A fab few days in SF – where I stayed, what I ate & where I yoga’d
Wednesday 20th December 2017
Waking up at 5am the day after I landed in San Francisco meant that I saw the sky wake up too! At first, it was dark, save the glittering lights shaping the bridge, and then, not so gradually, golden glimmers started to rise from under the bridge, lifting up an orange glow from below, lighting up the whole sky until the deep blues were fully swept away making way for the day stage. This was probably my favourite part of staying at Hotel Vitale – the curtains were always open and my jet lag meant that I woke up for those glorious morning moments each day. Secondly, being located directly opposite the Ferry building, especially on a weekend, meant that San Fran’s bustling farmer’s market was on my doorstep – quite literally! (along with the best coffee Blue bottle coffee as well as some of the best Vietnamese food I’ve had at Slanted Door).
I also found a lovely spacious yoga studio nearby where I did two classes, one which was beautifully candlelit, called Core Power Yoga and I started my Sunday with a spinning class at Flywheel, again just a block away! Having a yoga studio close to the hotel is always a real bonus for me!
So, I was actually in SF for my event at Williams Sonoma, literally the dream store! It felt Christmassy in Williams Sonoma from the moment I entered on the Saturday morning – I was met with hot apple cider shots, dark chocolate peanut butter buttons, brownies, Christmas décor and music, as well as big poster and pic of me in the entrance! A little wowed by this!
The fabulous lady who put together my event, Samantha Petty, took me up to the top floor, the most stunning kitchen, where she was just finishing preps for my demo. It was all prepped SO WELL. Bowls of ingredients ready in each tray. We sliced the aubergines and placed them in the oven, she boiled the mung beans and I layered the aubergine slices with my masala mix. The event was brilliant, a two hour demo on the bustling ground floor, a fun and interactive way to meet people – foodies, people who happened to be shopping in the store and plenty of Santas (it happened to be a festival called Santacon that same day!)
For a late lunch, my friends took me to Mixt. super delish wholesome salads! There’s a few of them dotted around the city, so if you’re ever in SF, I’d highly recommend a filling and flavourful salad from Mixt.
The next day, after my Sunday spinning class at Flywheel, I met my school friend who now lives in the city at a small bakery for coffee and the best ever croissant at Neighbourhood Bakehouse It was 10 minutes by cab and then a 15 minute queue but so worth it! I hardly have pastries (they just don’t suit me, and unless they’re freshly baked I don’t really crave pastries) but this croissant was just so perfectly flaky, soft, crisp and delicious that it just had to be had, as we sat in the crisp sunshine. I then made my way to the charming Omnivore bookstore in Mission, fully filled with books on food, where I found Saffron Soul! Definitely somewhere I want to do an event next time I’m in SF!
And then for a lovely vegan sushi and ramen dinner, my friend took me to Shizen in Mission – just remember, people do start queuing half hour before the restaurant opens for dinner. It’s super popular!
For the next couple of days, I actually stayed with a friend on the other side of the bridge, a beautiful calm place called Marin – lots of greenery, beautiful views of the bay and bridge – the highlight had to be a walk that we took in the Mill Valley forest, cold crisp air and lots of sunshine! Such a happy place to live! And it really is stunning crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Finally, here’s a little beauty that I ate at the SF MOMA – worth having a wander around for some art and culture.
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Mira Manek's desire for healthy cooking combines her love of traditional Indian cuisine with her mother and grandmother's recipes to create lighter, healthier dishes.