Located in Union Square, Kimpton’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel has long been the shining jewel of San Francisco. Once you arrive, you are treated by a red-suited Beefeater doorman who invites you into one of the most decadent lobby’s of San Francisco. Tom Sweeney has been the doorman of the hotel for an impressive 35 years and guards the doors and entry to an Old World ambiance. He even had a cameo as a doorman on the soap opera Young and the Restless. Through the years, he has been through 42 uniforms and has gained 40 pounds in the process. We still think he looks fabulous.
THE LOBBY BAR
Grand staircases, high gilded ceilings and crystal chandeliers greet you in the lobby bar of Sir Francis Drake. It’s the perfect place for a cocktail when you arrive. The lobby bar is a frequent meeting place for tourists & locals alike. The hotel has always been over the top since its flashy debut in 1928 and has been renovated over the years.
The guest rooms feature incredible detailing including rich fabrics, plush furnishings, rococo swirls, accents of regal purple and hanging patterned drapes. Furniture is Victorian inspired and decorated with metal studs which rich mahogany furniture is prevalent throughout.
What was once a simple dinner, Scala’s has become a staple of the San Francisco fine dining scene. Founded in 1995, space is filled with bustling energy and a French Bistro/Brasserie inspired decor. A gorgeous mural by Evans & Brown depicts a spread of fruit on the table to show abundance while a painting of the steps of Tuscany sits across from it. The high ceilings are ornately decorated with black and gold molding, part of the buildings original structure.
Eclectic artwork through the ages hangs on the walls housed in bronze frames. Gorgeous geometric chandeliers hang from the ceiling that sit on top of plush leather booths. Sit there for ultimate comfort. Located in the back of the restaurant is a bronze open kitchen with a wood-fire pizza oven.
“We created a world where we’re all at home,” architect Hans Baldauf, who collaborated with Evans & Brown on the project, told Interiors magazine in 1997.
It’s no surprise that 70% of customers of Sir Francis Drake are San Francisco locals and the food and cocktails keep on bringing them back. We started our evening with the Sweeny Tom cocktail, one of their signatures. This fragrant piece of art has Plymouth Gin, Orange Blossom, and Rose Raspberry Jam. Whipped with egg whites, it brings a velvety luscious froth and sultry textures.
The cuisine is traditional Italian and filled with a wide selection of seafood, meats, wood-fired pizzas and vegetable dishes. We started our meal with the beef carpaccio which is a tenderloin cut (thinly sliced with arugula pesto, finely grated pesto, red onions, and topped with crunchy capers. This antipasti is packed with flavor and perfect balance.
Next we had the handmade rigatoni pasta which comes with ground pork and beef bolognese and ricotta salt. The wood oven roasted whole fish (durade) is served with wild mushrooms, Brussel sprouts and shellfish broth.
Finally to top everything off, we finished our meal with the Ribeye steak, 14 ops grilled to perfecting. I came with fingerling potatoes & broccolini.
THE STARLIGHT ROOM
On the 21st floor, you can sip on signature cocktails at the Starlight Room which has entertained celebrities for decades. The nightclub is known for it’s infamous Sunday’ A Drag Brunch which features some of the most gorgeous drag queens.
After you have indulged in cocktails and cuisine, go to the fitness center the next morning. The gym is well equipped with weights and precor machines. Take a yoga class or take one of the public bikes out in the city.
For more information, visit sirfrancisdrake.com http://sirfrancisdrakes.com