Tuesday, August 23, 2016

LA travelogue part two - Beverly Hills

Nothing says 'Beverly Hills'  to me more than the palm trees lining its residential streets. Their alternating sizes and shapes make them look as if two different strands of pearls have been suspended above the avenues, gently swaying in the breeze.

In the shopping area around Rodeo Drive, the dominating colors are green, gold and yellow, whether it's buses or street signs,

trees or shop fronts

or even sculptures (Dali's clock).

Just off Rodeo Drive is one of my favorite Italian lunch places, and I was so happy to find that it was still there.

I love to sit at the counter, right opposite the open kitchen with its wood burning pizza oven.. you can watch the chefs at work, which is always inspirational.  The menu has all the Italian classics, apart from which it is just such a lovely relaxing place, and you get lashings of beautiful olive oil and balsamic vinegar to sprinkle on the delicious crusty bread. 

Below, the stunning and super modern Hermès store on Rodeo Drive (but no, I didn't bring anything back). The purchases I planned to make were things I can't get back home, although not everything went according to plan. I was hoping to find another Tory Burch tunic, but the classic style was not part of her collection this year. Hopefully next! I got a couple of jeans (from Vince and Dash) and a sizable batch of cool wardrobe gear for DS. My main 'souvenir' was a full to the brim bag of my beloved skin care products from Jady Aesthetics. Mady, Jady's owner, can only be described as a 'skinologist'. She gives amazing facials and has developed a fabulous skin care line which is so varied that every skin type of every age is precisly catered for, and you get customised routines to go with it. Don't expect a 'stylish spa clinic' or cool packaging.. her small, but well known place is behind an unassuming 'funky spanish' façade in Studio City, and her jars and containers look simple and plain, but they're packed with powerful ingredients.

Beverly Hills style valet parking

Rodeo Drive

Next, we headed north to pick up DS from summer camp. He's been there for a month having fun with friends and living the healthy life in the great outdoors with no phones or internet... in short, a throwback to the good old days before the digital world.

Idyllic surroundings..

What's the first thing you do after picking up  your boy from summer camp? You find a launderette.

The moment we had our teenager back, frequent food stops were back on the agenda!

Next adventure... Sunset Boulevard!

Il Fornaio, 301 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210,
Phone: +1 310-550-8330 www.ilfornaio.com

Jady Aesthetics (ask for Mady): 1748 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604,

Monday, August 15, 2016

LA travelogue part one - Malibu

This year we spent our summer holiday in LA. It's a city which will always hold a special place in my heart since it's where DH and I started dating more than two decades ago, and where we lived part of the time until we moved to France when DS was little. Some of my happiest memories are from those times spent in the City of Angels, and it was fun to re-visit old favorite places and discover new ones, and most of all, to catch up with dear friends. DS went ahead of us this year, staying for a month in the summer camp he'd already been to last year. The fact that it was just the two of us (DH and me) arriving together, wound back the clock twenty years and gave the trip a wonderfully romantic start.

I thought it would be a lovely way to overcome the inevitable jet-lag by spending the first few days at the beach. Listening to the soothing sounds of the waves rolling in and breaking on the shore lulls you gently back to sleep when your body clock insists that it's time to get up. We still got up early enough to view the beauty of the beach at sunrise... I had a hard time selecting just a few from the many pictures I took!

Malibu Pier

Malibu Pier has seen a complete make-over. It is now pristine and picture perfect, and you can't stop yourself from taking pictures of all angles. I remember the pier when it was the slightly run-down home of the legendary 'Alice's restaurant', a famed hangout where Malibu surfers mingled with Hollywood stars and tourists. Today the Pier is definitely more touristy, but you get fantastic fresh organic produce in a fun and stylish atmosphere.

Morning treats at the Pier's organic Cafe

The little shop opposite the café offers beach supplies and an array of the prettiest things you never knew you had to have.

Another day, another breakfast

Capsule pieces: loose white jeans and pale blue linen shirt
Accessoires: Hermès 'Chaine d'Ancre' printed enamel bracelet and 35 Birkin in Gris-T. MaiTai Collection Fer à Cheval necklace in noir/argent (available Mid-September)
Shoes: Thong sandals

The Malibu Country Mart has evolved in the same way as the Pier... it has become chic and upscale, and yet managed to retain it's charming village character (even though small village shops such as the hardware store have closed down...the rent has become too expensive). Also check the neighbouring Malibu Lumber Yard, another stylish outdoor shopping space with a cool modern vibe.

Ralph Lauren boutique at Country Mart

I was so happy to see that my favorite LA Greek was completely unchanged

The location of the Malibu Beach Inn makes it a fabulous place to stay. It's a two minute walk to the Malibu Pier and it takes five minutes to walk along the beach to the Nobu Malibu. You can even walk to the Malibu Country Mart but in the summer heat the four minute drive is definitely a better idea.

The Malibu Beach Inn's dining terrace. Open for lunch and dinner, it offers delicious food and wines

Nobu Malibu - Sushi with a view

Malibu's most iconic sights, surf boards and surfers...

Malibu Beach Inn: 22878 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Phone: +1 310-651-7777 www.malibubeachinn.com


Carbon Beach Club, 22878 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Phone: +1 310-460-7509 www.malibubeachinn.com/dining

Malibu Pier/Malibu Farm Cafe and Restaurant: 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, +1 310-456-1112 www.malibupier.org
Taverna Tony: Malibu Country Mart, 23410 Civic Center Way, Malibu, CA 90265, Phone: +1 310-317-9667 www.tavernatony.com
Nobu Malibu: 22706 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, Phone: +1 310-317-9140

Malibu Country Mart: 3835 Cross Creek Rd, Malibu, CA 90265, Phone +1 310-456-7300
Malibu Lumber Yard: 3939 Cross Creek Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
Malibu Beach Supply Co: 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, +1 310-456-8031