Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Glamorous Picnic Spot of the Week: The Palace of Fine Arts

"A fictional ruin from another time.” That’s how San Francisco’s stunningly beautiful Palace of Fine Arts has been described by some. When he designed it for the 1915 World’s Fair, architect Bernard Maybeck said he built the palace to show “the mortality of grandeur and the vanity of human wishes,” but he also wanted to prove that Greek architecture could fit within a California context -- adorning its underside with murals of California’s “four golds”: poppies, citrus fruits, metallic gold, and wheat.

The palace’s pale, peachy-gold dome glows luminously against the cooler colors of the city while a sparkling lagoon and plush green lawn sit astride the main structure -- making it the perfect place to have a picnic while you contemplate the mortality of grandeur.  

Items pictured, clockwise left to right: Droplet Wine Glass by Anthropologie ($18), Vintage Coracle Picnic Basket from Harrod’s on Etsy ($79), 2011 J Pinot Gris California, Crinkled Mini Baker in Yellow by Anthropologie ($10 to $28), Leaf Print Retro Napkins on Etsy ($20)

Pick up some lemon soy chicken at nearby Marina Supermarket or pints of delicious roasted broccoli and brussel sprouts from Real Food Company on Fillmore, which carries a good selection of local cheeses, too. And of course don’t forget to bring along some of J’s picnic-friendly wines. Our J Pinot Gris California is a fresh, aromatic white that goes especially well with picnic fare.

For an even more glamorous picnic, try the Terrace experience here at the J Vineyards estate in Healdsburg. You and a friend sit under a white canvas umbrella on our warm, creekside patio while sharing a platter of peak season foods (current menu is here) accompanied by J wines. Cost is $40 per couple ($35 for Club J members). The Terrace experience is only available through October and reservations are strongly recommended, but walk-ins are welcome, too. Call us at 707.431.5430 to make a reservation or request a reservation online

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