red-roofed Memorial Lighthouse, and overgrown with cypresses and forget-me-nots walking trails with stunning views of the ocean, and then the breathtakingly beautiful rocky shore of Patrick’s Point State Park.

14. Patrick's Point State Park

To the south, there’s the world-famous redwood preserve, Avenue of the Giants, with an especially memorable Rockefeller Forest, delivered to us intact by lumber industry thanks to a million dollar donation, shelled out by the millionaire touched by nature.

16. Samoa Cookhouse

And if you really want to walk down the memory lane and get a good piece of authentic experience, head to the historic lumber camp restaurant, Samoa Cookhouse – the last surviving cookhouse in the West, where the tradition of communal tables covered in oilcloth and huge portions of fried chicken with all the trimmings at miniscule prices is alive and well. The Historic Logging Museum next door contains a comprehensive collection of period tools and household items, and historical photographs.

Dinner at Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco

17. Farallon

One of the legendary San Francisco restaurants, Farallon on Union Square, founded in 1997 by the celebrity restaurateur Pat Kuleto and star chef Mark Franz, continues to wow its guests with the freshest seafood, an excellent international wine collection, and the magical atmosphere of underwater world conveyed by the art glass chandeliers inspired by octopi and jellies.

18. Entrance

The recently hired new Executive Chef Jason Ryczek and Wine Director Luke Kenning create memorable pairings of skillfully prepared seafood and meat courses with rare wines.

20. Abalone

Young and tender Cayucos farm-raised abalone with house-cultured brown butter and white balsamic seafoam finds its perfect match in 2013 Albarino, Alberto Nanclares, Rias Baixas, Spain.

Sonoma foie gras torchon is especially succulent with 2008 Royal Tokaji from Hungary.

21. Tokaji

A paella-style saffron rice served in a cast iron skillet with clams, Spanish octopus rings, and Devil’s Gulch rabbit shreds, is complimented by 2014 Gobelsburg Kampal Gruener Veltliner from Germany.

Oak-grilled Dixon lamb with fiddleheads, ramps, and morel yogurt goes nicely with 2013 Cabernet Frank, Long & Reed, North Coast, California.

19. Dining room

Exquisite desserts include port-pouched rhubarb with shortbread, frangipane, caramel, and brown butter ice cream, paired with a 5-year-aged madeira, and lavender-lemon grass panna cotta with tapioca, huckleberries, and poppy seed tuile, paired with late harvest pinot gris from Carneros.