Travel

California Services

Establishment neighborhood
Zephyr Tents
1563 Solano Ave., Berkeley
Zephyr likes to think of its tented canopies as sails—billowing, crisp, and made to last. This is appropriate given the tent type: The “Sperry” was initially crafted by New England sailmaker Steve Sperry. These canopies are as beautiful inside as they are outside, with many of the panels hand-sewn and the support poles carved out of wood. Most importantly, the entire structure is waterproof. Tents come in a variety of sizes to cater to events of all sizes, and the crew is top-notch. Conveniently, Zephyr also provides beautiful furniture, much of it made from reclaimed wood, hardwood flooring, and incredible lighting (we love the paper lanterns strung from the tent roof, which is as beautiful as it sounds).
Cattus Quartet
[email protected]
This string ensemble, made up of four friends and music school grads, is a fun and elegant option for virtually any type of event. Musically, the Cattus repertoire ranges across classical, jazz, pop, and rock—and they're happy to take requests. (Read: they'll gladly play everything from Pachelbel's Canon​ to Guns N' Roses with equal aplomb.) A secondary passion for these players—aside from their music—is animal welfare, so a portion of the proceeds from their performances goes directly to charity. Photo: Morgan Hydinger
Sur la Table
6333 W. Third St., Suite P-10, West LA
Reliably good and an American classic, Sur La Table host a series of excellent cooking classes in hundreds of their stores throughout the country (Catch the full list of national classes here https://www.surlatable.com/category/cat2211278/In+Store+Classes?cleanSession=true&pCat=CAT-259413). The LA iteration takes place on centrally located Third Street, around the beautifully outfitted cooking stations in the store itself. Expect totally practical, but still aspirational themed culinary evenings that make for the perfect date (friendly or romantic), irrespective of whether you’re a complete novice or experienced cook. Classes happen weekly and range from the helpful cooking under pressure and knife skills 101, to winter in Paris, a taste of Tuscany or the absolutely necessary fried chicken night.
Fireside Provisions
San Francisco-based startup Fireside Provisions is a little like the Blue Apron of camp food—peruse their website ahead of your trip, enter your specifications, and they’ll deliver pre-packaged food with recipes to your door on the day of departure, swiftly eliminating any anxiety over food preparation. This isn’t your Dad’s camping hot dogs, either: Recipes include chilaquiles, salmon pita sandwiches, pork-fried rice, and even trail snacks like apples and peanut butter. No-brainer.
Laurie Arons Special Events
1850 Union St., Cow Hollow
Laurie’s been in the business since 1994, and while she’s handled everything from dressed-up barbecues to intimate dinners, weddings have always been (and continue to be) her bread and butter. If you’re doing a destination wedding—even if it's just in Napa—book her for weekend and destination planning, which takes the pressure off your guests to entertain themselves by providing activities throughout their stay. In addition to being organized, thoughtful, and easy to work with, she’s got relationships with all of the best vendors in SF.
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