Lovejoy’s Tea Room
A cozy tea room dotted with mismatched teapots and lace tablecloths, Lovejoy’s is the perfect stop for a tête-à-tête with grandma. It offers over 20 varieties of tea, including seasonal favorites, accompanied by warm scones and fresh sandwiches. If you are not familiar with tea, no fear – the hosts are well versed in the subject and will guide you to the perfect choice. After indulging, head across the street to Lovejoy’s Attic, the tea room’s gift shop, which sells antique pots, cups, aprons, and any other tea-related gizmo you could dream up. While Lovejoy’s does accept walk-ins, it is highly recommend that you reserve ahead, especially during the holiday season. Pinkies up.
Lovejoy’s Tea Room, 1351 Church St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 648 5895
Japanese Tea Garden
If your grandmother has a green thumb, invite her for an outing to the Japanese Tea Garden. A peaceful space full of spiraling walkways and arching bridges, the garden is the perfect balance of outdoor serenity and delicious treats. The Tea House serves miso soup, edamame, mochi, and a selection of teas from Japan. Once you’ve eaten, take to the zen garden paths. The greenery is dotted with Japanese sculptures, koi ponds, waterfalls, and secluded nooks for restful chatting. There is an $8 entrance fee, but let’s face it – grandma is worth it.
If grandma is a sucker for a good view, head over to The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus. Located at the top level of the department store, this tea room is topped by a stunning, stained-glass ceiling. The food isn’t too shabby, either. You’ll started off with complimentary popovers, smothered in strawberry butter – follow that up with a lobster club sandwich and champagne. The dining experience is a bit pricey, but it’s worth it for a special occasion. After eating, wander through Neiman Marcus. Who knows, maybe grandma will treat you to something.
The Rotunda, Level Four, 150 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 249 2720
Conservatory of Flowers
Constructed in 1878, the Conservatory of Flowers is the oldest, and most stunning, building in Golden Gate Park. The grandiose white greenhouse sits at the top of a perfectly manicured field and houses over 1,700 plant species. The sheer density of greenery is incredible and will have you and grandma wondering if you’re even in San Francisco anymore. As you meander from room to room under the warm glass ceiling, keep your eyes on the orchids; the Conservatory has the largest public collection of them in the world.
Ferry Ride to Sausalito
Not looking to go anywhere specific? Take grandma on a ferry ride to Sausalito. You’ll be able to see San Francisco like never before, and pass by Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge as salty wind whips through your hair. Once you’ve docked, walk along the waterfront and watch crabs scuttle under the rocks, then visit local shops such as Games People Play and Lappert’s Ice Cream. Head over to Scoma’s before ferrying home, and treat grandma to fresh seafood and a waterfront view. Make sure to check the weather before the boat ride, as a good day on the water is highly dependent on sunshine.