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British-American Christmas Bash



Greetings,

Boy, do Brits know how to throw a Christmas party or what? They’re especially good here on American soil, and this past week British-Americans proved they know how to do it best.

The Westin St. Francis Hotel in downtown San Francisco was the setting on Tuesday for the 44th Annual BABC Christmas Luncheon, and it was Festive with a capital “F.”

Top 7 in '07

My favorite local dishes of 2007, in no particular order:

1.    At Ducca, gnocchi with chunks of oxtail, jus and … a genius move … red grapefruit.


Ducca's oxtail gnocchi.

2.    At South, the bushman’s plate, an Aussie version of antipasto: especially the tempura-coated mussels.


The bushman's plate at South.

They've Got Sol

As if cozy accommodations, free cruiser bikes and aromatic, bake-yourself mud treatments weren’t enough, Solage Calistoga, the new wine country hotel, has also got a fabulous restaurant—Solbar, headed up Chef Brandon Sharp, who comes by way of Gary Danko and French Laundry.

Solbar has a casual vibe, but the attention to detail and execution that goes into the menu is anything but. You can almost feel Chef Sharp and his team sweating it out in the kitchen while you sip a nice Viognier and gaze at the modern sculpture-cum-fireplace.


Solbar's beef short ribs.

7 Memorable Meals of ’07

After a year of what felt like non-stop eating, I thought I’d reduce my many (many) meals into a concise list of the seven most memorable. As you’ll see, some are old standbys while others couldn’t be duplicated—at least not without considerable effort.

Here goes, my year in review:

Live Uni – Just-out-of-the-water uni at Sushi Groove

The uni was so fresh, it was still moving.

Spice Is Nice – 5 Spices, 50 Dishes cooking class

Hot Last-Minute Gifts

Buying gifts for your partner can often pose as one of the myriad stressors over the holidays. Such stressors manifest in many ways, including a reduced sex drive or feelings of desire.

Doesn’t it then seem like this would be the perfect time to kill two birds with one stone?

Throw a little sex accoutrement into the mix.  You’ve probably been wanting to mix things up for a while. A mission that can be daunting, but sometimes the smallest gestures have the biggest impact. 
 

Beignets at Brenda’s

Last Wednesday morning was rainy to say the least, but a winter deluge wouldn’t stop this online team from trekking to the Tenderloin for our holiday breakfast. That’s right, we dined in the Tenderloin—but no need for pity here—there’s a little gem of a spot known as Brenda’s French Soul Food on Polk between Eddy and Turk.

New Year’s Spa Treatments

For Glamwatch’s end-of-the-year posting, guest blogger and 7x7 editorial assistant Sydney Pfaff has scoured the city for her post-New Year’s-partying relaxation picks. Check out these 7 sweet spots that will help you look and feel like a whole new you.

Among all the streamers and sparkles, the new year brings something we all dread: bills, bills and more bills. Instead of stressing out, pay a visit to Kabuki Springs & Spa for a quick session of acupuncture ($80), an ancient Chinese treatment that is guaranteed to release your post-holiday stress. 1750 Geary St., 415-922-6000

Beauty Back-Up

New Year’s Eve parties are the perfect excuse to go completely over-the-top glam. And that includes your make-up. But if your creative coloring skills cause passersby to wonder if you’ve just come from your performance under the big top—not, by the way, the desired effect—turn to Shu Uemura. On December 28, the Japanese cosmetic company’s Fillmore boutique will be hosting one-on-one consultations with celebrity make-up artist Gina Brooke, who’s created looks for such glamzillas as Madonna, Naomi and Giselle. Here, you can go for a pre-party test run with those foxy cheek-grazing faux fur diamante lash extensions or a dramatic red-hot lip with beauty back-up on hand.

Urban Casual Comfort

Kiersten

Kiersten, 31, color analyst
Lives in: Jingletown in Oakland
Wearing: jacket and sweatshirt from Target, Jordache jeans, Vans sneaks, Kangol hat
My style icon: Jean Seberg
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