San Francisco is almost as a big charming village – green, colorful, vibrant. People are very cool and some are still “wearing flowers in their hair”… It feels like a lot is about freedom and re-invention. As a beauty, yoga and anything-about-green-goodness passionate, I am picky with my hang-outs. Below I have listed some of them and I am very happy to share them with anyone who happens to come to the Bay area.
International Orange Spa – Yoga Lounge
Finding the best spa is critical for me and I know that this is the case for most yogis and anyone trying to take care of their body. I tried many of them here in the city and always come back to “International Orange”. Very “intuitive” massage therapists, amazing space, peaceful atmosphere and on top of it all, very green friendly. I must say it’s an overall healing experience each time. Thumbs up IO!
BEST TEA EXPERIENCE
Taste is some sort of sanctuary nestled right in the heart of Hayes Valley. My first time there was the most elaborate tea moment of my life. Tea is served with a traditional Chinese tea ware called «Gaiwan» and they have an endless selection of different green teas and handmade treats. I particularly love their exquisite Chill Top Oolong.
On Divisadero and Grove, which is totally opening up with many cool stores and restaurants, the Mill is a huge brown stone space that serves only the best coffees, bread and treats. Very stylish and elegant and must definitely be a destination for all coffee lovers.
This is the kind of spot to go and drink a fabulous freshly blended green juice, fresh salads with kale, avocados and all kind of healthy veggies. It’s in Pacific Heights, which is kind of the posh area in the city but nice to stroll around for fashion and deco places.
They have a very impressive tea menu and amazing vegetarian dishes. They have 3 restaurants in the city, all of them have the same menu but different vibes, my favorite is the one in Hayes Valley for the cosy atmosphere and super friendly staff.
It’s a brasserie before being a bar. The vibe is very relaxed and there is a little terrace on the busy Hayes Street, perfect for starting an evening out.
For all ashtangis, there are a few studios in the city that teach Mysore style. I practice at Yoga Garden with Sidney Huang who is an excellent teacher and I highly recommend his classes.
There is also Asta Yoga, which teaches Ashtanga classes and is a very nice studio with good teachers.
At the Mindful Body they offer a Mysore program. The teacher you want there is Jennifer Dougherty, I only hear excellent things about her teaching.
La Boutique, l’Art et la Mode
La Boutique is a stunning space nestled in a pretty elegant part of town, Jackson@Montgomery. Founder Carole Harari calls it a multi-disciplinary space. And that’s exactly what it is as the best of Margiela, Valentine Gauthier, Jerôme Dreyfuss, Collection 66 orPatricia Blanchet co-exist with young artists’ work.
I love In Fiore! It’s a local beauty brand that has been around for more than a decade and creates luxurious yet timeless beauty products made of the most refined botanicals and natural raw materials.
FUNNY SF SOUVENIRS
This is a destination if you come to SF and want to buy some fun edgy souvenirs. They only stock brands created by local artists, ranging from beauty, jewelry and streetwear kind of fashion.
Flora Grubb is some kind of green temple in a huge warehouse, a little bit out of the center of the city, but it’s worth the adventure. Flora, the creator, can turn the tiniest piece of moss into an artwork. The most enchanting flower arrangements and plants I have seen in the Bay area.
I love this small black super discrete boutique. It’s a little bit like an art gallery with exotic flowers, an edgy international magazine selection and an ever changing collection of design objects and jewelry.
Chic vintage in the city is definitely here. From extravagant Louboutin to Courrèges must-have, 60′s Gucci belts and art deco jewelry among a new hip designers selection. They have another shop down the street with a bit of a wider choice for men.
In Cole Valley, not far from the mythical Haight & Ashbury corner, there is an incredible vintage store for children. The cutest garments for little ones, adorable antique toys and ceramics, jewelry, this is all local and really worth a visit.
PRESS AND BOOKS
My two favorite bookstores in the city: I go there to find all my favorite international magazines. They cover art, fashion, decor, travel and more. And on top of it all, they are super friendly and knowledgable.
Juicy news – 2453 Fillmore street
Words and photography by Caroline Wachsmuth. After many years studying natural therapies including massage and aromatherapy, Caroline moved to Paris where she launched her first beauty brand, Doux Me, in 2002. Now based in San Francisco, Caroline is designing and creating anew, expanding awareness about green beauty and cultivating her ashtanga practice. Discover more on www.caroline-w.com