This week we thought we would continue telling you about our recent trip to the States. The last part of our trip was visiting San Francisco.
San Franscisco is the most visited tourist destination in the USA and should feature on all travellers' Bucket Lists!
The Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, the cable cars, Union Square, the hippy suburbs of Haight Ashbury, the theatre and restaurant district, the Botanic Gardens, Alcatraz and of course the World Famous Farmers Market down on Pier One are all attractions that are fun and interesting to visit.
We happened to stay at the iconic Hotel California , as in the Eagles song - "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”. This was a comfy establishment two blocks back from Union Square, in the restaurant district.
Our three full days in San Francisco were spent cramming in as much as possible!
Whenever Barbara and I travel overseas, I always seek out the markets where fresh fish, meat and produce are traded as it puts you right in touch with how the local people are celebrating their food.
The Pier One Market in San Francisco would have to rate as the best I have ever been to, with several hundred stalls offering fresh fruit and vegetables, breads, cheeses, oils, salts and spices, fish, meat, coffee, chocolates, nuts, ready made ethnic dishes, plants, fresh flowers and much, much more.
Bunches of coloured carrots, unique heirloom tomatoes and fresh cut flowers were all in high demand. Why can't we have big bunches of perfumed Sweet Peas here for $5 in Spring?
The market is one of those places where you should arrive hungry, as all the samples on offer from the vendors can be quite filling. I’m sure you could do your whole weekly shopping here and only need to visit a supermarket for a few items like cleaning products.
I think that our farmers markets here in New Zealand could take inspiration from their overseas cousins, where friendliness of service and provenance of quality local produce are points of difference and make up for what is often lacking in our supermarkets.
So it was finally back on the plane home with twenty six new varieties to add to our future range, all MAF Approved of course, and some good ideas for what we should do in the future.