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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding Viewing Party at San Francisco's Fairmont Penthouse

The day before the wedding there was much to do about the custom of ladies wearing classic to elaborate hats or headpieces called "fascinators" to British weddings and that those attending viewing parties around the world should wear them as well.

When I heard that I was so excited because I had a hat to wear!

This hat was a gift from my mom that's lived in a hat box, in my closet, with the price tag still attached for over two decades. It has moved with me from apartment to apartment and house to house, never seeing the light of day. Why? Because I'd never felt like I had an appropriate event to wear it to. Until today.

Today the hat came out of the box and the closet where it was buried under boxes of shoes to make it's debut at the Royal Wedding Viewing Party and Brunch at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The weather was absolute perfection. Sunny and warm with the bluest of skies.

As I entered the Penthouse Suite the wedding was playing on television sets around the room and I saw lots of people I knew! That always makes a party more fun doesn't it?

I moved to the Dining Room where a buffet station was set up. This was the sweet buffet, the savory was in the Billiard's Room.

Classic Cinnamon and Currant Scones

Of course there were scones, two kinds in fact. Interestingly I heard celebrity wedding designer Colin Cowie say on tv that the proper pronunciation isn't scone with a long "o." Instead it rhymes with the word "con" so more like "scahn."  So if you go to the UK you might want to try that out.

Just some of the buffet items I was able to photograph:
  • Top Left : Orange Peel and Cranberry Scones
  • Top Right: Ripe Papaya with Mint Yogurt
  • Center Left: Lox with a gorgeous vegetable garnish!
  • Center Right: Dungeness Crab and Caramelized Onion Waffle
  • Bottom Left: Spiced Beef Tenderloin with Black Olive Baguette w/ Lady Apple Slaw and Pear and Coconut Currry Chicken Petite Brioche Roll
  • Bottom Right: Pear and Coconut Curry Chicken Petite Brioche Roll
The Penthouse Dining Room was bustling all morning. I love this room partly because the walls are gorgeous and because the crystal chandelier creates such an elegant ambiance it makes me want to put a chandelier in every room of my house.

From the dining room I stepped directly out onto the Penthouse Terrace. I have to admit I was a little surprised more people weren't wearing hats but you can spot two in this photo :)

I was enjoying the view from the terrace when all of a sudden I spotted something interesting right beside me.

Do you see it there on the fountain?

Ooooooh a honey bee! This made me recall that when I attended an event at the Penthouse in December I learned all about the Fairmont's Honey Bees. From that post:

"The honeycomb above was served alongside a cheese tray. The really cool part? It was from the hotel's own bee hives! There are now 5 hives that house 80,000 honey bees that live at the hotel! So cool right? Executive Chef JW Foster wanted to do something eco-friendly to help support honey bees which, since 2006, have been decimated nationwide by a phenomenon called "Colony Collapse Disorder." If you've never had honeycomb before you should try it if you ever have the opportunity. It's really delicious."

I really wanted to find the bee hives and had once heard they were "on the roof" so I headed downstairs to see if I could sleuth around a bit and locate them. I thought they might be on the Roof Garden but before I could arrive there I spotted them along the way.

Right between Cirque Restaurant and the Roof Garden is a long hallway. One side is all mirrors, the other windows. Through the windows this is the view of the hotel's Epicurean Garden. Here the bees feast on flowering herbs like basil, chives, cilantro, lavender, oregano, rosemary and thyme.

And how cool are those raised beds? Gardening would be so much easier if you didn't have to bend down to do it!

At the east end of the Epicurean Garden I spotted the bees.

They were buzzing around the hives. I think they were enjoying the weather!

I walked across the hallway and stepped out into the Roof Garden.

I gazed up to the left and spotted the terrace to the Penthouse. It's that open nook along the top line of the hotel right above the iron balustrades of the terraces for the lower floors.

Ah, so  the bees fly up to the fountain to grab a little drink of water.

So cool!

Cell phone photo snapped by Kevin Chin.

Here are Photographer Michelle Walker and I in our hats. I think I'll be wearing dressy hats more often. It's kind of sad they're such an underused fashion accessory here in the United States. Perhaps it's a lack of closet space that has kept them from becoming popular here?

My thanks to The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco, San Francisco Brides Magazine and Josephine Fisher Interior Design for hosting such a lovely event and inviting me to it!

If you'd like to see more pictures of The Fairmont San Francisco visit these posts on The Flirty Blog

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