Hudson Grace – the stylish lifestyle retailer with shops in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Larkspur, and Palo Alto – is the shopping equivalent of our ongoing devotion to the Salade Nicoise: casually elegant and beautifully balanced, with just the right hint of piquancy. Shopping at Hudson Grace is like a deliciously long lunch with good friends. No surprise that we’d love to share a meal with co-owner Gary McNatton (also casually elegant!), who says of their products, “We go for things that are meant to be worn, to be used, to be loved.” Here are a few favorites in his ‘hood, Larkspur, CA – suggestions of where to eat, drink and love:
This is easy … The Buckeye Roadhouse Coffee Kiosk located just off the 101 (My Main Street) in the Buckeye’s parking lot … a small high tech looking shed. Operated by an ever-cheerful Kelly Mullen, who knows her customers and her product. The coffee and latte’s and the morning atmosphere is Marin perfection. Kelly sees you pulling into the parking lot and she already has your drink on order and all you have to do is make a decision as to what baked goods have your name on it. They are Homemade everyday from the Buckeye kitchen just next door … Beautiful, flaky, warm, comforting muffins, scones and morning savories just waiting for you. One to not miss is the sour cherry scone … Like nothing you have ever tasted. (I wish I had one right now.)
Favorite spot for a cocktail?
We have been blessed with the opening of the Farm Shop a year ago. I first discovered this restaurant in the chic Brentwood Country Mart in LA., and was thrilled to find out that James Rosenfield had a Farm Shop going into the hip Marin Country Mart just across from the Larkspur Ferry. The Bar is long, dark, modern and happening. The perfect place to meet friends, hold a casual business conversation and order up the perfectly shaken Martini or Whiskey Sour … Up, of course. And the people watching isn’t bad either.
Date night destination?
That is a easy … I think if you want the latest-and-the-greatest restaurant then you drive across the bridge to the city – but in Marin there is Larkspur’s Picco Restaurant with dependably delicious food. Just next door is the Pizzeria – perfectly fired, hand made pizzas and outstanding salads. You have to arrive early and get a table outside under the canopy with heat lamps (because no matter what time of the year nights can get cool). And may I suggest the simple margarita pizza with a generous topping of arugula. It’s not quite like being in Naples…but a good runner up.
Favorite find in the neighborhood?
This is easy! The Marin Country Mart across from the Larkspur Ferry. Great retail and food choices, a farmers market on Saturday mornings, and food trucks (Off the Grid) on Sunday. A perfect place to enjoy a relaxing morning or afternoon with families, dogs, coffee and retail temptations. (And it just so happens to be the location of our second Hudson Grace shop which opened a year ago last October.)
Outdoor space to enjoy in the sun?
Anywhere in Marin, there is great weather over here if you have not yet heard. It’s funny how at the end of the Rainbow Tunnel it is a different climate from the City. So there are an unending amount of hills, sunshine, walking paths, back roads and stunning views from all directions. It is really a great place to be … I’m very grateful.
Best kept neighborhood secret?
The view from my house … I watch the ferries coming and going, the rowers practicing, and the wind surfers in their non-ending motion on the bay. It’s a really wonderful show. It’s been a long time since I had a view from my house, and now that I have a view once again since we moved into our new house in Larkspur … It alone was worth all the hard work to get here.