Sun, sushi & shopping
I’ve been obsessed with L.A ever since I was an avid watcher of The Hills. The Hollywood sign, the rooftop pools, the shopping, the food, eating outside like everyday, the beach (I did love myself a bit of Laguna Beach and The O.C too), the fact that it’s pretty much hot enough to wear denim cut-off’s year round – what’s not to love? However, the first time I visited here I thought it was a bit of an odd place. I didn’t get it at first and it’s taken me a while to warm up to the idea. I couldn’t get used to the driving everywhere and I think it was also down to where we stayed and visited, we just didn’t get it right. Fast forward a couple of years and to my fourth trip here (fifth coming in June!) and I love it. I look forward to it like it’s a place that I need to be at some point during the year. It’s partly down to my low vitamin D levels calling out for some sun, I’m sure, but there’s also a part of me that just bloomin’ adores it here. Want to know why? I have just the post…
THE SHOPPING. It goes without saying that the shopping over here is worth packing a half empty suitcase for. I have been known to pay for double the amount of excess baggage on the way home. Although there are malls that contain pretty much everything that you’d need in one place, I prefer to pound the pavements and make the most of the glorious weather. Rodeo is worth a wander down, if not just to gawp through the windows and pretend you’re Julia Roberts. The Grove is a commercial spot but gets all your good U.S-only stops done like Sephora, The Container Store and Madewell done – plus there’s a Whole Foods and a CVS over the road. Melrose is a good avenue for places that you won’t really find anywhere else and if you fancy heading down a road that’s the epitome of hipster then you’ve got to visit Abbott Kinney. Prepare to drop some dollar…
THE FOOD. OH. MY. WORD. The food is incredible. Out of this world incredible. I spend about 68% of my year thinking about the Albacore Tuna Belly from Sugarfish and the other 32% of my time daydreaming about the Brown Butter Glazed Brioche Doughnuts from The Church Key. The sushi in general is awesome over here, I’ve never had a bad batch. Although if it’s healthy fodder that you’re after then you’ll find it in abundance. I really enjoy True Food Kitchen; the Inside Out Quinoa Burger is something special. For sweet stuff I just don’t think you can beat Yoghurt Land which Fleur introduced me to and I find it impossible to reign myself in at. I end up leaving with just a whole tub of cookie pieces. Finally, of course you have to have an In-N-Out on the way back to the airport. It’s just plain wrong not to.
THE VIEWS. Even just walking out of the airport you feel like you’re in a movie. Everywhere I look I feel like I’ve seen it on TV before. It’s impossible to walk down Rodeo Drive without quoting Pretty Woman – heck practically every corner reminds me of La La Land and I’m pretty sure that L.C is going to walk out of a Kitson shop any minute in a Von Dutch hat (I’ve googled it and apparently it’s closed down – ahhh weren’t the early 00’s such a great time for fashion? *eyebrow raise*). In terms of the best views I’ve yet to trek up to the Hollywood sign, although I’d love to next time I visit in June, but Santa Monica beach is pretty dreamy. It just goes on forever and looks picture perfect at sunset. If you stay up in West Hollywood, or just any high-rise building across the city you can pretty much guarantee an amazing view out of your window. Last summer when I visited I slept with the curtains open as the sunrise was such a beaut of a sight.
THE SIZE. The place is bloody massive. It always makes for some serious research when it comes to booking hotels as there are so many neighbourhoods to pick from (I’ve stayed at The Mondrian and The London and they’re both lush) and it also means that you basically end up Uber-ing everywhere if you haven’t gone down the ‘rent-a-ride’ option. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though because it’s kind of impossible to get bored because there’s just so many different places to explore and things to see and do. Every morning becomes a ‘Shall we head to the beach, go on a hike, head downtown, go up the coast, go to Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica, Melrose?’ conundrum. In fact I’d say that it’s good to have a list of places that are a must for you to make sure that you tick everything off. The Uber thing isn’t as much of a pain as you’d think it would be, because there is always one close, wait times are never long and you could end having the driver that Lily and I had once called Ruth who sung us Beyoncé.
Photos by Fleur