Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shopping Downtown SF

Gentle Friends as you well know shopping, for the most part, is one of the things I really care for the least.  I do not care for the crowds, the noise, the silly "shop girls" with their "May I help you" every two feet, I am perfectly capable of looking and if I have a question I can find you, now go away and fold something!!!    

This past weekend I made another trek to "downtown."  To me anything off of the Valencia Street corridor, or out of Noe Valley... and within a few blocks of Union Square is "Downtown."  Once again I was on a specific quest, back to Lupicia, for my yearly supply of Christmas teas, they had come in, I called last Friday and was told they had come in on Monday, 11/11 - I also mentioned I had not received an email about their arrival.... the email came this past Monday.

So I ventured out of Noe Valley, got on the 24 Bus to get on the Muni underground at Market and Castro and then zoooom 4 stops later I was

..... the underground entrance to the Westfield SF Centre, it's a Mall, and this entrance leads one onto the Food Floor....  way too many temptations so up, up, up I went changing escalators at every floor until I was on the 3rd floor and in front of Lupicia.....

.... I could tell right away that it was Christmas since all the Fall stuff was gone... and the big "Season's Greetings" sign in the window, nothing gets past me!!

On the first big display table were the Christmas Signature gift tins, or bags and they even have little glass cups with the each flovour of loose tea so that you can smell it and see just how lovely this stuff is....

from l to r - "Jingle Bells"  and described by Lupicia marketing as..."a black tea scented with refreshing grapes and fruity champagne" - I love me some "Jingle Bells", next up is "White Christmas" - described as..."tea flavoured with white chocolate and apricot conjuring up images of baked Christmas sweets" - this is a great tea that does really well with a splash of cream and honey!! ...... and going along there is "Cache-Cache," a tea I do not care for and did not get, I tried it a few years ago, found it not to my taste and since there were much better teas to be had this is one I leave alone - and - last but certainly not least is "Carol" - described as "tea flavoured with strawberry and vanilla and elegantly decorated with rose petals" - This was a new tea to me and I really enjoyed this one!!  It was the "tasting tea" while I was there, they have a pot brewing with different teas to try while you shop, nice touch!!

Behind the large main display table of big tins of tea were the gift packs of smaller tins for Christmas presents....

... I really like these smaller tin sizes, and they are packed so nicely!!

I left with these teas.....

.... a new Jingle Bells tin and a tin of Carol, I also picked up a bag of White Christmas and filled up my old tin.  Now I am set for Christmas tea through the whole season!!

The Westfield Shopping Centre is a gigantic building and is housed in the old Emporium Store Space, when they built it ( or rebuilt it) they kept the historic Emporium facade, and dome, so that the front of the building on Market Street looks so much better than the underground entrance......  here's a snap....

That's my little adventure downtown to get me some tea!!  Thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,


  1. the silly "shop girls" with their "May I help you" every two feet, I am perfectly capable of looking and if I have a question I can find you, now go away and fold something!!!

    I know it's annoying Edgar, but since I worked retail for many years, I have to come to their defense. The sales people are required to approach/greet everyone that comes into their area. Otherwise, if a secret shopper is nearby, they'll get dinged in the report. (Secret shoppers are people hired to observe the sales people interact with customers and you never know when one is around.) Like you, I prefer to be left alone when I shop, but this is the reality that sales people live with. It's a really hard - not to mention underpaid - job. Glad I'm out of that game.

    But I'm glad that you got your tea! :)

  2. I would love to visit your tea shop - looks lovely!!

  3. Just so you know Edgar, those "shop girls" are required to greet you. "Big Brother" is always watching. If they don't they are interrogated to the point of tears, threatened with being fired (someone else would love to have their low wage job) and written up. If they were written up 3 times, they are fired. Of course, it depends on where they work and if the store can afford cameras.

  4. I do so agree with you Edgar about the "shop girls". I really like to browse without being accosted with offers to help all the time. Another bug bear is being asked "are you alright? " when they are really asking what can they get me. This usually comes when it''so my turn on the deli counter in out supermarket. I wish people would say what they mean! I love the sound of the teas you bought, especially the Jingle Bells one. I don't think we have anything like that here in the U.K.

  5. YUM! Those teas sound great, although I can't imagine what Jingle Bells would taste like! I love trying new flavors of tea; we really had to hold ourselves back at Fortnum & Mason in London...we only came away with four (or was it five?) But it could easily have been twenty!!!!

  6. I feel your pain with the shop-girls. I understand it's their job but once you tell them you're fine on your own for now, they then disappear so when you need help they are no where to be found. Great teas.

  7. It is so wonderful here in France, that after you say the required bon jour, the shop people leave you alone. As do waiters. Now that I'm accustomed to being completely ignored, I'm annoyed by the shopkeepers and waiters in the U.S.!

  8. Wow looking so lovely..
    Big hugs x

  9. Yup; those girls are annoying but the fact is they get sacked if they don't do it...a crap job...I too am well pleased to be out of it. However I am so envious of your teas! When I lived in the UK I had access to things like Malls and shops and christmas coffees and Ireland I live in the middle of the countryside and there are no such luxuries. If I win the lottery I am flying over and I am expecting a shopping tour pretty please!

  10. Ha ha.. I have considered getting a shirt that says "No you can't help me UNLESS I ask for help!"

    Seriously, they probably hate doing it as much as we hate hearing it.

    Lovely tea selections. I wish I had a shop like that to visit nearby.

  11. I'm not much of a shopper but looking at your pictures make me think I might enjoy a trip to SF to Shop!!

  12. Glad the Christmas teas finally came in. Just the tins themselves are so pretty and worthwhile! Love the facade of that building. So pretty!

  13. I think we have similar taste on teas. When visiting my daughter in a small college town recently I found a wonderful tea shop (Fezziwig's - isn't that a great name?!). They had the 12 Teas of Christmas and I bought Candy Cane Lane, Winter Snowflake, and Brandied Pear. They smell and taste delicious.

  14. I also used to hate sales people asking if they could help me but after having worked retail since this past February, I know the pressure they're under to greet and offer to help every customer they encounter. The manager of the large department store where I first worked once told us after receiving an email regarding this issue told us he would never criticize an employee for approaching a potential customer and made it clear we had to do it. It's a pain but it's what we have to do to keep our jobs.

  15. That shop looks like my idea of heaven. So many different kinds of tea, I might never leave...

  16. Lupicia goodies are now on my Christmas list : ) Thanks for the information!