While I didn’t go to Cal, I like to pretend that I did since it’s my husband’s alma mater and I have visited the campus more than a few times. I even met some of the workers who are currently renovating the university’s football stadium. My base camp for the trip was The Hotel Durant, which has been very cleverly remodeled since I last bunked there. I was impressed with the Hogwarts for Stoners vibe, and appreciated the sense of humor in the decor.
There was a poster for my all time favorite film, The Graduate, in my hotel room which made me feel at home, because I have an Italian version in my own bedroom at home.
I stayed in the Lance Ito suite, which came complete with a sketch of the judge who oversaw OJ’s trial.
The hotel’s rooms are a little bit stuffy, but the afternoon window light is rather glorious. So glorious I had to take a few photos with my iPhone.
My friend Cindy, and I went to dinner at Cafe Chez Panisse where we caught up over sparkling pear cider and ate delicious food including Full Belly Farms Chanterais melon, figs, and peaches with prosciutto and mint. For dessert we had the Frog Hollow Farm plum tart with Mulberry ice cream and Tisane, an herbal infusion.
Cindy is a landscape architect who works at The Gardener, a gardening and lifestyle store, which I can’t wait to check out for myself on my next visit to Berkeley. She knows how to pick a melon, critique chervil, has a great sense of humor and is just an all around good egg, and fabulous host.
It was a few nice fall days of art, food, fine company and great Bay Area people watching.