Monochrome; it’s basically what the foundation of my wardrobe is built on, and as much as I am starting to love colour, it’s that safety net that I think I’ll probably always fall back on. When you make it interesting with a knotted bow at the sleeve, a fancy beaded sandal or the simple addition of a silk scarf wrapped around the neck (my current favourite accessory, might I add), well, it’s enough to add a little intrigue, in my books.
These photos take me back to our very last day in the US, as we attempted to soak up every last second of our holiday. Driving down Venice Beach with the top down, riding the Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier, and taking in the art and exhibitions on show at LACMA. ‘Til next time, L.A.
The last stop on our trip was the city of angels, Los Angeles. For most people I meet, I’ve found that L.A. is a place you either love, or hate – given that this was my third (!!) time in L.A., I’m pretty sure you can guess which camp I sit very firmly in.
Ending our trip with a bang, we hired a convertible Mustang in Vegas and drove up to L.A; while I think there’s no arguing that the drive from SF to LA along the Pacific Coast Highway is far more scenic, it was an experience in itself to drive through what seemed like endless desert that stretched on for miles and miles.
E A T & D R I N K Dinette | 1606 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
While we didn’t make it to Dinette, this little breakfast and lunch spot in Echo Park is a must – particularly if avocado and toast is a daily staple for you (guilty!!).
Winsome | 1115 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Our first port of call upon arriving in LA was Winsome, which felt like a little slice of home in the US. The space screams modern American diner, in the best possible way, and the menu will have you wanting to come back for more. The servings are pretty generous too – I grabbed the chicken, barley and avocado salad and only managed to scarf down about half of it! Be sure to order one of their aqua frescas as well; it’s the ideal thirst quencher on a scorching L.A day.
Commissary | 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Worth coming to just for the decor alone, Commissary is an all-glass greenhouse tucked away in the Line Hotel in Koreatown. You’ll find all your usual brunch favourites here, along with a few surprises that have a real Korean twist to them.
Gracias Madre | 8905 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
We dropped into Gracias Madre for dinner (though I believe they’re also open for lunch), an all-vegan Mexican restaurant. If it sounds familiar, that’s because I stumbled across the SF outpost a few days prior, and it was good enough to have me wanting to go back. Aside from looking completely and utterly magical (the entire restaurant is decked out with fairy lights and leafy trees), the food is so good that it’s easy to forget that you’re eating vegan. My personal favourite on the menu had to be their strawberry and kale salad; it sounds like an odd combination but it. just. works.
Joans on Third | 8350 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
This was a lucky find the first time I was in LA; it’s a great stop for a tasty but pretty simple lunch. The sweets and pastries are next level if you’re on the run, otherwise you can’t go wrong with one of their sandwiches.
Alfred Tea Room | 705 N Alfred St, Los Angeles, CA 90069
Perhaps satisfying a love of all things pink, Alfred Tea Room is the perfect stop for that early morning coffee, or a mid-afternoon shopping break. Aside from stocking a large range of rare and artisanal teas, you can grab matcha lattes, or a (strong) iced coffee. Did I mention everything there is PINK?!!!
S E E & D O Hike up Runyon Canyon
For a jaw-dropping view of LA, get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and hike your way up to the Runyon Canyon lookout. Trust me when I say you will have no regrets.
Embrace your inner child at the Santa Monica Pier
I love a good fairground as much as the next girl, and the Santa Monica Pier is the epitome of childhood nostalgia. You can either pick up a day pass (worth it if you’re going on three or more rides) or alternatively, you can buy single ride passes. The ferris wheel is a must – the queues don’t tend to be more than a fifteen minute wait, and the views at the top across the beach are breathtaking.
Ride bikes along Venice Beach
After exploring the Santa Monica Pier, hire a bike at one of the stands you find at the beginning of the beach. Bike hire will set you back about $20 per person, though it’s a great way to cruise down Venice, while stopping for a couple of margaritas along the way…
Spend an afternoon taking in the art and culture at LACMA
A mix of contemporary art and ancient pieces, LACMA’s collection spans across more than 150,000 works, which is reason enough to drop by. If you’re looking for the iconic powder grey lamp post installation, it’s located on the grounds (you don’t need to pay the access fee to see it) and definitely a must see, before spending a few hours wandering through the exhibitions. When we visited there was a huge collection of Picasso and Monet works on display – basically the dream!
S T A Y The Mondrian | 8440 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Nestled between West Hollywood and Beverley Hills, the Mondrian Hotel seemed like the perfect location to get the most out of the city during our short stay. We booked a one-bedroom suite – that I swear was larger than our first Sydney apartment – which was the perfect way to end our stay. If you’re planning a day by the pool, get down there early as the poolside loungers tend to fill up quick!
The Line Hotel | 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
This contemporary hotel was my other choice for our trip; located in the heart of K-Town, meaning that there’s plenty of spots for a good bite right on your doorstep.
S H O P The Apartment by the Line | 2nd Floor, 8463 Melrose Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90069
The sister store to the Line’s NYC offering, the LA outpost is a little more laid-back, but every bit as lust-worthy. Split across two large show-“rooms”, the space is completely sun drenched and home to a couple of the most beautiful fiddle leaf trees I’ve ever spied. It’s in good company too; downstairs you’ll find Frame, Rag & Bone, and Zimmermann just across the street.
Isabel Marant | 8454 Melrose Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90069
Aside from the fact that Isabel Marant’s Melrose boutique is tucked away in a beautiful white cottage, it’s worth dropping in if you’re after a little sliver of Parisian nonchalance.
Opening Ceremony | 451 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90048
Just like their New York store, it’s easy to get lost in the incredibly varied selection that their LA boutique has to offer. Be sure to pop into their jewellery boutique (which is on the right hand side of the building) too!
And just like that, our holiday is done and dusted! x
The Apartment by the Line, 76 Greene St, New York, NY 10012
Hopping back to New York, I wanted to share one of the few stores which has ever made be gasp audibly as I’ve stepped through the door. Aside from single handedly making me wish that I could take everything home with me (alllll of the shoes included), it’s the type of store that I could spend hours in, poring over every single detail (and if Luke had left me to my own devices, I probably would have…).
I guess the only question I have is, when can I move in..?
San Francisco is the type of city that you really need to discover, to truly fall in love. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of home; and I mean home home. The windy little city of Wellington, whose residents are its most loyal and staunch supporters, cheerleaders, and fans.
For me, it wasn’t until my second trip that I discovered the magic of the Bay, and while our time in the city was short, it was definitely sweet. So, with that in mind, I wanted to share how I’d spend a day in San Francisco…
Breakfast at Plow
I typically like to start my day with a simple bowl of steel cut oats – the breakfast of champions! – but breakfast or an early brunch at Plow (1299 18th St, San Francisco CA 94107) is definitely excuse enough to mix things up a little. Their menu is simple, organic and locally sourced, and despite the queues (the wait for a table can often be up to an hour), it’s definitely well worth the wait.
Spend the morning browsing the racks of the Everlane Fit Studio
San Francisco is home to one of my favourite labels, Everlane and I was lucky enough to drop by their light-filled offices while I was in the Bay area, ahead of the launch of their new Fit Studio. If you’re the type that likes to try before you buy, it’s worth dropping in and having a browse through the racks before pulling the trigger on those pieces you’ve been eying up; shopping online can be a tricky affair as it is, without having to question which size to get! If you can only nip away with one piece, I’d highly recommend investing in one of their cashmere sweaters, without a doubt a firm favourite of mine, and unlike cheaper (and sometimes pricier) alternatives, it’s really gone the distance.
Grab lunch at a Tacqueria in the Mission District
The heart of the Mission District is conveniently located about two blocks away – give or take – from Everlane HQ, making it the perfect spot to rest your feet after spending a couple hours browsing through Everlane’s complete catalogue.
La Tacqueria (2889 Mission St, San Francisco CA 94110) comes highly recommended for some authentic Mexican fare. It’s definitely a no frills restaurant (but let’s be real, all the truly authentic spots typically are!) and if you drop in, be sure to order one of their famed traditional style, rice-free burritos.
If you’re feeling like something a little lighter, or completely meat – and dairy – free, Gracias Madre (2211 Mission St, San Francisco CA 94110) is an excellent option (they also have an LA outpost which is excellent). Grab one of their eggplant tacos and a bowl of their homemade tortilla chips with guac, and be sure to add some of their home made salsas. If memory serves me correctly, their red pepper salsa has a nice amount of kick to it!
Walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge
This is an absolute must if you’re in San Fran, and it’s such a rewarding experience, especially on a particularly foggy morning. Personally, I’d recommend walking (it’s much easier if the bikes only path has been closed off) as it allows you to really take in the scope of the bridge, and the sweeping views of San Francisco, submerged in thick fog. For a truly spectacular view, take the tunnel which tucks under the base of the bridge, and trek up the mountain ahead – the hike is a lot shorter than it looks, and the payoff is incredible. Keep in mind that if you do decide to walk, it’ll take you a good three hours to get across the bridge and back, and be sure to have a thick scarf and a warm jacket as the winds can kick up around the Bay.
Stop by the Painted Ladies…
And have yourself a Full House moment… It’s quite possibly one of the most touristy things that you can do in San Fran, but one of the only ones that will fill you with a huge sense of nostalgia. Because everywhere you go…
Having a refreshing drink (and an oyster or two) in the Ferry Building
An afternoon of sightseeing is enough to get my apetite going, and Hog Island (located in the Ferry Building) is the perfect spot to kick off your evening with a glass of bubbly and half a dozen oysters or so. Aside from acting as a terminal for ferries that travel across the bay, it’s also home to an indoor marketplace, which is well worth browsing. If you’re pressed for time, I’d highly recommend taking five minutes to have a gander round Heath Ceramics which is overflowing with incredibly beautiful servingware and vases.
End your day with a meal at Twenty Five Lusk
With brick walls and exposed beams, Twenty Five Lusk (25 Lusk St, San Francisco CA 94107), located in an old brick warehouse is like a little slice of New York in San Francisco. The space has a great ambience, and with an extensive cocktail list you’re bound to find a drink (or few) to unwind after a day spent exploring the city.
A few parting thoughts
San Francisco can get extremely chilly, even during the summertime, so be sure to bring something warm to wear with you. As the fog does burn off over the course of the day, you’ll find it’ll heat up in the mid-afternoon, so having layers that you can take off definitely helps.
Cab drivers might not necessarily know where it is that you want to go, so do yourself a favour and book an Uber instead (they have GPS!). If you do find yourself in a cab, be prepped in advance with which cross streets you need to be dropped off at.
Even if it isn’t your thing, the Hop On Hop Off buses are a great way to get to all the key areas of the city. Most buses depart around Fisherman’s Wharf, and you can pick up a ticket on the day if needed.
If visiting Alcatraz is an absolute must for you, then do be sure to book in advance. While you can try your luck on the day, there are limited places on the tours and these often do sell out so if this is do or die for you, it’s best to get in early.
Lastly, one of the things I found is that eating out in San Fran tends to be a lot more expensive than say… New York or L.A. I’d suggest adding $50USD or so to your daily budget just to cover any additional expenses so that you don’t find yourself blowing your budget!
It may be completely out of my comfort zone, but there’s just something about this dress. It’s not often that you’ll see me wearing a ‘pop’ of colour, or any colour at all, truth be told, but I couldn’t help but make an exception for this little red number. It’s a classic with a twist; a simple shift style cut with a knot detail adorning the hem of the sleeves.
From RUBY’s new spring collection, ‘No Drama’, it seemed to be the perfect piece to throw into my suitcase for a special night out, and a dress that I wouldn’t mind reaching for more than once. Keeping things simple, I opted for a pair of low heeled sandals (which in themselves make a statement…) and a small black bag, as the dress really does seem to speak for itself, and stand on its own in the busy streets of New York.
We took these snaps right before heading up to A60 (60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012), a rooftop bar in Soho. As it turned out when we arrived – because I’m never one to check this in advance – access to the bar is for hotel guests only, though the concierge was kind enough to swipe us up to the roof. The rooftop bar overlooks the city, and is a spectacular vantage point to watch the sun set over New York, if you can manage to sneak yourself in…
Not being ones to end the night there, we left as the sun had almost set, for a dinner reservation at Nobu (105 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013). For those of you planning a trip to New York in the near future, I highly, highly recommend booking in at Nobu; it’s a meal that you definitely will not forget! x