Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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Ours were thrilled when they started jumping on a wooden floor and saw the resulting movement waves reproduced on a big screen on the wall. The next room was dark and empty and tall but a fine curtain of mist trickled down from the ceiling. Irresistible for a 4-year-old, who started going through it while giggling. The mirror corridor was also a fun one, perched high above the entrance hall, with its colored diamond-cut mirrors that change color depending on your position in the corridor.
My next favorite exhibit included the odddly Victorian curiosity boxes of American artist Joseph Cornell. As much as my girls did not care much for the hidden Dada meaning of dancing lobsters in a box, I loved the Romantic feel of the tiny manors with mirrored windows in glittery frames, the “scientific experiment” boxes with tiny bottles filled with stuff or the”naturalist” box with a stuffed bird in a burrow. Actually, I am intending to make a box of my own for my girls’ Christmas as a present from Santa. We’ll see.
It’s different from their store on 18th and Sanchez, not quite as intimate I’d say. I miss the big end table where you can sit down on the floor. It was a good hangout place with small kids. But this location is one of the rare upscale tea experiences in SOMA so I not going to be too grouchy.
We settled for a high table with high stools which our girls enjoyed a lot. As usual, the pastries were scrumptious and the (small) selection of teas delicious. As I went for a bottomless cup of Russian tea, my hubby chose an earthy Pu-Ehr. Unfortunately, Samovar does not offer any child-friendly drinks, not even a cup of milk or a nice hot chocolate. So my girls each drank a glass of water instead. But when the sweets landed on our table, it totally made up for the absence of hot chocolate. My girls tasted it all: the Cardamom rice pudding, the brownie with green tea mousse and shavings of dark chocolate, the fruity bread pudding on honey, the tea cookies. They were a happy bunch.