Valentine's Day at Davies Symphony in Hall

A Night at the Symphony

Published in: Daily Photo

Valentines Day date night at Davies Symphony in Hall

In a parallel universe, maybe I could have been a symphony flute player…


In this universe, music was a huge part of my identity and life from the age of four until I left for college, when it stopped being the main focus (you know how it is). I spent years and years in band and taking piano lessons and doing scales and practicing and performing on stages and football fields. I played flute, French horn (so much spit!), piano, piccolo and a wee bit of trumpet.

Now I kind of wish I’d stayed involved in music over the years because — oh! — the symphony.

El Hub and I went for our Valentine’s Day special date night. 🙂

It was the San Francisco Symphony at the Davies Symphony Hall. They did a special Valentine’s tribute to Mozart.

Valentine's Day at Davies Symphony in Hall

Valentine's Day at Davies Symphony in Hall

Valentine's Day at Davies Symphony in Hall

Valentine's Day at Davies Symphony in Hall

Valentine's Day at Davies Symphony in Hall

Valentine's Day at Davies Symphony in Hall

So, there was music…and I got to dress up and wear bright lipstick. Score! 🙂

The first part of the performance was Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 19 in F major, K. 459…

After so many years playing piano as a kid, I can still kind of tell where the music is supposed to go (although I never played anything that difficult).

The second part of the performance was by a composer I wasn’t familiar with, someone named Sibelius. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Opus 43.


I can totally see this one in a modern day movie soundtrack. It’s a good one to listen to with your eyes closed.

Also, since a gal’s gotta eat, before the performance we had dinner at Chez Maman, a little French Bistro right around the corner from the symphony hall…

Chillin' outside of Chez Maman

I would like to eat all of the cheese, please

Chez Maman Baked Camembert

Baked camembert with roasted garlic and toast points

Chez Maman Salmon

Grille salmon with roasted potatoes, foine (!) herbs & crème fraîche

Very casual place and good food. They don’t take reservations, and prices are reasonable (for that part of the city). It was a warm night, so we had our dinner outside just as the sun was setting…

Hello, romance. 🙂 Our table was tucked away in a corner on the sidewalk, not easily accessible, so our waiter would pass our food to us through the window next to me.

Chez Maman Creme Brulee

Crème brûlée

Everything was delish, but the crème brûlée? Best part. I live for cracking that crust on crème brûlée, homie.


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  1. Agata says:

    It sounds like you had a great night. You looked absolutely beautiful!!!
    Agata recently posted … Sweet in Pink- Valentine’s Day Look

  2. Lena says:

    i want your life.
    i used to be an avid symphony-goer, but 10 yrs ago decided that i ‘ve had it with the bad manners of concert-goers in jakarta. really, atrocious cellphone-playing, texting, constant checking og messages and so the lights! whisperings, humming-alongs.
    i catch the performances on npr now.

  3. kwmechelle says:

    How lovely! I also played the flute growing up & a wee bit of the French horn. And I do mean a wee bit. Sounds like you had a night filled with romance, a great performance, & decadent food. I’d love to sit on the patio of my fave bistro right about now. But, alas, the weather is near the single digits & it’s snowing. But I am, however, rocking that #MacMiley, so we do have some things in common 🙂 Who says bright lips aren’t for cold winter days (or nights!).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kwmechelle,

      No way! How long did you play flute? Were you in marching band as well?

      • kwmechelle says:

        Yep! I was in the marching band from 6-11 grade. Would’ve been in the band in my senior year as well but I transferred schools during my senior year. I played the French horn briefly, and can definitely relate about all the spit (ewww!) but I Loved the flute. I’ve considered buying another one to take lessons. My brother bought me an old one just for kicks but his 7 year old loves that her Auntie (that’s me!) played the flute & now she wants to learn how to play it! I’ve been teaching her how to blow through the mouth piece. Of course, this warms my heart 🙂

        • Karen says:

          I loved the flute too! You should get another one to take lessons. I’m sure it’ll come back easily, like riding a bike.

          Do you have a favorite flute piece to play? Once upon a time mine was Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral (look it up on youtube and give it a listen, it’s beautiful).

          Happy Tuesday!

  4. Debra says:

    Oh, gosh,I could fly on wings from the beauty of sight and sound from these photos!

    Your dress is gorgeous; you look radiant; the food is divine, and if for just that one night you got to soar – it was worth every cent and more!!

    I cannot imagine you giving up music when it was such a big part of you and your life. It is still a part of you. And just cause you took another road or two that led to other things, does not mean you won’t circle back – or around – or forward to whatever music will mean in your life.

    Seriously. I spent years studying my instrument – the voice. And then I put it all away to pursue other dreams and goals. And then after my daughter was born, it was like a part of me was just gonna die unless I started singing again.

    Thank you so much for sharing these images from your special night. They take me back to similar places in D.C. and NYC.

    Oh, Jean Sibelius. Finnish guy. I guess whatever music teachers you encounter determine to some extent the composers you meet. So I met Sibelius and Dvorak and Kodaly, Vivaldi long before he came back into vogue.

    It is never too late to meet musicians who still want to be heard!

    It’s the same with painters. I just learned about Hippolyte Camille Delpy and ordered a print of his “Snow at Montmartre.”

    Please take 30 minutes of each day to surrender to the sound of music in your heart. It can change your life.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra,

      Funny that you mention coming back to it… My BFF offered to give me a keyboard she has sitting around the house. I might have to take her up on it so I can start playing again.

      I had to look up that painting. It’s beautiful. I love the colors in the sky. 🙂

      I hope that your day was filled with music!

  5. Erin says:

    I love the SF Symphony! Awesome!
    Erin recently posted … Valentine’s Day Recap

  6. Tatiana says:

    I had no idea there was a Chez Maman near Davies. We always go to the one on Potrero Hill. OMGosh! I just love the baked Camembert and garlic with toast points! Sounds like you had a fantastic evening.

    • Karen says:

      THAT ROASTED GARLIC, THO! I was kind of hoping that El Hub would hate it so I could eat it all, but alas, no. I had to share, lol. How’s the one in Portrero Hill? Super busy? You will LOVE the outdoor seating at the one near Davies. It’s great for people watching.

      • Tatiana says:

        There’s always a line-up outside the Potrero Hill location. They also have a few tables outside, but on foggy days, they can be really cold as the wind comes up the hill. OMGosh, that roasted garlic is to die for! I’m always happy when Dear Husband and I have a date night and we only have to share that two ways. When my daughter tags along I find myself silently fighting to get as much as I can before she and Dear Husband devour it in lightening speed.
        They have pretty good frites, too! I always ask for aioli to go with them.

  7. Kim says:

    That sounds like a great night! I like that you broke out the jungle cat dress, too. 🙂 The fellas are doing trumpet this year but, sadly, I don’t think either wants to continue. It’s too bad because they’re getting pretty good. They just hate all the practice time (which is sort of key to learning to play – HAHA!). I keep hoping they’ll change their minds. 🙂 Then again, I only did a year of alto sax for the same reason so I can’t be too judgy.

    • Karen says:

      It’s all about the big jungle cats!

      Bummer that the boys don’t want to keep going. I went through that phase, too, but once you get over the hump it gets so much more fun. I guess they’ll be focusing more on sports as their extracurricular?

      LOL about the alto sax. It was so popular back in the day! I think I wanted to play it too but didn’t want to deal with case (too heavy).

      • Kim says:

        Word on the case – having to truck that sucker on the bus was a nightmare! 🙂

        They are definitely all about the sports but I’m thinking maybe some lessons on something they might like more. One already fools around on a keyboard and the other has interest in drums. Practice is practice, though. I’m hoping that it won’t be as bad if it’s an instrument they really love. 🙂

  8. Ruchtia says:

    How lovely! Thanks for sharing pics from your special night. I have never been to the symphony, but it looks like a fun, special occasion. Also, I love the food pics. Everything looks so yummy, especially that creme brulee. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruchita,

      The creme brulee was SO good. I wish I had one for breakfast today. LOL

      How was your weekend? Did you guys do anything special, or did you keep it low key?

      • Ruchita says:

        Our weekend was pretty low key. We had a snowstorm come through on Saturday with really cold temps and unfortunately my husband had to work both Saturday and Sunday. Staying warm at home was preferred to going out in weather like that! Mingus went outside for about a minute before he wanted to come back in. 🙂

  9. Kelly B. says:

    Gorgeous! Going to the symphony is definitely one of the items on my to-do list this year!
    Kelly B. recently posted … What’s in my MAC palette & depotting tips!

  10. So faaaaaaancy! I’ve only ever done the noob amateur version of this, lol. P.S.: look at you looking all gorgeous!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Estée Lauder Little Black Primer

  11. gio says:

    Gorgeous! Sounds like you had a wonderful night!
    gio recently posted … Why You Should Use A Serum

  12. Iris says:

    Sounds like you had an awesome night, and you look lovely.

    Like you, I used to play a lot of musical instruments: violin, bassoon, recorder, piano, along with voice lessons. I knew how to read music scores too. This fell once I was in high school. I wish I had kept it up.

    Creme brule is amazing.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Iris,

      Wow, basson! That’s one I haven’t tired. Was it difficult to play?

      • Iris says:

        It was difficult. I loved the sound of it but it was a huge instrument. I could barely get any sound out of it when I played it the first few times. It was also difficult to set up and lug around. I tried it for a year before I stopped due to time constraints.

  13. Jessica says:

    That dress! You looked amazing!
    I’m also a former musician, and kinda wish I kept it up. Oh well, I can still appreciate when others play!

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