By Don Douloff, September 11, 2008
San Francisco is one of the most exciting food cities in North America, blending West Coast verve and culinary creativity with a wide variety of peerless ingredients grown on nearby boutique farms. Epicures from around the world flock to savour a taste of this gastronomically blessed city. Capitalizing on that is the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, which is offering its Epicurean Seasons customized meeting package through Dec. 30.
Highlighting the itinerary is a visit to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, operated by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture on Tuesdays and Saturdays and featuring products from dozens of area farmers. Located within the historic Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street, shops and boutiques sell everything from artisanal cheeses to local fish. On the prepared-food side, restaurants and cafes dish up fare that’s deliciously representative of San Francisco’s cultural diversity.
Additionally, the package includes a health-conscious food-and-beverage menu, highlighting local and organic products and developed with the hotel’s chef in consultation with the planner. There’s also a market-inspired meeting break that usually includes a fresh-squeezed juice of the day and smoothies, low-fat muffins made by the hotel’s pastry chef and, often, energy/protein bars and vitamin-infused waters.
Accommodating groups of 10 to 200, the Epicurean Seasons package includes a seasonal welcome amenity for all guestrooms; complimentary access to the 127,000-sq.-ft., on-site Sports Club/LA fitness facility and spa; complimentary house car for transportation to local destinations; complimentary coffee/tea in the lobby until 8:00 a.m. daily; and a custom website to promote groups’ programmes.
Optional inclusions could feature a food and beverage credit of $50 per room, or a donation of $50 per room earmarked for a San Francisco-based charity of the group’s choice, or a 10 per cent reduction in audio-visual charges.
Another optional inclusion could feature complimentary high-speed Internet access in all guestrooms or a complimentary upgrade for two rooms to executive suites.