A day in Berkeley

So you have some free time on your hands and want to explore Berkeley a bit?

A city rich in culture, history, food & the arts has plenty going on.

First up, start the day with a little caffeine and nourishment at Venus.  

This popular restaurant has a great reputation, especially when it comes to brunch. Whether you’re an protein lover or a pancakes person, Venus has you covered. There are even items on the menu for vegetarians and kids, so nobody is left out and everyone leaves satisfied.

Walk over to the Campanile on Berkeley’s campus and take in the views from the top.  

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This year, the 300 foot bell tower known as the Campanile, celebrates 100 years on campus.

Enjoy a slice of pizza at the Cheeseboard for Lunch.

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Their pizzas never have meat and are topped with organic and local ingredients when possible. Pizzas are made fresh daily and each day of the week they are open, the pizza changes.

Insider tip:  Check out their website to see a lineup for the week on what the planned pizzas are.

Feel the vibe of Berkeley and stroll up Telegraph Avenue

At the center of community life, a large section of Telegraph Avenue is home to many restaurants, bookstores, clothing shops, and street vendors galore making a living on the city sidewalks. You will see many types of people walking along – from college students to tourists, artists to business professionals and everything in between.

Indulge in spa treatments at the Claremont Hotel

Spa afternoon at a beautiful and historic hotel, club & spa.  Need we say more?

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Book it stat.

Next up?

How about seeing a play at Berkeley Playhouse (built by our famed architect, Julia Morgan) in 1908.

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Finish off the evening with dinner at Julia’s

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Our beloved gem of a restaurant, nestled on the Second Floor.

If you are staying with us at the Berkeley City Club, it will only be an elevator ride up to your room after treating yourself to food (and wine) bliss.

We hope you enjoy some (or all) of our recommendations.  Berkeley is a great little city.

Cheers to you on your next adventure!

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Tips for evaluating a venue

He popped the question.  You said yes.

Now all the fun begins.  The planning, the details, the fun!

Maybe you have had a venue in mind since you were a little girl, or perhaps this wedding planning thing is not your cup of tea.

Either way, a venue is something you need to secure for your big day.  Then come contracts, deposits and sharing it all on the invitation.  Sound like a lot?  Not to fret, we are here to shed some light on the subject.

1.  Start looking early

We like to recommend at least 9-12 months before the wedding. If you’re planning a wedding during the more popular seasons (summer and fall), you may have to be more flexible about the day you get married to get the site you want.

 Sundays are great option as well if your hopeful Saturday is all booked up.

2. Schedule to see the venue in the right light

Spaces can change depending on the time of day. Make sure you schedule to see a venue around the time of day that your event will be taking place (and keep in mind daylight savings time for shorter or longer days ahead).

You may consider adding ambient lighting, which can dramatically change your event.

3. Know all of the details

Each venue has its own unique set of variables. Make sure you get all the details about each venue you look at before making your selection.

Does the venue have their own chairs and tables, or A/V system?

What are their rules on bringing in your own catering or bartender?

What time can you begin setting up, and what time do you need to be out afterwards?

Is there a charge if you stay later?

What is the cancellation policy?

If you are on a budget and your event date is flexible, you can inquire whether the venue has different pricing based on the day of the week.

4.  Speak up

When speaking with event sales reps, let them know you are evaluating a number of venues. If they ask about the offers you have received from their competitors, tell them.

Remember, we would love to have your business.  Be open with us if you have competing offers you are choosing between.

We still have limited Saturdays and Sundays left for 2015.

Contact our Events Team with questions or to book a site tour.

510.280.1532 / events@berkeleycityclub.com

Julia Morgan Hall

A true landmark of a building, owned by UC Berkeley and constructed by our famed architect, Julia Morgan, in 1911, is certainly a treasure not to be missed.

One-year ago today, on January 13, 2014, the building constructed of redwood was (very carefully) moved over a period of two weekends in four, (very large) pieces.

Here is the story of this amazing piece of history.

Fast forward back to 1911…

At that time in history, women were not allowed access to the Senior Men’s Hall or most of the other men’s buildings on campus. Many determined young women staged programs and wrote letters to solicit funds to secure the space.

In comes Julia Morgan, who graduated from Cal in 1894 with a degree in Civil Engineering.

The Associated Women Students at Cal asked Morgan to design a building for their activities.

It became known as Senior Women’s Hall.

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On to 1946…

The building was moved about 160 feet west, to make room for the Gayley Road extension of Piedmont Avenue.

A rounded fireplace and bigger patio were added, all in keeping with Morgan’s original design.

Its name became Girton Hall in 1969.

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In 1970, Girton Hall became a child-care facility.

In 2014, a project a year in the making, and over a period of two weekends came to fruition.

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To get the building down a narrow driveway to its resting place in the UC Botanical Garden, it was cut into four pieces, with the largest weighing in at 14,000 pounds. Each piece required a separate move and road closure of Centennial Drive.

Today, the building will serve as a venue for weddings, events and gatherings.

The UC Botanical Garden has established a fund to aid in the care of the building.

As of January 2014, about $700,000 towards a goal of $1 million has been raised.

Curious to view this piece of history?  I am too!

I think a short little mid-day jaunt is in order.  Tour info, please.

Meet photographer, Danny Dong

In keeping with our wedding, image-loving & beautiful things theme (who are we kidding, we love all of these, all the time), we have some great news to share with you.

Back pedal in time with us to the Summer of 2014.  A beautiful wedding, with bride and groom, Yumi and Kevin, was taking place, and a photographer was there that day that would capture those moments for the lovely bride and groom.  Little did we know the mastery behind his images and the passion in his work.  His ability is one of true talent.

Meet, Danny Dong.

Danny Dong

Here in Marketing & Events, we are a (teeny bit) obsessed with his work.

It is magical.

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Does it get any more beautiful?

 This pool has been captured countless times, over our decades of existence, but this image sure is something special.

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We are in love with this one too.

The Members Lounge here with the brides dress on display.  Stunning.

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Candlelight, architecture and the look of love here?

My heart literally skipped a beat at first glance.

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Now that you have seen a few of Danny’s gems, we wanted to share how proud we are of him!

Brandsmash has given him the honor of being one of the top 100 photographers in the US.

Great job, Danny!

If you love his work as much as we do, head on over to his website or plan to see some gems of his on our website in the coming months.  We can hardly wait.

If you are searching for a venue for your very own wedding, our Team would love to assist you.

We can be reached via phone at 510.280.1532 or events@berkeleycityclub.com.