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JUNE TAYLOR COMPANY
Embarcadero and Market Street
If you'd paid more attention during home economics class, perhaps you'd be turning out the kind of mouthwatering condiments that Londoner June Taylor learned to make in high school and that have earned her a national following. Look for her crowded stand on Saturdays at the farmers' market. Her organic preserves and fruit syrups are made from exotic fruits like quince and bergamots, prepared in ways that bring out their essence. Take-home treats could include, say, greengage-plum fruit paste; fig, port and lemon-thyme conserve; or Meyer lemon and rose geranium marmalade. Taylor's ketchup is made with organic dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes and it's-a-secret spices for a deep, rich flavor that's worth the $15 splurge. Your fries will thank you.
1 Claude Lane
If "Irish knit" conjures up those bulky cabled clichés of a sweater, you're in for a surprise at these boutiques filled with girlie garments in cashmere, wool, cotton and silk. Though the stores carry other labels, the eponymously designed minidresses and layerable tanks, sweaters and jackets are the draw here. Springtime brings lace tops, pointelle cardigans and stretch-cotton coats and a palette that combines soft ocean blues and berry pinks with earth tones and metallics. The shop's new line, M.O.L. Knits, arrives late this summer, with ruched off-the-shoulder sleeveless tops, ruffly drawstring cardigans and hoodie dresses that will make you the prettiest Colleen this side of County Clare.
MUSEUM OF CRAFT AND FOLK ART
51 Yerba Buena Lane
Sure, you could bring home some sourdough bread mix, but wouldn't you rather have a more meaningful San Francisco souvenir? Why not invest instead in a work by one of the Bay Area artists featured at this museum shop opposite the Yerba Buena Gardens. The knobby, fungal ceramics of Andrew DeWitt; David Huang's dynamic-looking metal vessels lined with gold leaf; and the indigo stylized-landscape wall hangings of Barbara Shapiro are just some of the locally made objects you might be able to purchase. Don't worry about having to pack a particularly delicate item; the shop can arrange to safely ship your purchase.
SUE FISHER KING
3067 Sacramento St.
By the time you get here, chances are you'll think you're all set in the home-accessories department. After all, you've registered for just about everything you could possibly want, right? You'll have your doubts once you've visited this Pacific Heights shop that carries exquisite, often imported items you're unlikely to find elsewhere. Among the more opulent designs are those by Anichini (jacquard bedding and bedcovers in Napoleonic patterns), Venetia Studium (silk chandeliers with intricate handpainted patterns) and Anke Drechsel (silk and linen throw pillows covered in lusciously colored embroidery). Even if you can only afford, say, the faux-twig taper candles by Beeskep, they'll be gift-wrapped to perfection.