Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A festive holiday table, Northern California style { Remodelista }

Parkside The Room Stinson Beach

Earlier this month Remodelista invited me to an exciting collaboration: a feature on inspirations & tips for a non-traditional {think sans orange} holiday table and a stress free dinner menu.
The photo location I suggested is one of my all time favorite dining rooms, a cozy cottage with wood fired oven nestled in Stinson Beach. I discovered The Room earlier this year by chance, fell in love with the ambience {& had recently organized two private dinners there}, so approached proprietor {& Brit expat} Maxine Gilbert along with her husband/chef John Gilbert as collaborators. Maxine got yet another collaborator on board ~ all stunning wild flora centerpieces and bouquets were foraged and arranged by Louesa Roebuck, who happens to live in Stinson Beach and is the talent behind many stunning floral arrangements at Bay Area restaurants ...

Louesa Roebuck wild foraged bouquet flora photo by Julia SpiessParkside The Room Stinson BeachLouesa Roebuck wild flowers flora photo by Julia Spiess

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A lazy West Marin day & rustic dinner with friends in Bolinas


With our friend Sibylle visiting from Zürich, we headed across the bridge & up Highway 1 last weekend to spend a sunny Saturday with our friend Kelly around his new neck of the woods in West Marin. We met for morning coffee & awesome pastries in Stinson Beach, picked up fresh produce at Gospel Flat Farm Stand, gathered Richards Bro's Farm Meyer lemons in an enchanted garden, strolled through Bolinas and watched the surf from the beach ~ before sitting down to an alfresco dinner with incredible sunset views of the estuary below ...


Friday, October 31, 2014

Another rustic ranch dinner in an enchanted garden { Della Fattoria }


Another bakery dinner! What started out as a grey and rainy Friday turned into clear skies and a dramatic sunset for an {almost} alfresco dinner at Weber Ranch, home of the famous Della Fattoria Bakery. After an aperitivo & tasty platters of local charcuterie and cheeses our group got to meet Kathleen Weber for a tour of Della Fattoria's bakery with its stunning wood burning oven ~ before sitting down along a long table under an ancient oak tree for another amazing Della Fattoria ranch dinner in an enchanted garden ...


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A weekday escape from the city & Marin bakery dinner ...


In case you have been following this blog for a while, you might remember a recent new 'gig' ~ tour itineraries & a series of curated dinners for a group of trend seeking food entrepreneurs. Visiting from Germany & Austria, the latest group's focus was again bakeries & epicurean trends of the Bay Area. And just as last time, the tour participants were adventurous explorers, more interested in a unique dining experience than the predictable menu {& private dining room vibe} of the urban fine dining scene.
The welcome dinner was hosted by Parkside Bakery in Stinson Beach ~ where proprietors Maxine & John Gilbert welcomed the group with an amazing meal, pouring local wines from Sean Thackrey in Bolinas {just across the lagoon} and preparing an amazing seasonal and locally sourced menu from the wood fired oven ~ including "bread baked with a passion you can actually taste"{according to one of the diners} …

Parkside Bakery Stinson Beach

Friday, October 24, 2014

A garden party with oysters, photo booth, Italian movies & great friends ...


Last weekend started off with a fabulous birthday bash: fresh shucked oysters, bubbly, classic Italian movie projections, harpist melodies, tarot card readings, photo booth, an amazing buffet spread{& Bob's special cocktails} made for a memorable Friday night with friends old & new, celebrating our friend Monica's big birthday ...


Saturday, October 18, 2014

A mid-century aperitivo & birthday potluck dinner in the Berkeley Hills


Last week marked the birthday week of two dear friends, Rob and Luca, who decided to join  forces {& friends} for a fun birthday celebration & potluck dinner in the Berkeley Hills.
An Italian aperitivo, a classic British cocktail, Armenian appetizers, Texas smoked brisket, Japanese octopus, California heirloom tomatoes, Mexican esquites, a classic Sicilian Cassata Cake & many other amazing dishes made for a polyglot menu ~ enjoyed along a long dining table with spectacular  sunset views of the San Francisco Bay ...


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all photos © dinners with friends

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