Party With A View

October 17, 2012

I'm going to gush a bit here, because I really don't know how else to write about this amazing party in this amazing apartment in San Francisco. 

But let's begin with the reason for having the party in the first place.  Every party is best served when there's a theme, and this party had no less than 3 world class themes going for it.  First there's the Fleet Week Air Show starring the Blue Angels and the Fleet Week Parade of Ships, and as if that were not quite enough there was also the America's Cup World Series.  There were several smaller events such as the Columbus Day Parade in North Beach, maybe not so grand as the other events, but colorful and full of local flavor and visible from our party digs.  All this happening the same day, in San Francisco, the little city that makes all the other cities jealous. Blessed with natural beauty to spare, there's also the cuisine, the art, the weather, the culture.  Plus it's just hilly enough to guarantee vistas to enjoy it all.  So join me for a look at San Francisco on a gorgeous day in a gorgeous apartment a top gorgeous Russian Hill.

The apartment takes up the top two floors of a
Russian Hill beauty built in 1929.
Step inside and immediately you are greeted with an eye-popping view from a
wall of windows...and each window has a rare bridge to bridge view,
spanning from the Golden Gate Bridge to the west and the Bay Bridge to the east.

  This eastern bay view shows Coit Tower, North Beach, Chinatown 
and the Oakland Bay Bridge with the east bay beyond.

What a day, as clear as a bell.

Directly north is Alcatraz Island, here with the Blue Angels doing a fly by.

Right below the apartment and again to the north is Fisherman's Wharf
and Fort Mason.  I love this picture of the cruise ship.

To the west is the Marina and the Presidio, 
with the Golden Gate Bridge and the beautiful Pacific beyond.

The Blue Angels soaring over the Golden Gate Bridge with the Marin Headlands in the background.

We'll come back to the stunning views a bit later, but now let's poke around the apartment.

One of the sweet guest baths.

  • The "Green Room", a comfy office/tv room with gilded silver ceilings.  
  • Our host is a film noir buff who specializes in movies with SF locations.

The view from the Green Room.

Let's go up the stairs to the guest suites.

Who wouldn't want to stay here?

The guest bath has a view of Coit Tower!

Now back downstairs to the living room, dining room and kitchen.

The dining room is set up for an appetizer buffet with the elegant living room just beyond.

Window seats in the living room with more jaw-dropping views.

Pretty vignettes to idle over.

Our host set up the wine bar on the kitchen island.

Appetizers served up on a patriotic quilt made by the hostess, used today as a tablecloth.

A totally modern kitchen in this vintage apartment.

The hostess served two soups for lunch.  Served in colorful mugs, we helped ourselves in the kitchen.

This is an annual party for our hosts.  Previously they have had chili tasting parties,
asking a few friends to make their favorite chili and we have a little contest.
Very fun, but I also liked the change up this time of doing a soup party.
I always make the Golden Gate Bridge cookies.

Cookies with a patriotic message plus the Golden Gate Bridge.

Party Details:  A party with this much to view from the many windows needs to be kept fairly simple.  We all want to eat, but don't want to miss a thing either!  Our hostess made two soups the week before and put them in the freezer.  She made a few appetizers and asked a few friends to bring one too.  Dessert was simply sugar cookies made especially for the occasion by moi using my extensive collection of cookie cutters. We ate our soup from mugs and perched on window seats for maximum viewing pleasure!  Our hosts actually had two identical parties, one on Saturday and one on Sunday so they could get all their friends up for this special weekend.  They said it was very easy, as the set up is done just once.  After the first party she loaded the dishwasher and unloaded it right back to the buffet.  Hmmm, sounds like it was a little bit of trouble, but she swears it was a snap!  Their relaxed and joyful style of entertaining leads you to believe it's true!


Asparagus Fingers
Crab Dip
Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
Mushroom Tartlets
Assorted Cheeses

Carrot Beet Soup
Celeriac Soup (recipe below)

Sugar Cookies

Both the soups were delicious and neither one had cream or butter.   I really appreciate lighter fare, don't you?  I know you'll love this very light and flavorful soup!


2 tbls peanut oil or olive oil
2lbs celeriac - peeled & roughly chopped
3 pints chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
juice of 1 lime
1" piece fresh ginger grated
1 tsp thyme
1 green chili seeded & chopped
1 bunch cilantro (or to taste)
1/2 can coconut milk
salt to taste
4 green onions chopped

Heat oil and cook celeriac gently in covered pan for 10 minutes without coloring.

Add stock, lime juice, ginger, thyme, chili, and cilantro stems. Bring to boil and simmer covered for 30 minutes or until tender. Add green onions for last 10 minutes or so of cooking. Remove from heat.

Cool a little, add coconut milk and then puree in blender until smooth. Taste for seasoning, reheat and stir in chopped cilantro leaves. Serve sprinkled with herbs or cilantro leaves.  Unknown source.

Thank you for visiting today.  I hope this post gives this San Francisco day it's justice.  I can just add that it was a little slice of magic.

Now before I go, enjoy a few more pictures of this city I love.

Below their apartment is Lombard Street, "the crookedest street in the world".

  After lunch we headed up to the rooftop to get the best view of the Blue Angels flying overhead.

The Stealth Bomber!

Special thanks to Gary for the terrific sky action shots.

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  1. Wow, what a wonderful view. It was be amazing to see those views every single day. The apartment is lovely. loving the chandelier. Those are some amazing shots of the Blue Angels. I saw them once when I visited the city.

  2. Right. Who wouldn't want to stay there! I haven't been to that part of the country for years and years. It is so beautiful. thank you for the lovely photos!

  3. I always wanted one of those apartments! Ours was a bit smaller, and in the Haight, so no view.

  4. I wish I can visit SF some day!

  5. SF if one of my favorite cities and I just can't imagine having those incredible views and being in my pajamas! Your cookie cutter collection must be amazing if you have a Golden Gate cutter. I saw what I thought to be the Blue Angels just a few wings ago practicing over Grand Junction CO. What a fun amazing experience. Dianne

  6. Love SF!!! You captured the feel with those photos. Your host was right, it is much easier entertaining back to back! Nice set up for the buffet and great menu. Love the cookies.. xo marlis

  7. This is SO COOL!!!!!!!!! I have never been to San Francisco, but if I lived in this apartment, I am sure I would never want to leave home!!! What a gorgeous view! And the apartment itself is a total knockout! I am preparing for 6 houseguests this weekend, and seeing this just made me want to do a little bit more to make it extra special for them! These ladies will be celebrating their October birthdays, so maybe I'll figure out a cookie shape that will correspond with that. That guest bathroom faucet...yikes! SO slick!!! Your hosts have very good taste and really know how to put on a party! Very wise of the hostess to delegate some of the food production to guests! I'm sure she had more than enough to do already!!! I didn't realize Alcatraz could so easily be seen from "the mainland." No wonder dumb prisoners thought they could escape and make the swim in! The sight of the Stealth Bombers is cool! We live very close to Whiteman AFB in Missouri, and the bomber fly over our house quite often. When we hear them, we run outside with an eye to the sky! They are here for most every Chiefs home game, so we know to be on the lookout on those Sundays. They hover over our subdivision while waiting to do their thing at the stadium. It never gets old for me! :-) OK...I'd better stop typing and get started baking those cookies!!! Great post, Kristen! ANd how fortunate you are to live in such a beautiful city!!! Enjoy your weekend!

  8. Amazing views...I spent a week in San Francisco a few years ago and would love to go back again one day!

  9. What fun! I was in the city that day, too, but didn't get to see the Blue Angels - went to the final dress rehearsal of "Moby Dick" instead, at the Opera House. Hadn't realized it was such a blue, blue day in the city! Thanks for sharing. I'm a little bit south of you, in Mountain View, so your blog is always fun for me to follow.



  10. Beautiful post. I see a new painting. Where did The Girl with the Pearl Earring go?

  11. Daughter you out did your self on this wonderful post of the Apartment, View of the City and I also love driving thru the city and seeing all of the wonderful sights and of course going to a Giants Game at ATT&T Park. The food looked wonderful. What a fun day for all of you.

  12. Looks like a great party! Thanks for linking back to Let's Dish!


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