Los Angeles, the land of Angels, where the rich, talented and the beautiful are bestowed.
I wanted to see where so many have dreamed and achieved, the hills where so many music videos that I’ve spent many moments singing into the bathroom mirror with my hairbrush have been filmed, and where our social influencers spend the majority of their lives lunching and shopping.
Staying further out of the city in Anaheim, I realised the stresses of the so called “LA traffic” that stops everyone from being on time, so if you’re holidaying, make sure you avoid morning and evening rush hour without fail! Take it from the girl who’s travelled on London’s unreliable public transport all her life, I can safely say I would happily pick that over driving here any day!
If you want to hire a car in LA, there are so many different car hire companies around but one new app that keeps popping up seems like it could make the start of your trip just that little less stressful.
TURO let’s you sign in and choose from some beautiful cars within your budget. Add your licence details and the dates and times you want, the owner will get back to you and usually deliver the car to where you are. You pay through the app and show the owner your licence and go around the car and then you can drive off into the sunset!
Definitely worth trying it as most car companies will expect a very high deposit to hold.
With a playlist ready, snacks in the back, a damn good sat-Nav and a change of clothes for the evening (because driving back and forth from out of downtown was definitely NOT an option) we made it to the city of dreams.
Starting out in Beverly Hills we got our usher on and let it burn..
Courtney being Courtney, I made it my duty to recreate my own Usher moment in the middle of Beverly Drive, engulfed with palm trees just like his video. Sadly I couldn’t set the Dodge on fire, much to my dismay but check the Instagram page for a video of this special moment being captured so effortlessly ;).
We then took a quick stop off at the LACMA to check out Chris Burden’s Urban Lights installation and Jeff Koons Balloon Monkey and then off to one of the most know signs that sits in the sky.
One suggestion I will have when driving around the city is have patience, and if you don’t like winding roads, driving to the Hollywood Sign is not the one for you!
However there are a few stops on the way up where you can capture great shots with the sign without driving or hiking the whole way, either way the drive up is beautiful and you get views of the city which I can imagine would look stunning at night.
STYLING FOR A DAY TRIP
I chose a relaxed outfit for the day trip that would be comfortable, easy but still photo ready. As much as you are driving a lot, you’ll be getting out and walking around so I’d rather be ready for the moment than tottering in heels and a midi skirt.
I teamed a sporty stripe crop top from H&M with black shorts, white Stan Smiths, my favourite oversized cropped denim jacket from Primark (can you believe it), the cutest black bum bag from Zara and to finish the look off I wore my 70’s style tinted aviators from River Island that I’m obsessed with!
I struggle with finding shorts that flatter my figure especially with being tall but that will also make me feel comfortable that no “ride ups will happen” but these Simplybe crinkle high wasted shorts are amazing. They sit in the perfect place and bring in my waist so that you can still see my curves and I still feel fabulous even when I put my cropped denim jacket on top.
My black bum-bag adds to this style, not only does it look so slick, no one likes having to carry everything so you’re hands are free and your personal’s are still safe! But also because it’s sitting on the smallest part of your body, so giving you a great shape.
I also loved that it hid my stomach after having a huge lunch HAHA!
A little travel tip for you ladies and gents that don’t like topping up your makeup throughout the day, (yes I’m one of those people) but get paranoid that with the humid weather that you will start to feel that “tight” feeling, try a hydrating mist!
First of all it’s perfect to add to your flight routine so you don’t feel so dry on the plane but spritzing some over your face throughout the day really uplifts your skin and keeps you looking and feeling fresh for those holiday pics, no matter how long you’re out for.
I use the Elizabeth Arden miracle hydrating mist, it’s so light you hardly feel it touch your skin but you definitely notice the difference.
I’ve always known there’s two sides to this state, like most cities we want to believe that what we see on programs like “The real Housewives of Beverly Hills or Orange County” (which I’m slightly obsessed with) is how we’d see the city when you arrive. It’s funny what good lighting and a rooftop bar can do.
I know it’s the land where people go to find fame, follow their dreams and promote their talent where so many of the best stars have previously done so, but I couldn’t help but feel like the hustle that we saw so much of on the streets was there to keep the gimmick going.
Every country or city want to keep a hold of their heritage and with here it’s within film and entertainment, however the environment closely surrounding these attractions seem to be of a time warp, as if the community are stuck in that world too. You’d expect shiny and new, potential for growth and fresh tourism, instead you get the idea that this is what you might have seen 30 years ago.
I have no other way to put it other than it felt like walking between a mix of the Las Vegas strip and Brixton high street. I’m not sure whether the two should have mixed or not.
We strutted our stuff down the Hollywood Walk of Fame in search of some of our favourite stars..
After walking past the huge queue to get into the Jimmy Kimmel show (which If you make it early enough you can get in for cheap tickets), we soon found the TCL Chinese Theatre.
I was in complete awe that my hands are the same size as Marilyn’s yet her feet are TINY!
I also do not agree with her quote about blondes but hey!
It is crazy to think that such legendary actors, actresses, entertainers and singers that have somehow inspired others in our world and throughout time, as far back as the 1920’s have stood here and signed their name to the street, and this was a great moment to stand over and look at history but I can’t help but think about what if these weren’t here?
What if there were no stars on the floor? Or famous people’s houses to drive by and stalk?
The locals rely on the history of fame and money to perform their everyday role to make a living. Majority of them sell celebrity tours or fake Oscar awards, you can even “write your own name in a star”, yet they’re struggling. And it’s obvious.
It just had me questioning things.
There arn’t many healthy eating places close to Hollywood Boulevard so I good idea is to drive closer back to Berverley hills if you wanted a nice sit down lunch with a glass of wine. (Maybe Villa Blanca and hangout with all the housewives haha).
We found an In and Out drive through which I’ve been told by countless of people that we needed to try the double double cheeseburger with animal fries. So we did.
I was impressed, I could see why so many people obsess over it, it’s like five guys and shake shack mixed together but for half the price.
However you’ll be a god if you manage to beat the lunch time craze.. it seems everyone has the same idea for lunch time ideas.
So after a couple of drinks in the sun and relaxing after our sightseeing missions, we spruced ourselves up and changed (in the back seat of the car haha) into our glad rags.
When finding out about Barton G’s I was surprised i hadn’t heard about it before, it wasn’t as well known as it should be, with its apparent flamboyant cocktail displays and shockingly oversized main and desert designs, no matter how high end the restaurant is, the experience looked like it would be OUT OF THIS WORLD.
We were looking forward to going to dinner so much and it really did blow away every expectations we had!
Located on North La Cienega Boulevard near the big shot restaurants like Nobu, Barton G sits calmly in between the hustle and bustle of the rooftop bars and the chatter of beautiful young women going for dinner.
You walk in and it was real busy, almost a little intimidating, especially when you’re not used to go to many fancy restaurants, however we were welcomed so warmly.
The ambience in the room is beautiful, busy yet there was still privacy for a couple on a romantic night out.
We were welcomed by our waiter who just made our night throughout!
He talked us through how our evening would work and to enjoy every moment and you can genuinely see that they enjoy watching their customers reactions to the meal choices. It was so refreshing to see staff that were attentive, happy and enjoying themself as much as we were. You don’t see that very often anymore.
I almost don’t want to show you all the amazing displays because it might ruin the surprise if you ever go!! But I can’t hide it.
For our cocktails to start we chose the Buddahtini & the Sabrinalicious with extra alcoholic ice pops to go with..
May I also mention that my best friends name is Sabrina (she was extremely satisfied with that) so for anyone out there with that name.. you’ve got your own drink!! Haha.
We then ordered our starter and main course while sipping on our gorgeous drinks.
I’d definitely suggest sharing your starter and main as they are HUGE and one just about fits on the table so I’m not sure how you’d get two on there Haha.
First came along the “Shrimp popcorn”.. with actual popcorn.. in an actual popcorn machine!! Eyes were widening..
This was just the starter and drinks, could you imagine how excited we were for the rest of our meal!
While you’re digging in, you also get to see the other meal displays that other customers have chosen come through the room, like 5 foot chopsticks full of sushi, or a roaring “lawn moo-er” as they call it filled with carved beef! It’s a great way to make everyone feel really comfortable interacting with who was sitting next to you on other tables.
Next to the table was our main course.. “Don’t be a jerk chicken” with mac n cheese on the side! This WHOLE chicken came out on display inside a full birds cage, water pot and all! With a video in the middle singing Fergies “my humps” chicken style! I”m sure you can all imagine me dancing at my table feeling very proud of my bird! Haha..
Once you’ve enjoyed your song and dance, they take the cage away, cut up your chicken for you and add spinach dumplings with avocado sauce and apricots so that you can endulge without the worry of knocking anything over.
The flavours were beautiful and the chicken cooked to perfection.
I honestly had no clue how I was going to add desert to this meal!
Its clear the restaurant has specifically made and effort to make sure that everything comes out at the perfect time, there is no stress of being rushed out and needing to finish at a certain time, you can let each meal settle, chat and it’s as if the waiters know exactly when you’re ready for the next course. That’s great service in my eyes.
Deciding to be piggies and enjoy a desert each, even though we were full to the brim, we wanted to make the most of every part of Barton G’s as we could.. and we had heard that the desert was best part!! There’s always a little space for something sweet, no matter how full I am but I will say if you don’t have a big sweet tooth then sharing would be best! I mean it!
We chose “Dollar dollar bill yall” and “Mary Antoinette’s candy floss” that comes with a freakshake on the side!
My Jaw officially dropped when these arrived!
With this chocolate delight, sadly no real money in the safe. 😦 They arrive with a blowtorch and mask and heat your gold chocolate block so that it’s warm and gooey!
Now Mary puts anyone to shame with the height of her hair do and I almost felt guilty ruining such an art but we soon brought that down and enjoyed it!
May I also say, I got to keep the sunnies too HEHE!
We spent almost 3 hours here and couldn’t have asked for a more amazing experience, we questioned why they hadn’t opened one in London yet as we knew it would be a huge hit and they said they were thinking of expanding so fingers crossed.
The prices are in the £££ for Barton G but honestly it is worth every penny! I wouldn’t recommend it if you were loosing out in any way, I promise.
So if you’re in LA and fancy a new experience and a great night out then book a table!
Overall our trip to Hollywood was great and really gave us a sense of what life was like out there, the food and bad.
One thing I always say is you have to open minded with America, you will get the best of both worlds and see the real life to its extreme both side by side but take it all in.
Can’t wait to see the rest of Cali!