Cocktail bar and restaurant that has a Pacific island theme. The band plays on a boat that drifts out into the lagoon to a mock storm complete with rain. As fabulously tacky as it sounds.
Fairmont Hotel: 950 Mason Street (there's an entrance off California Street);
tel: (415) 772 5278;
Excellent museum - in new building by Herzog & de Meuron - brings together arts of the americas through the ages - tremendous art and the building is fabulous inside and outside. Afterwards you can stroll through Golden Gate Park, go to the Japanese Graden or walk all the way through to Sunset and the Pacific. The Beach Chalet at the end - a depression project with some excellent murals - is now a microbrewery. A short walk south takes you to Judah and you can ride the N-tram back to Market Street.
For a very Californian experience go to the Audium. A 60s style professor creates a soundscape in a room filled with 150 speakers. You troop through a darkened corridor and then sit in a circle in complete darkness. Then the professor plays and mixes strange sounds – supposed to be 3d and sound sculptures but there’s a lot of running water and what sounds like a band of monkeys playing Hammond organs. Bizarre.
1616 Bush Street; performaces are at 8.30 on Fri and Sat only (arrive by 8pm); tel: (415) 771 1616;
OK, it's tacky and touristy, but it's fab. Hang on to the side while you race down toward the Bay, or better still, late at night shooting down California Street. Better than a fairground ride.
There are cable car turnarounds at the bottom of California Street and at the bottom of Powell Street;
A small park on Russian Hill with fabulous views over North Beach, Financial District and Bay Bridge. Peaceful and quiet, you'll usually share it with a few folk up from Chinatown doing their Tai Chi. Just over the hill - between Vallejo and Green (for those who know their Tales of the City) is supposed to be macondry lane - complete with wooden steps. Named after a poet.
At intersection of Vallejo St and Taylor St
An indoor amusement park based on eating - get gyoze/potstickers in mock Chinese alleys, ice cream in a huge shop/fair and buy cream cakes and eat them in the Tokyo creampuff field beneath trees with cream puffs on them. A baffling and bewildering experience inside Sunshine City.
Underground to Ikebukoro, then follow signs to Sunshine City
There are traditional coffee houses all over Tokyo. Small - usually air-conditioned - places of calm from the hustle, bustle and summer heat. Your glass of ice cool water is constantly topped up, a cloth to refresh you, coffee, cakes and in many perfect toasted cheese. Excellent people-watching places too. Don't even think about using Starbucks or any of the chains.
An art gallery set in a 1930s art deco house that used to be the home of Prince Akasa. The art is good - there were gorgeous photographs of flowers when we went - but the house is outstanding. There's also a Japanese garden to stroll round afterwards and a nice cafe near the entrance. Well worth a visit.
website - www.teien-art-museum.ne.jp/info/e_index.html. The nearest underground is Meguro (also on the JR Yamanote Line) - and then it's about a 10-minute walk.
Gorgeous neighbourhood restaurant out on Russian Hill. Californian, French and Mediterranean cuisine. Food is always good and you can get the cable car out there, which stops rights outside, so you can hear the clanking of the cars and peel of the bells. For that meal with someone special it hits the spot time and time again.
1091 Hyde Street (the Cable Car stops ride outside); tel: (415) 928 1406
Want some Dim Sum? Go to the oldest dim sum house in San Francisco, with lime green tables and orange chairs. It's also by Hang Ah Street - one of the small back alleys in Chinatown between Grant and Stockton. After filling up wander along the street, cross Clay St into Spofford Lane, cross Washington St into Ross Alley - along the way see the fortune cookies factory and hear the mah jong players clicking away in the rooms lining the lanes.
Hang Ah Tea Room: 1 Pagoda Place; tel: (415) 982-5686;
Hang Ah Street is between Grant and Stockton Street, off Sacremento Street
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