A little bit of L.A.
Being on maternity leave allowed me to do my ‘job’ from anywhere. So, when Sam announced he had a trip to Los Angeles in June, I signed George and I right up.
While there is plenty to see and do in L.A., it isn’t a city that strives to seduce tourists. Everyone has a bit of an opinion about the city. It hasn’t got the buzzy, bright-light vibe of New York, nor the natural beauty of Hawai’i. But as a Londoner, I can relate to loving a city that not everyone does. It was my mission to find some love for Los Angeles.
I have read LA-based Cupcakes and Cashmere for over five years. George and I had a few days together while Sam was working, and I was excited to build a bit of an itinerary based on some of her recommendations of things to see and do - and of course, eat - in the city.
My last visit to Los Angeles had been a couple years back, on quite a different mission. During my previous life in the cosmetics industry, we traveled to the city in search of pretty young things to photograph with Grazia UK. We spent our evenings dining at the various new ‘it’ places in town and whiled away the evenings poolside with a cocktail in hand, many thanks to our hosts in the know (the wonderful Jo, Mel & Cas!) I can still remember the peanut-buttery goodness of the Fluffer Nutter dessert at Black Market, grilled jalapenos at Laurel Hardware and the best people-watching-while-munching-on-kale chips at Soho House (topped with a celebrity spotting of Draco Malfoy.) We had stayed at the Andaz, West Hollywood, with morning dips in the rooftop pool. The whole trip was pretty phenomenal to say the least.
So, back to our most recent trip. We stayed in Venice Beach this time, at the Rose Hotel. Our stay was great, but in the spirit of honesty I did not love Venice - I felt a bit vulnerable walking about, especially with George in a stroller. However, there were some upsides. We were a fifteen minute walk from the famed Abbot Kinney - a brilliant spot for shopping & dining. George and I returned twice to The Butcher’s Daughter, and squirreled away afternoon treats from Blue Star Donuts. Gjelina’s constantly has a queue around the corner, ruling it out for this visit, but it is definitely one to add to your list. From here you can easily walk onto the Venice Canals - they’re a beautiful oasis in amongst the bustle of Venice.
I had long wanted to visit the LACMA, and it was the highlight of this trip. Their outdoor installations are gorgeous, and have you ever heard of the La Brea tar-pits? They are bubbling asphalt wells that are dotted around the museum grounds, full of prehistoric fossils which are constantly harvested by archeologists. Saber-tooth tigers and wooly mammoths are found on a regular basis. For any dinosaur-loving geek, it’s a must-visit. Mind=blown.
George and I visited The Grove twice. It’s a beautiful and calm retail and dining complex, right next door to a historical Farmer’s Market. For fellow parents, they have THE BEST family facilities I have ever seen in public, and it doesn’t cost a cent to use them. It also helps that it is pretty much a one-stop-shop for all your favourites like J.Crew, Madewell and Nordstrom. We pre-fuelled for our excursion at Joan’s on Third down the road. I seriously could have filled our suitcase with all the delicious goodies they have there, and can highly recommend their eggs on gammon for breakfast.
We enjoyed our short time in LA and we felt like we got our fill of the city this time round. I’m sure we’ll be passing back through one day, so let me know what we’ve missed!