24+ hours in LA

FRIDAY   7:30 am:  morning hike

One of the things I love most about LA is the healthy lifestyle. I never really understood the need to join a gym in this city surrounded by mountains and beaches. Go for a hike, take a walk on the beach. You not only get great exercise but a bit of nature time. And the best part is, IT’S FREE!  I hiked daily when I was self-employed and living in LA. My sister says, I was never happier.
Today’s hike: Sullivan Ridge Fire Road. Directions: Sunset Blvd to Capri Drive. North on Capri, right on Casale Road for parking. Hike starts to the left around the bend. Approx 1.5 hours return.

9:30 am:  breakfast smoothie                                                                                          I’m a huge smoothie fan and Jamba Juice is my favorite, especially after a hike. I stay away from the sherbet, frozen yogurt and overly juice filled options and go for the Protein Berry Workout made with soy milk, whey protein, strawberries and banana — 11911 San Vicente Blvd, Brentwood and other locations.

1:00 pm:  lunch
After a few errands and a brief pit stop at the hotel for a shower and change, I meet          a friend for lunch and a little shop around in Silver Lake. We eat at a new Vietnamese restaurant, Blossom, next door to her favorite new lifestyle shop – Mohawk General Store, 4011 W. Sunset Blvd. I love finding new things in LA and this shop is lovely, carrying a well-priced assortment of men’s and women’s clothing & accessories, gifts, books, furniture and more — they even carry my new Aussie favorite, Aesop toiletries. They also stock Clare Vivier purses but I recommend heading a few block east to the flagship store for a wider selection — 3339 Sunset Blvd.

3:00 pm:  a little inspirational shopping                                                                          I have a couple of hours to fill and so head back to the general vicinity of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills to see what’s up in some of my favorite shops:

OK – a selection of gifts, books and homewares, architecturally inspired and minimal in nature — 8303 W. Third Street

Noodle Stories – I’ve been a fan of this shop since day one. It opened just as I was closing my little clothing boutique nearby and I always felt a kinship with the style here. Just a couple of doors down in what used to be Noodle Stories Men, is a temporary space filled with Issey Miyake. Almost as nice as the clothes is the twisted bamboo installation in the window — 8323 & 8317 W. Third Street.

Area — modern linens.  I have long been a fan of their designs and it was a nice surprise to see they have opened an outpost in LA — 8307 W. Third Street

Magnolia Bakery — it takes all my willpower to avoid the banana pudding as I pick up a few cupcakes for my hairdresser’s daughter — 8389 W. Third Street

Flor – am considering their new Union Jack inspired design for my bedroom and wanted to see in person — 9020 Beverly Blvd.

Tip: If you shop in the Flor showroom, you save 50% on shipping.

Heath CeramicsI covet these lovely ceramics made in Sausolito, CA and knew it would be inspiring to see the whole collection together. I’m always trying to decide what the best color combination is. Still no decision. — 7525 Beverly Blvd

Barney’s New York – the only place that carries my make-up brand – Koh Gen Do. OK, I may have stopped by the shoe department too. But just to browse — 9570 Wilshire Blvd.

5:00 pm:  haircut                                                                                                               After 10 years away, I recently reunited with my old hairdresser, Katja, during my last stop over in LA (on my way to Australia). I’m wondering what I did without her all these years and am seriously considering a long distance relationship – is that crazy?

7:00 pm:  dinner                                                                                                                For dinner I am joined by one of my oldest and dearest friends and we head to Cheebo, an old neighborhood stand-by that I am happy to report is still as good and busy as ever. I’ve been craving their pesto and mushroom pizza for as long as I can remember and it didn’t disappoint. Following dinner we brave the long line & stop for a Sprinkles Cupcake  to cap off the evening (learn more about our visit here).

Pizza Note:

I find there is always room on the diet for good pizza and LA has some great choices: Pizzaria Mozza is to die for; Sotto, a close second; Mulberry Street Pizza is the best NY style.

11:30 pm:  sleep

I’m asleep before my head even hits the pillow practically. This trip I choose the hotel Maison 140 in the heart of Beverly Hills, an old boarding house once owned by Lillian Gish, catering to New York actors and actresses trying their luck in Hollywood. The building has been lovingly converted into a boutique hotel with small but beautiful rooms designed by the formidable, Kelly Wearstler. It’s a visual treat complete with Frette linens, Neil George toiletries, and a friendly & accommodating staff that calls you by name — just about as luxurious as you get for under $200/night. And as a nod to its Hollywood roots, old movies screen nightly in the lobby bar.

SATURDAY                                                                                                                                           9 am:  breakfast                                                                                                             My first choice for breakfast is Suzanne Goin’s new place on Maple Drive, The Larder. But alas, they are closed on the weekends. So instead I pack the car ready to head for the airport and stop on the way at Clementine – a lovely little eatery and bakery on a quiet side street with sidewalk seating and really great food. A perfect way to end my stay in LA. — 1751 Ensley Avenue, across from the Century City mall.


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