California Diaries: West Hollywood Part One, where to stay and what to eat!

posted on: Tuesday, 29 May 2018

{Written in collaboration with Visit California & Air New Zealand}

I hope you guys are ready for the ultimate California takeover! For the next week, on FFG, I'll be showcasing a seven day diary of California living, from West Hollywood to Newport Beach. It's full of everything including where to eat, where to stay, what to do and where to get the best instagram moments. For years now, Los Angeles has been my home away from home in the USA. I've even lost a best friend to this city, after she relocated last year for a sunnier existence. It is one of my favourite places on this beautiful planet of ours and I spent a full week living the high life, as I had been asked to visit California and live "like a royal" before the big Royal Wedding. As you know, Meghan Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles. So, I was tasked with living as Meghan would. Tough gig, eh? I hit a few of my favourite golden oldie spots, and also visited a few new places that absolutely need to be on your radar. Our first stop is in West Hollywood, a place famous traditionally for Sunset Blvd and the amazing rock legends that have played in the venues along this strip. But, there is so much more here to discover, including a slice of London itself...


Where to stay in West Hollywood: 
Well, if you're a Londoner visiting Los Angeles for the first time, I have a hotel for you that will make you feel not so far from home - The London West Hollywood. Rumour has it that at one point the hotel even allowed guests to call home to London for free. Not sure if that's still true and didn't actually get a chance to test it myself, but it's a nice touch. They even have two English Bulldogs in residence. Yes, they've gone large on the British front. But, the interiors feel anything but old school British. It's all mod cons in here with fabulous retro contemporary decor, bathrooms as large as most one bedroom flats in the Big Smoke and little touches throughout the hotel that will remind you of home. One thing that won't remind you of home is the insane roof terrace with the most insane view of the city. Sadly, on my stay, I brought the English weather with me and it rained for my first 48 houses in town. So no roof terrace drinks for me! But one look at their instagram or website and you'll see that this is one of the hottest spots for sunny afternoon cocktails. 

Where to eat in West Hollywood:
Alright, I'm going to take you through my day of eating in West Hollywood, from breakfast to dinner. These are three hot spots you absolutely must hit while you are in the area and they are all a stone's throw from the hotel... or a next to nothing Uber if you're in heels! 

The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker
This is one of the most instagrammable restaurants in the area and for good reason. First of all, the name should attract everyone and their uncle. Honestly, that is just absolute brilliance! But, the food and the coffee are truly marvellous. With seats indoors or out (always sit out when you can in LA... that Vitamin D is just as important as your morning eggs for energy), you will feel like an LA local sipping your coffee in style. The staff are enormously friendly and their take away cups are keepers. For me, this is my regular breakfast haunt if I'm staying in West Hollywood. Truly, cannot say enough about this beaut. Oh, and I could totally see Meghan and Harry discretely grabbing a table in the back for a cheeky Eggs Benedict, bodyguards in tow. 


The Ivory on Sunset 
If you are looking for lunch with a view, and al fresco to boot, The Ivory on Sunset is your next destination! Located in the Mondrian hotel, this restaurant sits next to the hotel pool, and has a killer view of Los Angeles from the open air tables. And my darling, you will feel oh so LA sitting here sipping on one of their delicious in house cocktails and ploughing through a club sandwich (or burger, as my lunch companion ordered... you didn't really think I was going to order a salad or go to lunch with someone ordering a salad, did you?). It is a place to spend hours, not a single lunch hour. So remember you're on holiday and let the hours roll by as you lounge in the sun.


Ysabel
Another instagram friendly spot here for you. Are you starting to see a pattern in this trip? Yet also another discreet LA eatery where you could easily envisage a royal dining experience. I'd be willing to bet any amount of money that the Duchess of Sussex has sat, at one point or another, under the glass ceiling of Ysabel with friends. This venue is for people in search of a true culinary delight with a side of spectacular in decor. With beautiful trees growing inside the restaurant, a greenhouse sitting just to one side of the venue and a bar that is full of "Hollywood types" from arrival to departing, it's easy to see how this is the place for people spotting. However, the real joy is found with the food. The chefs at Ysabel present a feast of original dishes that are tastebud tantalisers. This is a West Hollywood must!!!! No excuses....

Now, I'm sure you're thinking there's more to do than sleep and eat in West Hollywood. Indeed there is, but that's all for tomorrow. I mean on the first day in LA, it's all about treating yourself to a bit of easy living. Day two is about getting out there and seeing everything there is to see at a pace that's unstoppable.... see you tomorrow!

Discover a better way to fly to Los Angeles - Air New Zealand flies daily from London Heathrow to LA. Return flights start from £407 in Economy, £851 in Premium Economy and £2,843 in Business Premier. For the most up to date fares please visit https://www.airnewzealand.co.uk/cheap-flights-to-los-angeles

To find out more about what to do in California, go to Visit California