Ever since travelling to Italy for the first time so many years ago I have wanted to come back again and again. My sister and I were familiar with the south of Italy from this first visit but we wanted to revisit and have a new experience. We decided on Vico Equense, an off the beaten path small town on the Sorrentine Peninsula after reading about it in this great article. An Italian friend recommended we stay at the Palazzo Murrano and it didn't disappoint! Such a charming boutique hotel with incredible hospitality and the best breakfast and welcome bubbles. The owners took care of us like we were their daughters, so much so that they were quite concerned when we didn't come home one night as we were partying in Capri! 😄 With only three nights here, we decided to just enjoy the immediate area and utilize the beach club at the hotel for some restful sunning and swimming.👙🌊 If you rent a car, there are a lot more options for day trips as neighbouring Sorrento and Positano especially are a must to visit. 💙
CAPRI! What a day. It's amazing as it looks. Couldn't have asked for a better spot to spend a birthday. Staying in Vico Equense on the Sorrentine Penninsula, my sister and I took the 8am ferry over to Capri with intentions of returning that evening on the 5pm boat back to the mainland. Upon arrival we met our friends who were staying at the amazing Punta Tragara Hotel for a magnificent terrace breakfast then enjoyed some leisurely strolls and shopping before settling at La Canzione del Mare for an aperol spritz soaked seafood lunch and swim. At that point our friends had convinced us to ditch the ferry back to our hotel and spend the night with them so we could go dancing into the wee hours. Was a tough decision to make but it had to be done. ;) The evening was a very memorable one indeed. Ten o'clock dinner at the very popular Villa Verde was followed by a night of singing, dancing, and Champagne at the infamous Taverna Anema e Core. If you have never partied with Italians this is certainly the way to do it. I have never seen anything quite like it in North America. Such a treat. 🌺 Cannot wait to go back to this special island. Maybe next time on one of those ridiculously amazing yachts. :) 🚤
Camogli is such a charming little town on the beautiful Ligurian coast in Northern Italy. I loved it so much the first time I came here five years ago I decided I must return. The terrace room at Villa Rosmarino is exquisite and the hospitality is very friendly and comfortable. The staff are so welcoming, treating you like family and the property is stunning. Camogli is a quick 30 min train ride from the central station in Genoa. If you want to do a bit of nearby sightseeing there is no need to rent a car, as the train and bus system to get around to neighbouring glitzy Portofino and Santa Marguerita Ligure work just fine. There is also a boat shuttle service that is offered most days weather permitting. If not available, there are plenty of incredible hiking trails throughout the Parque National Portofino that will keep you burning off all the local wine and delicious Genovese pesto pasta dishes that are a must when visiting this area. Camogli is perfect for a more relaxed getaway for those who just want to soak in the Italian way of life in discreet style. :)
Another fabulous trip to LaLa Land. Love it here and enjoy it more and more every visit. This time around I stayed with a good friend who lives right in Hollywood. A change for me as I had been spending most of my time at the beach in the last couple of years. For those who have not visited LA, there is so much to do and see. Great hiking, amazing food, friendly people, and lots of sunshine. Hard to go wrong. Yes, there is traffic, and yes, lots of concrete, but there is so much to do, it's definitely worth more than a stopover. I still have so much to discover, like Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room at the Broad, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, or having a picnic while watching a show at The Hollywood Bowl. However, this trip was just for hiking, sunshine, and, well.. eating. More for next time. :) Below are a few of my new favorite food spots.
Republique 624 La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles 310.362.6115
Beautiful space on La Brea, excellent service and delicious food. Fun wine list too. Excellent experience. Open daily from 8am if you only have time for a coffee and pastry. We went on a Monday at 8:45pm for dinner. The place was PACKED. Why I love big cities... Great vibe, delicious and innovative plates.
Son of a Gun 8370 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 323.782.9033
Incredible flavors and super fresh seafood in a nautically inspired dining room from the owners of Animal, another top LA joint. The yellowfin tuna with leche de tigre, avocado and tortilla was so good I ordered a second.
SQRL 720 N Virgil Avenue #4, Los Angeles 213.394.6526
Delightful little hot spot for breakfast or lunch or anything in between. Tried the Avocado toast piled high with pickled carrots, green garlic crème fraîche, wood sorrel and house za'atar as well as the white fish tartine with cauliflower baba ganoush, cucumbers and fennel fronds. Just the kind of menu I was looking for. Yum. Be prepared to wait under those beautiful cherry blossoms though, as the line up can get LONG. Alternatively you can call ahead to pick up, but experiencing the buzz is half the fun.
Birch 1634 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles 323.960.3369
Simple, elegant, clean yet interesting and harmonious menu. "Imagined" and interesting.
Lassens Natural Food Market 2080 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles 323.660.0052 (Silverlake) + multiple locations.
Loved this grocery store. Great pit stop after a hike for a juice and lunch to go. Fresh, clean and healthy. Friendly staff.
Erewhon 7660 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles 323.937.0777 (Beverly Hills) + multiple locations.
The celebrity go-to organic food store and where I saw Jeremy Piven buying yogurt, oh wow. They're just like us you know.. This place was amazing for a health food lover like myself but unbelievably expensive and so crazy busy. Loved it anyway and our lunch to go was delicious! Worth the price tag and the chaos, I think...
Gjelina 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice 310.450.1429
If you are taking a trip to the beach, this restaurant is a must. Definitely one of my favorite dining spots. Every time I am in LA, I have to go here. It's always so good and the vibe is so great. If you don't manage to plan ahead and get a reservation they are open every day from 8 am until midnight so stop in and have a drink and a bite, or even breakfast or brunch. Some of my favorites are the squash blossom pizza, the Tuscan kale salad and the amazing mushroom toast (pictured). The menu is seasonal and ever changing but a few standby's seem to stick around, and the wine list is stellar. Always something new and fun to try. GTA (Gjelina Take Away) is next door in case you need a quick fix and not too far away down the street they have recently opened Gjusta, a fabulous bakery café.