My Californian adventure seems a lifetime ago. Who would have known how many amazing and unforgettable memories one could create and conjure in the space of only two weeks? If you have been following my travels on Instagram, you might have already seen my countless images of turquoise skies, palm trees, constant sun and a very happy Anneli. Sun makes me happy, good and consistent weather feeds my soul and triggers my energy levels. It makes me want to smile more, do more, live more – without sounding too corny, but that’s my formula for happiness.
Our first stop in our two week Californian adventure? Los Angeles, dubbed the “city that never sleeps” and “the city of dreams”, for good reason. Although parts of L.A and the general Cali-vibe is very relaxed, L.A has it’s own cultural micro-climate, with things always happening, moving, evolving, “in with the new, out with the old” kind of mentality. I can see why living here can take it out of you, especially in certain industries – but there is something quite magical and unique with L.A – and in our case, addictive. As much as my husband and I love nothing more than heading home to our summer house in Norway, spending time with family and friends, long country walks and fishing – we feel so incredibly fortunate being able to experience the best of both worlds, and being able to dip in and out of crazy and paranormal places such as L.A, living in the wonderful city of London, yet retreating and escaping the chaos to primitive and quiet surroundings. I guess that’s why travelling is just so addictive, and we really try make the most out of every single holiday.
And without further ado, I introduce to you, part one of our unforgettable L.A adventure…
We stayed at The London Hotel in West Hollywood for the week (which pretty much made my jaw drop in terms of the decor). The location was perfect, with everything we wanted right on our doorstep. Granted, it’s about a 30 minute drive down to Santa Monica or Venice for the beaches – but we personally prefer staying in the city when we’re in L.A – however, with that city heat, staying somewhere with an outdoor pool is essential.
Luckily, our place had the perfect rooftop area – where we spent many mornings and afternoon catching some rays and enjoying the city views (and delicious food)…
Come evening we headed to Gracias Madre for dinner, an insanely amazing plant-based Mexican restaurant, in the heart of Melrose (West Hollywood), with cocktails and food to die for and incredibly people/celeb spotting! Tip: Make sure you ask to be seated outside on the patio – it’s so magical with the terracotta tiles, open fires, trees and fairy lights.
Jet lag sucks – and sadly there’s not much one can do about it. So usually the morning after we land, we always tend to take advantage of waking up at 4am and head up to Runyon Canyon for a sunrise hike. The best cure for jet lag and the perfect start to kickstart our holiday with unbeatable views over the city!
Hotel breakfasts with their very own branded fresh juices? Now that’s something I can get on board with.
Our go-to on Sunday mornings? Melrose Trading Post – an open-air market with antiques, vintage clothes (with the best denim), collectibles, small designers, plants, fresh juices (and coconuts!)… An absolute must in my opinion. I picked up some amazing black denim dungarees (pictured further down) and some very original one-off denim cut-offs with tassels and aztec printed pockets – both of which quickly became firm wardrobe favourites during the holiday.
Another must is heading down to Santa Monica pier, renting some bikes and riding along the beach front, into Venice and down one of our favourite areas and streets in the city, Abbot Kinney, with incredible local restaurants and boutiques. It’s a much more relaxed and casual vibe down here versus uptown – and although we tend to base ourselves in the city, we love to alternate between the two throughout our stay – you just can’t beat being by the sea!
When we get hungry, we love Gjelina‘s for either brunch or lunch. Tip: This place is popular and can get very busy, so try to avoid peak times if you can, or don’t go there too hungry! Ask to go on the waitlist for the patio area (it’s worth it).
Only in L.A…a juice truck! Which incidentally happened to be the best fresh juice we had all holiday.
You can’t beat that summer feeling!
Dinner at Cecconis – always a winner! As with everything in California, even something relatively swanky and upmarket (such as this place) – you’ll always find people coming in wearing trainers and jeans. Another great place with unbeatable atmosphere (and the food is pretty darn good too).
When in L.A – head to organic coffee company Urth Café to cool down. I particularly love their iced Chai Latte…
Dinner and drinks at Soho House – with undoubtedly, the best views of the city from a restaurant! Tip: Soho House is a members place only, so if you know anyone while you’re in L.A who’s a member, make sure you GO! Electric atmosphere.
After recommendations from a friend, I discovered a great new shopping and dining area on West 3rd Street – filled with super cute cafés, juice bars and boutiques (including the incredible Anine Bing store). One of my new favourite eateries is the delectable deli Joan’s on Third – another must for either breakfast, brunch or lunch when in L.A, with an incredible fresh foods counter and juice/coffee bar.
Come evening we headed out for dinner at Osteria Mozza, a celebrated Italian industry haunt- which served decent (but not excellent) Italian, with slightly chaotic service (we might have just been unlucky). Come here for some serious people watching, but pop to their adjoining Pizzaria Mozza instead for a much more relaxed atmosphere. After dinner, we headed to the Ysabel in West Hollywood, which is probably one of the most exclusive cocktails bar I have ever been to (its not every day you spot Justin Bieber and Ed Westwick in the space of 20 minutes!) – yet with a super relaxed atmosphere. We loved it here. Tip: This place is not easy to get into and it seemed you had to know someone to get in (we went with some local friends), so bear that it mind!
While Sam had to work at his L.A office – I popped over to The Grove, an outdoor mall, which albeit is somewhat touristy and quite cheesy, it has everything and tons of decent shopping; from J.Crew, Nordstrom, Barneys, Nike Store, Apple Store, Anthropologie, as well as their renowned Farmers Market – if you fancy a break from the shopping chaos!
Hold tight for part two of my L.A adventure – coming shortly.