Easy Ideas for Your Football Party (GO NINERS!)

Neighbors will come over. Friends will call you out. You’ve got the best pad for it… why not just have them all over for the 49ers game tomorrow?? (BTW, it’s at Noon PST on Sunday.) As your go-to party planner, I’ve got some ideas for you.

First: talking points. How about a few stats on Kaep? Or the Harbaughs? No need to be a genius, just get in a good note about changing quarterbacks late in the season… that poor other quarterback (what was his name again?).


Beyond that, hmm, is noon on Sunday too early for a quick-and-dirty tequila set-up? Well, maybe start with serving a handcrafted beer (Boont Amber Ale, or of course SF’s own Anchor Steam Beer recommended), and wait to set out the tequila until after guests have feasted… and yes, a lunchtime party calls for lunch! Throw out the cheese and sausage plate, but to spruce it up, ideas include:

Gourmet magazine’s Chunky Guacamole. This recipe was published in 1998 and it’s been a go-to every playoff season since. Fresh and easy and a crowd pleaser.


This recipe for Aussie Meat Pies has been tried and true in puff pastry and in pie crust.
This recipe for Aussie Meat Pies has been tried and true in puff pastry and in pie crust.

Aussie Meat Pies. These are like maki-sloppy joes. This version is delicious and nice and small for bites — but double or even triple the recipe, use preformed refrigerated pie crusts and mini pie tins, and each one is a small meal, perfect for a footie lunch.

And while most of the guys at your place will balk at any variety of serving vegetables, you could easily steam

a few artichokes (see a guide on prep if you need to), throw lemon, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and fresh flat-leaf parsley into the pot, and serve them up as a finger food (provide tons of napkins).

That should do it — hopefully the big game is a good one. Remember to call, text or email if you need The Concierge to do any part of the prep for the big game: from grocery shopping, to pet sitting to a designated driver to get your guests home.





Interior of the SFJAZZ Center in Hayes Valley
Interior of the SFJAZZ Center in Hayes Valley


SFJAZZ Center: Let’s Book It!

Opening soon is the SFJAZZ Center — and though its address is on Franklin Street in San Francisco, it touts itself as part of the trendy Hayes Valley neighborhood. What most visitors don’t know is that this area is part and parcel of San Fran’s Civic Center, with the Opera House and Bill Graham Civic Auditorium  (on Grove St) and the illustrious (and delicious) #Jardiniere around the corner. I’ve got lots of ideas for drinking and dining before or after performances, which might include any kind of jazz, rock or classical concert, or even the San Francisco Ballet (at the Opera House) and a night in a very reasonable but lovely boutique hotel just off Union Square.

Pair that with a Saturday of some of the best luxe shopping around at Neiman Marcus, Tiffany, Hermes (and you name it!), and my friends, you have a classic San Francisco Getaway!

Hiring a Wedding Concierge

ImageNeed a little extra help for the big weekend? Prefer to save budget on a wedding planner? Planning a destination wedding? Using a Wedding Concierge will be your best bet.

Imagine the following real weddings:

A) Kelly and Frank were excited about bringing their Los Angeles and New York friends to their Napa Valley wedding, collecting a diverse group of people together. However, planning to entertain and serve the needs of all involved might present a challenge to even the most organized couple. Bring on the Wedding Concierge to plan local events in Napa, assist in finding photographer, cake and catering vendors, and on the weekend, field guests’ questions, requests and run errands.

B) Jess’s family is based in Minneapolis, but family members are now scattered all across the country. In bringing everyone back, rather than relying on a gossipy family member or a hotel concierge who might not know the wedding agenda, the Wedding Concierge is the go-to contact for information and assistance for the big weekend, allowing the bridal party to enjoy their guests.

C) A wedding day is filled with little things gone wrong: the groomsman has a hangover and is in need of a fast-food meal; the bouquet is too big and needs to be run back to the florists’ for adjustment; there was no money in the budget to hire a bus to take guests home after the reception, but the concierge organizes designated drivers; the Bride and Groom forgot to order Champagne for their getaway ride. The Bridal Concierge is on-call to keep the event and party rolling.

A Wedding Concierge sweeps up the loose ends of a wedding that a planner might not. The concierge might be dedicated for the entire weekend at a destination wedding to the wedding party, acting as a hotel concierge might, responding to requests for products, services and dining and entertainment. On the day of, the Wedding Concierge is the errand runner, keeping the members of the party from running off so that all involved can relax and enjoy their time together.

Tips for Hiring a Wedding Concierge

First, outline your needs and budget before you call a Wedding Concierge. In many cases, the concierge will be flexible with fees when booked for an entire weekend. For an entire wedding, you might count on a fee-per-booking basis. Each concierge will know what makes sense for their business.

Count on meeting your concierge in person before starting booking. If you and your concierge don’t see eye-to-eye on budget or service level, you will need to know ASAP.

Concierges want you to call, email or text; the more the better! That is what makes a concierge so useful: they are on staff to meet your and your bridal party’s needs! I know for me, there is nothing more satisfying than providing top-notch, responsive service.

Good luck with wedding planning and the big day! When in Wine Country, remember to call Concierge of the Valley first!

Black Swan Lake Wedding

Wine Country Weddings: Location Ideas

Black Swan Lake Wedding
Black Swan Lake in Calistoga is an exclusive, gorgeous private venue.

Destination weddings planned in Napa and Sonoma offer guests a dynamic mini-break from the ordinary.

Wedding location options vary from spruced up barns and shabby chic country houses to luxurious estate manors with hillside vineyard views to warm and inviting lush gardens. Some of the most modern architecture graces the Napa and Sonoma valleys and is accessible for weddings, as in the case of the Summerhill home, in Sonoma and the Gordon Huether gallery in Napa.

And don’t forget the four-star, full-service hotels. Auberge du Soleil, Meadowood and Silverado resorts all have extensive experience in pulling off fantastic, memorable wedding celebrations, not to mention a first-class stay for your guests. Beaulieu Gardens in Rutherford is also one of Napa Valley’s primiere wedding venues. These tried-and-true wedding venues almost seem old school; today, many brides are taking the time to creatively approach one of the more unique locations, putting their wedding signature or theme in the forefront.

Black Swan Lake is a private wedding location with elaborate grounds and a fully-equipped venue. Weddings I have assisted with here are stunning; but don’t take my word for it. Take a look at the accolades from the many blog posts and photos of the Black Swan Lake venue posted all over the Internet.

As well, Calistoga Ranch in northern Napa Valley is set apart, and perfect for catering to creative tastes and smaller weddings.

Wedding Celebration Table
Dream it up for your Wedding and the Concierge will be your personal assistant in Napa or Sonoma.

Whatever your wedding needs: assistance with finding a locale, a photographer, local vendors of any kind, help for the wedding party on the Big Day, let the Concierge be your go-to phone call or text!