This weekend has been a wonderful antidote to the horrid week we had (the apartment upstairs had a leak and the result was a lot of water damage to our apartment which is going to take a while to sort out). On Saturday, we took some of Hub’s rellies (who were visiting from Canada) sightseeing. I find taking tourists round the city reminds me of how beautiful the city is and makes me look at everything with fresh eyes, which is a good thing! In the evening, we had dinner with some friends and some new acquaintances at a restaurant called Marlowe (I had mushroom and truffle polenta – YUM!).

This morning we had brunch at the home of one of Hub’s (French) university friends in North Beach. The weather today was wet, rainy and overcast – reminiscent of the weather ‘back home’. It’s strange, but I have actually started to enjoy rainy days in San Francisco. They have been infrequent enough to be a bit of a novelty and, when following a spate of unseasonably hot weather, they are sometimes quite welcome. And besides, I love the smell of rain on dry earth.

The apartment of the chap who hosted the brunch was really beautiful. It was tucked away in an ‘almost street’, off the Filbert Steps (the ‘street’ had a name, but was more of a pathway and could only be accessed on foot, which is why I thought of it as an ‘almost street’). You have to walk halfway down the steps and turn off into a hidden path that’s overhung with foliage and you find yourself in front of a very small row of homes. The apartment had a balcony in the main reception room with a long balcony in front of it that looked out onto a stunning view of the sea and the Bay Bridge (click on my panorama of it below to see what I mean!). We got to enjoy this view whilst eating our brunch.

Brunch itself was pretty stellar as well – the conversation was lively and animated, and the food was delicious – mostly local produce from the Ferry Building Farmers Market – divine locally smoked salmon, with a proper smoky flavor, olive bread from Acme, sugar-sweet strawberries, peaches and raspberries (and bananas, though I don’t think those were local!). Our host had also prepared Eggs Florentine (I was too full to eat a whole portion, but I stole some from Hub – YUM), homemade creme brûlée (which I had to resist as I am trying to lose weight) and freshly squeezed orange juice (made by our host). I suppose one shouldn’t expect any less from a Frenchman, especially one who’s a friend of my foodie husband!

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